Supervision critical for childcare service providers

Media release
A childcare service has been ordered to pay a total of $13,000 following an incident where a child managed to walk out of a service unsupervised.
Banner text which reads media release.

The State Administrative Tribunal has found that LA Anchor Pty Ltd, trading as Gingin Early Learning Centre, breached Section 165 (1) of the Education and Care Service National Law (WA) Act by failing to ensure adequate supervision, imposing a penalty of $12,000 and $1,000 costs.

LA Anchor Pty Ltd was brought before the State Administrative Tribunal by the Department of Communities.

A Department of Communities investigation found that, in December of last year, an eight-year-old boy left the service and made his way to his home, 1 km from the service’s premises.

Walking from the premises to his house would have involved the child taking a number of shortcuts along bush paths.

It was only when another child asked educators where the child was that educators realised the child was missing.

A search was conducted, and the child was located at his home after about 15 minutes.

The investigation found that the service did not have any locking mechanisms or alarms on its doors to alert educators to children leaving the service unattended.

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

“The Department of Communities’ Education and Care Regulatory Unit is again warning service providers about the importance of supervision and security of barriers.

“It is very concerning where centres do not have adequate practices and training in place, despite the reporting of these past incidents over recent years.

“Approved providers must ensure that supervision training is provided to all staff, and that staff are able to effectively supervise all children in their care.

“Staff should also be aware of individual children’s needs and behaviours and put adequate management plans in place.”

Media contact: Steve Worner 0418 918 299

Page reviewed 8 September 2022