Guardian reflects on National Safe Work Month theme: think safe, work safe, be safe
The team at Guardian Childcare and Education have recently shared their interpretation of the National Safe Work Month theme “think safe, work safe, be safe,” reflecting on what safety means for them.
“The health and wellbeing of every person at Guardian is precious,” a spokesperson began. “For everyone at Guardian, there is no greater responsibility than to care for the safety of children, families, and for other Team Members.”
As a starting point for discussions around National Safe Work Month, the Guardian team began by thinking about safety, what it means for each team member, and how individual efforts contribute to an overall goal. Throughout the month, all team members are “taking extra time to think about how we approach the safety and wellbeing of everyone at Guardian: children, families, Team Members, and our community.”
Providing care and education for young children is an amazing privilege, and a huge responsibility. Beyond the fundamentals of safety, that everyone has a right to a safe workplace, Guardian shared the need to think about preventing harm and promoting the wellbeing of children.
“We’re proud to be a Child Safe Organisation, which means we leave no stone unturned when it comes to developing and implementing ways of improving safety and protecting children,” the spokesperson noted.
“We believe that safety should be part of our culture. Part of how we think and act throughout the day. That starts with taking personal responsibility for health, safety, and wellbeing, and constantly reflecting on what we can each do to make our learning environments places that inspire confidence, friendship, security, and happiness.”
Safety and learning
“When a child feels safe and secure, we know they are more engaged and effective in their learning. Feeling safe also supports children as they become themselves, build confidence, and develop friendships,” the spokesperson continued.
“For that reason, we extend our safety-first approach to not only protecting children, but to helping them learn how to be safe. We’ve developed a number of innovative tools to support children to think about safety and to take responsibility for themselves and others.”
One of the ways the team teaches children to be safe is by using simple words and phrases that support them to understand what’s happening, be observant, and who to talk to if there’s something not right.
“We invite them to draw pictures to show what they think could be done to make a situation safer. Like young detectives, they’re observing, thinking, and reporting what they see.”
“Through these experiences, they’ve not only learned to identify hazards, they’ve engaged their motor skills for drawing, developed thinking and problem-solving skills, and have the satisfaction of seeing their voice matters when they speak up.”
Safety for life
Embedding a safety-first culture at Guardian includes having a Safety Champion at every centre. The Safety Champions are part of a national safety committee who meet regularly to discuss and discover ways to improve and promote safety for children, families, and teams.
This continues the cycle of thinking about safety, taking personal responsibility, and acting, which ultimately means that safety is part of the embedded culture and everyday behaviour. “A truly safety-first culture means children have an environment where safety, security, and wellbeing support them to be bold, curious, and creative in their learning,” the spokesperson explained.