Our Policies.

Duty of care is of critical importance to everyone who works at Aeon Academy.

The intent of this policy is to ensure best practice is implemented to protect the centre and it’s community during a pandemic. The policy is based on current ACT Health Directorate advice.

Objective

The following policy aims to ensure the safety and protection of all stakeholders accessing our service during the COVID – 19 pandemic.

As information changes rapidly our Management Team will remain up to date by checking current health directives from the ACT Government daily and adapt our procedures accordingly with the goal of protecting students, children, educators, auxiliary staff, families and community members. . ACT Health Directorate Safe Work Australia ACECQA

Best Practise Infection Control Measures

The following are the key practises that will be followed across our Service:

  • Ventilation: adequate airflow in the service helps to ensure the safety of staff and children. Where possible windows and doors are kept open and opportunities for outdoor play are prioritised.
  • Vaccinations for staff: All ECEC staff in the ACT are required to be vaccinated. Our staff are being supported to meet the mandated vaccination deadline of the 29th November with the Centre Director conducting site level monitoring of staff vaccination. 
  • Sanitation Supplies check: Before opening each day, the service will comprehensively check supplies of all essential PPE and general hygiene supplies. 
  • Cleaning: High traffic areas of the service will be comprehensively cleaned regularly. This includes any surface that is touched frequently such as handles, tables, toys. Additional staff will be responsible for undertaking the cleaning requirements – not educators working directly with children. 
  • Hygiene: Regular and washing is critical and will be conducted on entry to the centre, before and after consuming food and drink & after going to the bathroom. 
  • Social distancing: A physical distance of 1.5 metres will be maintained between all staff. This will not always be practical in an education and care setting and regulatory space requirements have not changed. 
  • Exposure minimisation: 
    • Contact with carers and family at pick up and drop off is reduced or eliminated (as far as possible)
    • Staff maintain social distancing between themselves
    • Health directions to wear facemasks are followed at all times by people 12 years and over.
    • Adults practice social distancing.
    • Social distancing with and between children is not practicable but activities involving a higher risk of transmission will be avoided. 
      • The number of whole group activities will be limited & small group activities encouraged.
      • Children will be spaced out as much as possible. 
  • Communication Strategies:
    • Aeon Academy management will follow the Emergency Communication Plan to ensure that staff and families are immediately informed of any changes after being notified by the Health authorities.
    • Updates: Aeon will ensure that staff and families are immediately informed of any changes after being notified by the Lead authorities in line with our Emergency Communication Plan.
  • Action in the event of a case:
    • If there is an exposure to COVID-19 at our service the required response will depend on whether the risk is due to a close, casual or secondary contact, and the specific instructions provided by ACT Health. In all circumstances we will follow the advice given by the lead authorities.
    • Closure: If the service is required to close immediately, such as when there is a close contact, the Regulatory Authority will provide an Emergency Action Notice to the service. This notice will provide details of the actions required by the service, including completing a deep clean of the service in line with ACT Health guidelines. 
    • Communication: ACT Health will provide information for services to communicate to families and staff and any precautions they should undertake as advised by the Lead authorities. In most circumstances ACT Health will provide letters to send out to staff and families which give details of testing and quarantine requirements.
    • Cleaning: A comprehensive clean of the centre in line with ACT Health advice will be undertaken to make sure it is virus free. Advice on this process will be given by ACT Health. 
    • Re-opening: The centre will re-open only after approval from the Lead authorities has been given. For services closed due to an Emergency Action Notice from the Regulatory Authority, this will be when;
      • The provider has provided evidence that they have met ACT Health requirements in relation to deep cleaning of service premises;
      • Provider advice and evidence if available that staff cannot return to the service until they have provided evidence that they have finished quarantines and/ or cleared to work via negative Covid-19 test results;
      • The service has sighted or collected evidence that all children/ families that were required to test have received a negative Covid- 19 test result and have finished quarantine before they return to the service;
      • All internal policy and procedures have been adhered to, and that action plans have been followed in relation to Covid-19 including communication with families;
      • Communication has been prepared to advise stakeholders of re- opening of the service, and guidelines to follow;
      • The provider has demonstrated that adequate staffing arrangements and reasonable precautions have been taken to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19 transmission/spread.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic Families are asked to be especially vigilant and keep children at home if their child is at all unwell.

