CHNS.P15 Assessment of family day care educators, assistants and persons residing at family day care residences policy

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Policy number:15
Policy area:CHNS
Policy owner:General Manager - Children's Services
Responsible / contact officer:Cathy Cahill
Effective date:29th October 2021
Review date:As required

Enhance Family Day Care has the responsibility of ensuring Family Day Care educators, educator assistants and all persons over the age of 18 residing at the family day care residence are fit and proper persons to be involved in the provision of education and care to young children. Enhance FDC thoroughly assesses and closely monitors Educators (including Educator assistants) and persons residing at the property to ensure the fitness and propriety of all adults. Practice Mentors provide Educators with ongoing professional support, assistance and supervision and maintain accurate records to safeguard children’s safety and wellbeing.

NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD (NQS)
Quality Area 2: Children’s Health and Safety: 2.2, 2.2.3
Quality Area 4: Staffing Arrangements: 4.1.1
Quality Area 7: Leadership and Governance: 7.1.2

EDUCATION AND CARE SERVICES NATIONAL LAW ACT (2010)
Section 3 (2)(a); 173

EDUCATION AND CARE SERVICES NATIONAL REGULATIONS
84 Awareness of child protection law
119 Family Day Care Educator and Family Day Care Educator assistants to be at least 18 years of age
127 Family Day Care Educator Qualifications
136 First Aid Qualifications
144 Family Day care Educator Assistants
153 Register of family day care Educators, coordinators and Educator Assistants
154 Record of staff, family day care coordinators and family day care Educator Assistants
163 Residents at family day care residence and family day care educator assistants to be fit and proper persons
164 Requirement for notice of new persons at residence
168 Education and care services must have policies and procedures
169 Additional policies and procedures – family day care service

Purpose

Enhance FDC adheres to the Education and Care Services Regulations and conducts assessments of Educators (including Educator Assistants) and provides comprehensive screening, onboarding and re-registration processes. Whilst adults over 18 residing at an FDC property do not undergo their own onboarding and re-registration, Enhance FDC considers these persons to be part of the onboarding and re-registration of Educators and will consider the ongoing suitability of these persons as part of the process of re-registration. Educator assistants and all persons over the age of 18 who reside at the family day care residence will be required to prove that they are fit and proper persons, are suitably qualified and, for Educator Assistants, hold the relevant emergency care qualifications.

Scope

This policy applies to Approved Provider, Children Services Team, Educators, Educator Assistants, adult residents, and visitors of Enhance FDC services.

Implementation

To ensure the ongoing health, safety and wellbeing of children, Enhance FDC is responsible for assessing a person’s suitability as an Educator or Educator Assistant and must ensure that all persons who work or reside in the premises of an approved Enhance FDC residence are considered to be ‘fit and proper persons’.

We achieve this by:

Practice Mentors will provide ongoing assessment of the Educator and Educator Assistant through monitoring and regular visits to Educator's homes.

Practice Mentors will:

Enhance Educators and Educators Assistants will:

Blue cards

Blue Card Services administers the blue card system—Queensland’s Working with Children Check. The blue card system regulates activities which are essential to children’s lives, including childcare, education, sport, cultural activities, and foster care. Blue Card Services check and monitor people who work in these industries and help organisations to create safe environments for children.

Screening and No Card, No Start

All adults over the age of 18 who work as an Educator, or who reside in a property with an Educator delivering Family Day Care, must apply for and hold a blue card. Educators and adult residents must have a valid blue card prior to care commencing at the residence. The No Card, No Start law means Educators must have a valid blue card before commencing care. Educators cannot commence work with a submitted application.

In the instance that an Educator does not renew their blue card before the expiry date, they will be subject to the No Card, No Start law and cannot work.

To help ensure the safety of children and young people in Queensland, the blue card system stops certain people from holding or applying for a blue card such as:

It is against the law for disqualified or restricted people to apply for a blue card. Enhance will not operate a family day care service from any residence where a disqualified or restricted person lives. More information about restricted persons can be found here.

Ongoing Monitoring & changes to police information

Enhance FDC and Blue Card Services will continuously monitor the status of all Blue Card holders linked to the organisation. If there is a change in police information for any Educator or adult resident, they are obligated to report this change to Blue Card services. Failure to do so may result in a fine.

A change in police information includes:

Where there is a change in police notification, the blue card holder automatically becomes a restricted person. A restricted person is a person who either:

It is an offence for a restricted person to start or continue working or volunteering in restricted employment, such as Family Day Care. Enhance will cancel or suspend registration or suspend care if an Educator, or an adult resident in a FDC residence is considered to be a restricted person.

