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Children's Act 2014

As an ELC provider, you need to comply with the Children’s Act 2014. The two main things you need to do are explained below. 

Safety checking 

Safety checking makes it easier to identify the small number of people who are a risk to children. 

Responsibility for safety checking employees or contractors always rests with the employer or contracting organisation. This includes determining which of your workers are children’s workers and then which of those children’s workers are core workers and non-core workers.  

  • Core children’s workers are paid or funded by state sector agencies and work alone with, or have primary responsibility or authority over, children. 
  • Non-core children’s workers are paid or funded by state sector agencies and have regular, but limited, child contact – we expect most, if not all, ELC educators and their staff to fit within this category. 

All existing state-funded non-core workers need to be safety checked. 

Please be aware that schools or ECE services may ask you for confirmation that your staff have been appropriately safety checked. 

You may also have volunteers working in or for your organisation. 

As unpaid workers, volunteers are not required to be safety-checked under the new VCA requirements. You are encouraged, as best practice, to safety check those volunteers who are likely to be alone with children. 

Children’s Act 2014 requirements for schools and kura – provides more information about how and when to safety check.  

The Children’s Act has introduced a workforce restriction that prohibits people with certain criminal convictions from working alone with children or having primary authority or responsibility for children. These particular convictions are specified in the Children’s Act and will show up on children’s worker’s Police vetting.

People who are affected by the workforce restriction can apply for an exemption from the restriction. It is important to note that it is illegal to hire anyone in a core worker role if they have a conviction for one of the specified offences and do not hold a workforce exemption.

Child protection policies

Having a high-quality child protection policy (CPP) is part of building good practices to keep children safe, and to ensure that suspected and potential child abuse and neglect are identified and responded to appropriately.

As an ELC provider, you need to have a CPP in place.

Your CPP should cover the children’s services that your organisation provides and contain provisions on identifying and reporting abuse and neglect. It should also respond to the specific context and needs of your organisation. Your organisation’s CPP needs to be written and you will need to review it every three years.

Child protection policies – Guidelines to help you work through the process of preparing your CPP and further information are in Part 6 of the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014.

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