All Children, Parents/Carers, Staff and Visitors with any symptoms of an infectious disease, including:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • headache

MUST NOT ENTER the Service.

In addition:

  • We may require Staff & children to have their temperature taken before entry to the service.
  • An adult exhibiting any of the above symptoms will be asked to leave the Service immediately.
  • Any child attending the Service who exhibits any of the above symptoms will be isolated from other children (under friendly and caring supervision) while their family is contacted immediately and asked to collect the child from the Service.
  • Any person who has been in Covid areas of concern or identified affected areas will be excluded in accord with ACT health directives.

Aeon Academy understands it has a duty of care to ensure that all persons are provided with a healthy and safe environment. To this end all staff will be fully informed of their responsibilities to implement and adhere to the service’s health policies and procedures. Effective hygiene strategies and practices assist our service to protect all persons from, and minimise the potential risk of communicable diseases. We believe experiences that promote basic hygiene awareness assist children to develop valuable life skills.

The Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 requires that approved providers, nominated supervisors and coordinators take reasonable care to protect children from foreseeable risk of harm, injury and infection.(Education and Care Services National Regulations : 77; 88-­‐96  106; 109; 110; 112) 

The service aims to promote a healthy and safe environment and is committed to protecting its stakeholders through the implementation and monitoring of simple hygiene and infection control strategies. The application of preventative measures through an infection control program aims to prevent the spread of infections and will be followed by all people in the education and care service at all times.

Hygiene Strategies:

  • All staff are required to observe and maintain high standards of hygiene in the provision of the education and care service.
  • Staff will be provided with training on infection control.
  • Educator’s role model personal hygiene and discuss hygiene practices with children.
  • Notices which clearly explain effective hand washing procedures will be displayed next to hand washing basins.
  • The service will use detergent and warm water to clean except where the public health authority recommends a particular disinfectant for an outbreak of an infectious disease.
  • The service will ensure that developmentally and age appropriate toilets, hand washing facilities and products are easily accessible to children. Children will be supervised and encouraged to flush toilets and wash and dry their hands after use.
  • The rules of hygiene will be included in the child’s program and staff will initiate discussion about these subjects with groups and individual children at appropriate times.
  • Information on hygiene principles and practices will be displayed in the reception area and drawn to the attention of all families on a regular basis.
  • Hand hygiene is considered to be the most effective way of controlling infection in the service. 

Staff and children should wash their hands:

  • when arriving at the service to reduce the introduction of germs.
  • before all cleaning tasks e.g. handling and preparing food and eating.
  • after all dirty tasks e.g. toileting, cleaning up urine, faeces, vomit or blood, wiping a nose, playing outside, handling animals and after removing gloves.
  • before going home to prevent taking germs home.

Exclusion due to infectious disease

The service follows the A.C.T. Education Department’s exclusion policy which is in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s exclusion periods and will exclude children, staff and visitors with infectious diseases from the service in accordance with that policy. A medical certificate is required after contracting an infectious disease, which must state that the child/staff is well enough to return and does not pose a health risk to other attendees before the adult or child can be re‐admitted to the service.

The service will display a notice at the entrance and use email or distribution of letters/fact sheets where appropriate to notify educators/staff members, families of enrolled children and visitors to the service of exclusion due to infectious disease.

If a child is unwell at home parents/guardians are asked not to bring the child to the service.

If a staff member is unwell they should not report to work. Staff members should contact the Center Manager at the earliest possible time to advise of their inability to report to work.

If a child becomes unwell whilst at the service the service’s illness policy will be followed.