Where an offence is considered relevant to child related employment, Blue Card services will notify Enhance of the information. This may result in suspension or cancellation of registration (for Educators) or suspension of service in the case of a change in Blue Card status of an adult resident.

Educators registered with Enhance are required to notify their Practice Mentor or Children Services Manager of any offence that may affect their blue card, or of any offence committed by an adult resident that may affect their blue card.

Exemption cards

Exemption cards are held by police officers with the Queensland Police Service and teachers registered with the Queensland College of Teachers and are only required for work outside of a person’s professional duties (e.g. if a police officer or a teacher become an Educator, or live in an Educators house).

Exemption cards are valid for 3 years and need to be renewed prior to the expiry date. For exemption cards issued without an expiry date, these cards need to be renewed by 31st August 2023.

Exemption card holders are not required to wait until they receive their physical exemption card to commence work, however, Enhance will only allow exemption card holders to commence work on receipt of a clear police check.

Enhance FDC will regularly validate exemption cards to ensure that there are no changes to the eligibility of the card holder.

Renewals

Educators and adult occupants are required to renew their blue card before the expiration date printed on their blue card. As long as the renewal application is submitted prior to the expiry date issued on the current blue card, Educators will be able to continue working. If an Educator or adult occupant does not apply for a new blue card before it expires, care will be suspended until a new blue card has been issued.

Enhance requires Educators and adult occupants to submit their renewal applications to Blue Card services at least 60 days before the current blue card expiry.

Residents turning 18

Educators are required to inform Enhance of any resident who is turning 18 within 60 days. Practice Mentors will assess the resident for fitness prior to the resident’s 18th birthday.

Variations

FDCAQ reserves the right to vary, replace or terminate this Policy.

Links to associated documentsNil
Acknowledgements and referencesAustralian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority. (2014).
Blue Card Services (2021) https://www.qld.gov.au/law/laws-regulated-industries-and-accountability/queensland-laws-and-regulations/regulated-industries-and-licensing/blue-card-services
Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010. (Amended 2018).
Education and Care Services National Regulations. (2011) Guide to the National Quality Framework. (2018). (Amended 2020).
Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations (2017)
Guide to the National Quality Standard. (2020)
Revised National Quality Standard. (2018)

Conduct Policy

CONDUCT POLICY

Purpose
To outline expected standards of behaviour in the workplace by Educators and staff and ensure conduct is appropriate.

Policy
The Family Day Care Association of Qld Inc (FDCAQ) has a commitment to children and families to provide quality child care and provide a healthy positive and professional workplace for staff and Educators by ensuring standards of behaviour and conduct are respectful and consistent.

Procedure
The FDCAQ operates under a code of conduct to provide a consistent ethical and positive approach to providing education and care, in particular:

Will access and use confidential or personal information only for the work-related purpose intended and will not release any of this information without the permission and authority to do so;

All staff and Educators are responsible for reporting any breaches or perceived breaches of this policy.

Relevant Documents
Grievance and Prompt Resolution of Issues Policy
ENR007 - Educator Handbook
SR002 - Commission for Children, Young People and Child Guardians – Your Policies and Code of Conduct

References
GR001 - Education and Care Services National Law 2010
GR002 - Education and Care Services National Law (Qld) Act 2011
GR003 - Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
GR006 - The Guide for the National Quality Standards
GR016 - Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardians Act 2000, Queensland Government
ER025 - ECA Code of Ethics

Occupational Health and Safety Policy

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICIES

Purpose
To ensure all staff and Educators provide and enjoy a healthy and safe work environment.

Policy
The Family Day Care Association of Qld Inc. (FDCAQ) is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for staff and members of the public and is committed to supporting Educators to provide a safe and healthy work environment for themselves, children in care, families and visitors.

Procedure
FDCAQ acknowledges their ‘duty of care’ as set out in the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 and undertakes to comply with all requirements of the Act and associated Regulations by recognising that all people have the right to a safe work environment and to know the hazards to which they may be exposed. The nominated and trained service Occupational Health and Safety representatives will assist in the development of all policies, procedures and checklists.

Educators are obligated, as self-employed people, to ensure their own health and safety and the health and safety of others in the workplace (their home) under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011. Good practice helps the Educator to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children in their care by anticipating any potential risks or dangers and to manage these in a proactive way.

In particular:

Relevant Documents
Death of a child in Care Policy
Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy
Risk Management Policy
Education and Care Environment Policy E001 - Risk Management Plan
H002 - Record of Incident, injury, Trauma and Illness
H003 - Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Report Form
H005 – Incident Report Form

References
GR001 - Education and Care Services National Law 2010
GR002 - Education and Care Services National Law (Qld) Act 2011
GR003 - Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
GR006 - The Guide for the National Quality Standards
ER020 - Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011
ER021 - Workplace Health and Safety Regulations 2011