Keeping children healthy and safe is a crucial part of our commitment to children and their families. Natural Steps does everything possible to identify, eliminate, or minimise risks associated with hazards and risk.
Children are natural explorers and risk takers. They move quickly, put things in their mouths, drop or throw things, and love to climb and hide.
Instead of spending our time redirecting children, and spending all day saying "Don't touch this!" or "Stay away from that!" we think carefully about how to set up the environment. Giving children the chance to explore freely in a well-organised and child-safe space which is a much more effective way to manager behaviour and encourage learning.
We have robust systems and knowledgeable teachers to implement emergency procedures, manage emergency plans and supplies, carry out regular emergency drills; including but not limited to fire, lock down, gas and earthquake. Daily checks of the inside and outside environment are carried out at the centre.
Training systems and practices are undertaken to ensure that all teachers have the necessary skills and knowledge to deal with hazards, injuries and illnesses. All accidents and incidents are recorded and parents are notified.
The Centre operates a smokefree and vaping free workplace in accordance with the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act. This means that smoking and vaping are not permitted in all areas, inside and outside, at all times at the centre.
The sun protection policy will operate during the daylight saving months. The Centre requires children and teachers to wear hats when outside. We have a strong “NO HATS NO PLAY” policy. Parents are asked to apply sun block to their child at the start of the day. Teachers do apply sun block throughout the day. This sunblock is provided by Natural Steps. Any child requiring a special sunblock, parents please provide.
At Natural Steps we aim to provide opportunities for children and their families to make meaningful connections within the local and wider community. We incorporate regular outings, such as spontaneous local walks (Regular Outings) into the curriculum and the older children have access to Special Outings (trips on a bus). These are planned excursions to support and extend a learning focus. Written permission for special outings is sought prior to each trip.
Regular walks to our reserve next door are an integral part of our centre and especially valuable for children's health and well-being, and to connect then with a natural environment. There is a large flat playing area and a fun bush walk where the child can seek out 'the wild life'. Signed permission by parents to permit their child in joining the adventures is required which can be found on the child's enrolment form. For our younger children we have quad prams so they too are able to enjoy walks during the day.
We welcome parents to join our local walks and special outings.
Hazards in the Centre
We are committed to the prompt identification, reduction or elimination of potential and actual hazards. Our hazard identification information include medicines, poisons and cleaning agents, electrical appliances, water, layout, poisonous plants and excursions. Monitoring of hazards is carried out daily, weekly, monthly and termly. All our staff induction made aware of the hazards in the centre induction and during staff meetings.
In the event of an emergency the safety and well-being of all children and adults are paramount. Every school term Natural Steps practises fire drills and earthquake awareness.
TEXT ALERTS Dealings with natural or man-made disasters we have the facility to send an urgent text message to parents' phones.
Incidents and Accidents
Our certified teachers are trained in first aid.
Each room has an Incident / Accident and an Illness Register to record all incidents and accidents, and illnesses that occur to children at the centre. A head teacher completes a hazard analysis and at pick up the parent will be told, asked to sign the report, and receive a copy. Any child that has an incident or accident involving their head the parents will receive a courtesy call immediately.
If a child is considered contagious, they will be isolated from the other children. The child will be fully supervised until they are picked up by their parent or other authorised person.
Parents will receive a copy of the Child Health and Well-Being Policy at enrolment and the policy can be found on Storypark.