Perth OSHC service fined $20,000 for leaving child at exhibit whilst on excursion to zoo

Perth OSHC service fined $20,000 for leaving child at exhibit whilst on excursion to zoo

by Jason Roberts

December 31, 2021

An OSHC service in Como, Western Australia has been ordered to pay $20,000 and $2000 costs by the State Administrative Tribunal for contravening the need to ensure all children in their care are adequately supervised at all times after an incident during an excursion to Perth Zoo. 


On 27 January, 2021 a girl aged four years and ten months who was on an excursion to the zoo was left behind at an exhibit and remained unsupervised for between 15 and 25 minutes after which a member of the public found the girl in a state of emotional distress.  


The educators responsible for the child did not realise the child was missing from the group with the situation being compounded by the fact that it was the child’s first day at the service, she was not familiar with the zoo or the service staff or other children at the service.


Notably, it was the fourth time this particular service provider had been before the State Administrative Tribunal.


“This incident demonstrates how a number of seemingly innocuous factors can combine to contribute to a lapse in supervision,” Phil Payne, Executive Director, Regulation and Quality, Department of Communities.


“The service had a comprehensive risk assessment process and strategies, but there was no clear system in place to ensure it was being followed.”


“Off-site excursions are a high-risk activity, and supervision policies and procedures must be robust and include frequent headcounts to ensure all children are accounted for.”


To read the Western Australian Government press release please click here.