ACECQA issues advice on reducing lock in/out incidents
The Sector > Quality > Compliance > ACECQA issues advice on reducing lock in/out incidents

ACECQA issues advice on reducing lock in/out incidents

by Freya Lucas

June 29, 2022

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has issued advice to approved providers with the intention of reducing the number of serious incidents in which a child is mistakenly locked in or out of a service. 


Approved providers are required to notify state and territory regulatory authorities about any serious incidents or complaints alleging a serious incident has or is occurring under the National Law.


Incidents where children are mistakenly locked in or out of services can have severe and devastating consequences for children’s health, safety and wellbeing, the regulator said. 


Ways to minimise the risk of children being locked in or out of services include:


  • undertake a comprehensive risk assessment to identify the possible risks in your setting and relevant strategies to implement
  • ensure active and effective supervision at all times – with a particular focus on late afternoons, transitions, drop off/pick up times, excursions, less frequented areas, and younger children
  • ensure educator-to-child ratios are maintained at all times


  • conduct regular headcounts and/or roll calls of children
  • conduct additional checks and take additional care when transporting children on buses and other forms of transport. This includes ensuring all staff know and follow the service’s procedures for how each child is to be accounted for on embarking and disembarking a vehicle
  • ensure relevant policies and procedures are up-to-date, and that all staff understand their roles and responsibilities


  • conduct staff induction on commencement of employment and regular refresher training
  • regularly communicate with families about policies and procedures
  • hold regular staff discussions, debriefs and reviews, particularly following a serious incident or any identified risk or concern.


Further information on how to manage serious incidents may be found here

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