A new regulatory framework for the Child Safe Standards commenced on 1 January 2023. This new framework affects the safety standards for child care in Victoria. All child care providers who are providers of an approved children’s service are required to follow and implement the Child Safe Standards. In this article, we’ll outline what the Child Safe Standards are, what has recently changed and our responsibilities at Child’s Play to follow the Standards and carry them out across our Early Learning centres.
What are the Child Safe Standards?
The Child Safe Standards in Victoria are outlined in the Children’s Services Act 1996. They’re designed to ensure the safety and well-being of children in various settings, including child care services. These Standards aim to create a culture of child safety, prevent child abuse, and promote the best interests of children. The Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) enforces Child Safe Standards. The Commission’s role is to educate, support and regulate organisations that work with children to prevent child abuse.
The new safety standards
The Child Safe Standards commenced in Victoria in January 2016. After six years changes were made to make the Standards even stronger. The new Child Safe Standards came into force on 1 July 2022 and organisations have been required to comply with them since 1 January 2023. There are 11 Standards that replace the previous 7 Standards. The 11 Child Safe Standards are listed below. The 11 Standards which replaced the previous 7 include involving families and communities in the efforts of organisations to keep children and young people safe, providing a greater focus on the safety of Aboriginal children and young people and managing the risk of child abuse in online environments. The new Standards provide greater clarity and practical steps for each Standard. They outline what action organisations need to take to keep children and young people safe.
The new regulations and guidelines
Child care organisations are required to comply with the Standards and to implement all aspects of the 11 Standards.
The Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) outline each Standard and provides the details of each Standard:
Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued.
Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
Processes for complaints and concerns are child-focused.
Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
How we implement each Standard at Child’s Play
Each standard has minimum requirements which we need to meet. At Child’s Play, we implement these Standards with rigour. Compliance indicators set our obligations as a child care centre to uphold each of the 11 Standards. We employ policies and procedures for each Standard to ensure that we meet all of them. The CCYP can review our documentation to determine if a Standard is being met.
Ensuring the safety and well-being of children
The recent changes in the Child Safe Standards mark a significant step forward in ensuring the safety and well-being of children in child care services across Victoria. By adhering to these Standards and continuously reviewing and improving our implementation of them, we can create a safe and nurturing environment for the children in our care. Together with the CCYP’s oversight and guidance, we’re committed to upholding the highest standards of child safety and promoting the best interests of the children that we educate and care for.
Ensure your child’s safety and care
At Child’s Play Early Learning Centre, we understand the challenges parents face when it comes to finding safe care for their children. Our experienced team is committed to delivering the best care and education. Ensuring that your child’s well-being and development are our top priorities. Learn about getting started with us today.