Greenfields childcare provider penalised after child left service unsupervised

Media release
The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) has sanctioned the Approved Provider of a Greenfields service after a five-year-old child left the service unsupervised.
Last updated:
media release

Approved provider About Child Care Pty Ltd was ordered to pay a penalty of $11,000 plus $2,000 towards legal costs by SAT for contravention of section 165(1) of the Education and Care Service National Law (WA) Act 2012, for an offence relating to the inadequate supervision of a child.
See decision on eCourts Portal of Western Australia

A Department of Communities investigation found that in September 2022, a five-year-old child was able to climb over the internal gate of ACE Early Learning Centre and exit the premises through an exterior gate that had been left open by visitors to the service. 

At the time, the child was attending the service for vacation care and was playing in an outdoor area. Educators were alerted to his absence when they noticed his vacation vest, which had been left on the ground by the child prior to climbing the internal gate. 

The child was unaccounted for, up to five minutes and was located in a park across the road from the service by another educator who happened to be returning from lunch. 

Quotes from Phil Payne, Executive Director, Regulation and Quality, Department of Communities:

“The consequences of inadequate supervision of children can be serious. 

“Incidents involving inadequate supervision continue to be a concern and focus of the Department’s Education and Care Regulatory Unit. 

“This outcome should serve as a warning to Education and Care providers to take action to prevent incidents like this from occurring."