Case Study 3
Donna is the nominated PCBU (as required by WHS legislation) at Gumtree Childcare Centre. Therefore, it is Donna’s responsibility to protect the overall health and safety of staff, children, families and visitors to the service.
After reviewing the service’s incident records, Donna notices that there have been a number of foot injuries to children and staff at the service in the past three months.
Donna wants to develop a policy for clothing and footwear and to raise the awareness of this issue with all at the service. As a starting point, she researches clothing and footwear policies of other schools and children’s education facilities. Her research led her to consider some key areas such as Sun smart, dressing for weather conditions, requirements for particular clothing for more hazardous activities such as cooking classes, dangers of cords and chin straps and physical activity.
In regard to footwear, many policies stated that substantial footwear appropriate to a practical activity should be worn. Footwear such as thongs, open weave type shoes, soft slip on shoes, shoes with openings at toes or heels, mesh joggers, fabric shoes, shoes without a heel, platforms or high heel shoes should not be worn. In high risk activities, substantial footwear adequately protecting the top of the foot must be worn.
Donna commences drafting a policy and procedure for consultation with staff and parents.
Draft Clothing and Footwear Policy
1. Purpose and Scope
Comfortable, appropriate clothing is important as it makes it easier for the children to take part in the day’s activities and to more easily perform routine tasks as well as providing protection from the sun.
Families are asked to dress their child in comfortable, easily laundered clothing that allows the child to participate in all experiences as well as develop their independence.
Provide at least one complete set of spare clothing. This must include underwear, socks, pants, t-shirt and a warm top. Please note that the weather can be very changeable and a variety of clothing is required.
Mark each item with the child’s name.
Provide additional clothing for their children whilst in the process of toilet training.
Ensure that their child’s shoes fit correctly, do not have slippery soles and are firmly secured to the foot. Thongs, dress-up high heels, backless and platform shoes should not be worn.
Provide a protective sun hat. This should remain at the Centre to be worn during outdoor play.
Ensure that each child is adequately dressed for weather conditions and play experiences.
Ensure that children are comfortably dressed for rest-time.
Respect the children’s individual/cultural clothing preferences
Consult actively with families on individual clothing and dressing procedures.
The Centre’s Responsibilities
The Centre will:
Have a supply of clothing which will cater for different weather conditions should a child not have the appropriate items of clothing available.
Make available protective clothing (aprons etc) for messy activities.
Note: Please read this in conjunction with our Sun Protection Procedure.
Answer the following questions.
⦁ Summarise Donna’s key responsibilities as the PCBU of the service.
⦁ Describe how Donna’s actions contribute to fulfilling her responsibilities as a PCBU.
⦁ Describe the steps that Donna should now take to address foot injury hazards at the service and to minimise risks.
⦁ What specific strategies could Donna suggest for implementation to control risks that follow the draft footwear and clothing policy and procedures?