In the case of serious ill health or hospitalisation, the child or staff member will require a medical certificate verifying that their recovery is sufficient to enable their return to the service, from their medical practitioner or specialist.

Blood­‐Borne Viruses

It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone infected with blood­‐borne viruses including HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. As blood borne viruses are not transmitted through casual contact, a child with a blood borne illness or any other blood borne impairment shall be treated and comforted as any other child, i.e. by cuddling, giving hugs, holding hands etc.

If an educator/staff member is notified that a child or the child’s parent/guardian or any other educator/staff member is infected with a blood borne virus the information will remain confidential. Only with the consent of the person with the virus, or the parent/guardian, can this information be shared with other educators/staff. Deliberate breaches of confidentiality will be a disciplinary offence preceding normal consultative action.

Cleaning up spills of blood and other body fluids

It is considered that the best way to prevent infection is to follow standard precautions at all times. Standard precautions support the assumption that all blood and body fluids are potentially infectious, therefore hygiene practices that promote infection control are adopted for all contact with blood and body fluids. Educators/staff will follow recommended guidelines for dealing with spills of blood, faeces, vomit, urine, nasal discharge and other body fluids as explained in Staying Healthy in Child Care in order to protect the health and safety of all children and adults within the service. Disposable gloves will be readily available for use in dealing with spills and hands will be washed after removal of gloves.

Maintaining a Healthy Environment

All staff will ensure that every effort is made to maintain a high standard of hygiene in the provision of the education and care service including supporting the Nominated Supervisor in the maintenance of all equipment and furnishings in a thoroughly safe, clean and hygienic condition and in good repair. In this regard staff will report any equipment and/or area that is not clean or in a safe condition or any evidence of vermin to the Health and Safety officer. All rooms used within the education and care service will be well ventilated to prevent increased risk of infection and possible asthma attacks.

Policy Statement

Everyone using the service has the right to comment on, complain about or appeal any action or decision of the service.

The service has different strategies for resolving staff grievances, family grievances or complaints, the grievances of children, or the grievances of other stakeholders.

Grievances are respected and treated fairly, and with a genuine desire to resolve the grievance wherever possible.

The service’s Grievances and Complaints Policy values and follows:

  1. procedural fairness and natural justice;
  2. our Code of Conduct;
  3. all national and territory regulations:
  4. a service culture free from discrimination and harassment;
  5. transparent policies and procedures; and
  6. avenues for recourse and further investigation

The Grievances and Complaints Policy ensures that all persons are represented by procedures that:

  1. value the opportunity to be heard;
  2. promote conflict resolution;
  3. encourage the development of harmonious partnerships;
  4. ensure that conflicts and grievances are mediated fairly; and are transparent and equitable.

Aeoncademy has a duty of care to ensure that all persons are provided with a high level of equity and fairness in relation to grievances and complaints management and procedures. In meeting the service’s duty of care management and staff/carers agree to implement and endorse the service’s Grievances and Complaints Policy.

Policy Statement

Our goal in guiding student’s behaviour is to enable our service to make manifest it’s philosophy of ‘Education Through Creativity & Play’. The service employs behaviour guidance techniques designed to respect the rights and dignity of all children in our care and to assist them to develop skills to successfully resolve conflicts and to self regulate their behaviour.

The service has a duty of care to provide a safe environment which protects the emotional and physical health of all children. We recognise the range of age groups and developmental needs of children  and seek to approach behaviour guidance with consistency and consideration for the uniqueness of each child. The service promotes collaborative approaches to behaviour guidance between the service’s stakeholders in line with the following legislation and standards:

  • ACT Children and Young People Act 2008
  • Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010. Sections 166, 167
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011: Regulations 73, 74, 155, 156, 157, 168(2)(j)
  • National Quality Standard, Quality Area 5: Relationships with Children

Policy Statement

Education and care services require personal information from families to provide appropriate and responsive care. This information needs to be maintained and managed by the centre in a private and confidential manner. The centre will maintain private and confidential files for educators, children and their families. These records will be securely stored and maintained. The centre will maintain records according to the National Privacy Principles.

