Queensland Police step up for National Child Protection week, visiting ECEC services
Queensland Police embodied the 2020 theme for National Child Protection Week, held 6-12 September, using their presence in a number of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to reinforce the message that child protection is everyone’s business, and that protecting children requires a whole of community approach.
“Educators, in particular our local childcare and school staff members, play a valuable role in educating children to recognise their own personal safety networks, and enabling them to recognize the feelings associated with not being safe,” Senior Constable Aleda Day said.
To mark Child Protection week on the Tablelands, School Based Police Officer, Senior Constable Matt Mitchell conducted safety visits to kindergartens to speak with children about their safety.
In line with the curriculum developed by the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, children in the Tablelands have been learning how to recognise, react and report any concerns about their safety, and finding out more about the ‘body cues’ which may tell them a situation is unsafe.
Senior Constable Mitchell and a group of kindergarten children tuned in on Thursday September 10 for a live stream of Australia’s Biggest Child Safety Lesson, followed by all children being sworn in as junior police officers, taking a safety oath and receiving a junior police officer badge.
In Bundaberg, in rural Queensland, officers worked with children to help them understand that the role of a police officer is more than simply “catching the baddies” Senior Constable Brittany Duncan explained.
The children learnt that as well as catching baddies, police officers help people, especially children who may be lost or feeling unsafe.
“On too many occasions police unfortunately find that children fear them and don’t always feel comfortable talking to officers,” Senior Constable Duncan said.
Consequently, visits to early childhood settings, she said, “are very important to teach children that police are here to help and protect children.”