Welcome to our weekly quality improvement support series for 2021.
“It’s our polite nudge in the ribs to help you and your team stay organised and on task.”
This week’s subject is Equipment maintenance and safety
Element 3.1.2: Upkeep
Premises, furniture and equipment are safe, clean and well maintained
Education and care services have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the children in their care. The upkeep of buildings, furniture and equipment directly impacts the safety of the children and staff at your Service. Services must implement effective maintenance, cleaning and appropriate safety precautions, which also helps prevent injuries and the spread of infectious diseases. Guide to the National Quality Framework p188
Does your service have detailed procedures in place to ensure that all equipment is well maintained and checked to ensure it’s safe and fit for use?
Safety checks should be detailed enough to include fixed and mobile equipment, surfaces, furniture, fencing, sandpits and mud kitchens in both the indoor and outdoor environments.
It’s critical that safety checks are detailed and completed regularly. Not just box ticking, but thorough, effective inspections to ensure no hazards are present in any equipment or fixtures that will be used by children.
Any equipment or fixtures found to be unsafe or pose any risk should be removed from the environment or blocked off from children and all identified hazards recorded in a Repairs and Maintenance register and addressed as soon as possible.
Ensure educators are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to safety checks. Management should ensure that all staff rostered to complete safety checks have been orientated on how to complete checks effectively, ensuring a sound understanding of what to look for when completing checks and risk assessments.
For school age care services using shared spaces, ensure that safety checks are completed prior to opening the service for each Before School Care, After School Care or Vacation Care session.
To ensure compliance with regards to equipment maintenance and safety, the Childcare Centre Desktop has a range of resources including safety audits and safety audit schedule.
Resources, NQS Element, Regulation and System7 links
Childcare Centre Desktop – Outdoor Environment and Playground Safety
National Quality Standard – QA 3: 3.1.2: Upkeep
System7 Module – QA3 Modules; 3.4 and 5
If you have any questions send us a note via the Contact page here!