Policy Guidelines

The service will:

    • Ensure that information collected from families, educators and the community is maintained in a private and confidential manner at all times.
    • Ensure that such information is not divulged or communicated (directly or indirectly) to another person other than the ways outlines as appropriate in the Education and Care services National Regulations 2011, 181, which says information can be communicated:
        • To the extent necessary for the education, care or medical treatment of the child.
        • To the parent of the child to whom the information relates (except for information in staff records)
        • To the regulatory authority or an authorized officer
        • As authorized, permitted or required to be given by or under any act or law
        • With written consent of the persona who provided the information.

The Nominated Supervisor will:

    • Maintain up-to-date enrolment records, including contact details of family members, emergency contact information and any medical or legal information required by the centre.
    • Ensure that centre records, personnel records, CCS information and children’s information is stored according to policy and remains private and confidential within the centre at all times.

Educators will:

    • Maintain children’s information and store documentation according to policy at all times.
    • Not share information about the centre, management information, other educators or children and families without written permission or legislative authority.

Statutory Legislation & Considerations

Privacy Act 1988

Privacy Amendment Private Sector Act 2000

National Privacy Principles

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998

ECA – Code of Ethics

Children (Education and Care Services) National Law Application Act 2012

Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011

Policy Statement

The service has a duty of care to ensure that all persons are provided with a high level of sun protection during the hours of the service’s operation.

Current scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation during childhood contributes to an increased risk to skin cancer throughout an individual’s lifetime (Cancer Council Australia, 2005b).

Preventing sunburn and overexposure to UV radiation assists in reducing the probability of skin cancer and further skin damage. Sun protection policies and procedures are a life long commitment to infants, young children and adults to reduce the incidents of skin cancer and eye damage (Cancer Council Australia, 2005a).

It is understood by management, staff, children and families that there is a shared responsibility between the service and other stakeholders that the Sun Protection Policy and procedures are accepted as a high priority.

In meeting the service’s duty of care, it is a requirement under the ACT Occupational Health and Safety Act that management and staff implement and endorse the service’s Sun Protection Policy, and ensure a level of protection to all persons who access the service’s facilities and/or programs.

Policy Statement

Vacation Bookings and Selection

All Vacation bookings are non-permanent bookings.

A cancellation or change fee is charged for cancellations or reductions that are to come into effect during a current vacation period.

Room swaps are subject to the availability of places and at the discretion of the Centre Manager.

When ceasing, or reducing vacation bookings, 48 hours written notification is required; otherwise non-attendance/absences at the program are charged. If your child is not attending during the notice period please advise the program.

Staff are not authorised to accept verbal changes.

After School and Before School Care Bookings and Selection

All After School specialised program bookings are permanent bookings.
All After School early years foundation program bookings are permanent bookings.
After School Creative Play foundation program bookings may be Permanent or Casual.

Before School bookings may be Permanent or Casual.

Permanent bookings

Permanent bookings in the foundation programs are ongoing for the school year. Permanent bookings in the specialised programs are ongoing for one full term. We do not swap permanent bookings. Permanent bookings are held in suspension during Vacation periods.

When ceasing, or reducing permanent bookings, 15 working business days written notification is required,
If your child is not attending during the notice period please advise the program.
Staff are not authorised to accept verbal changes.

Public holidays and non-attendance/absences at the program are charged.

Casual bookings

Casual After School bookings can be made from 24 hours up to 2 weeks in advance and are subject to availability.

Casual After School bookings are charged an additional 10% on top of the Permanent bookings.

Where you are unavoidably detained and are unable to collect your child, you must call and advise your expected time of arrival. If you have not arrived by 6:00pm, the service will attempt to telephone you. If this is unsuccessful, contact will be attempted with your emergency contacts listed on your enrolment form. 

If no-one can be contacted and your child has not been collected by 6:15pm, Children’s Services will be contacted and asked to take over responsibility for your child. Late pick-up fees do apply.

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