Genius Learning Proprietary Limited has been fined $15,000 after two children in the care of Genius Learning Chermside left the service unaccompanied and were unaccounted for, for between 10 and 15 minutes.
On 7 October 2021, the children, aged 2 and 3, left the service through a faulty fire exit door and accessed a large shopping centre and car park before they were returned to the service by members of the public.
The department, as the Queensland Early Childhood Regulatory Authority, took legal action in the Brisbane Magistrates Court against Genius Learning Proprietary Limited for failing to provide children with adequate supervision and protection from harm or hazard.
This prosecution sends a strong message to all approved providers that they have an overriding responsibility to ensure children are adequately supervised and protected from harm when they are in the care of their services, as an incident of this type could result in serious injury or death of a child.
The fine of $15,000 reflects the seriousness of these offences.
Magistrate Peter Saggers took into account community expectations, including the trust placed in childcare services, in deciding the defendant's guilt and sentence.
The magistrate acknowledged the defendant's remorse and contrition for the incident and the steps the defendant had taken immediately after the incident to secure the service.
The magistrate also noted the defendant's previous lack of non-compliance history.
The department will continue to work with the early childhood education and care sector to promote supervision and ensure safe environments for children.
Where the steps taken to ensure the health and safety of children are inadequate, the Regulatory Authority will not hesitate to take appropriate action.
Genius Learning Fined $15,000 For Inadequate Supervision, Queensland Government, Early Childhood Education and Care