Goodstart shares its Super 7 Supervision Strategies to keep children safe
Goodstart Early Learning is committed to keeping children safe, and empowering children and its employees to feel safe and to be safe.
As part of this focus, the provider has developed seven supervision strategies to ensure that high quality early learning and care happens in the safest possible environments.
The focus on safety and wellbeing has ensured that Goodstart’s child injury rate continues to be among the best in the sector.
“However,” the provider said, “any injury is one too many and Goodstart’s approach to safety is constantly evolving as we work to strengthen our existing practices and expertise.”
The Super 7 Supervision Strategies are :
- Supervise all children – provide supervision for all children in its care
- Follow the room or area plan – Goodstart teams know the risks (such as where the entry and exit points are) of each learning space and know who is in the team is responsible for what
- Communicate and keep to ratio – educators communicate constantly with each other to ensure room ratios are always met and cover is available if an educator needs to leave the room
- Check the roll and account for children – staff conduct regular headcounts throughout the day to ensure every child is always accounted for as they move around the centre
- Be attuned, adaptive and use all senses – educators adapt and adjust their levels of supervision depending on children’s individual needs as well as the learning space they are in, the age mix and the size of the group they are working with
- Design spaces to help supervision – rooms are set up to promote visibility and accessibility so educators always have a clear line of sight of all children in all learning areas
- Supervise and engage with children to maximise learning – Goodstart educators engage in active supervision which requires focused and intentional observation, scanning and listening at all times while engaging with each child.
Although every person who works in the centre has a responsibility to keep children safe, each centre also has a Safety Champion. This is a team member – other than the centre director – who is always on the lookout to ensure the centre is as safe as possible, someone who provides a second set of eyes and ears and ensures that risks of injury or harm are mitigated as much as possible.
Centres carry out outdoor safety inspections and centre safety inspections daily to ensure learning spaces and play areas are safe and ready for use, and hundreds of inspections are completed each month across the network to identify potential hazards and areas for improvement.
Teams look for things including foreign objects, damaged or broken equipment, snakes and spiders and also check surface temperatures and ensure all gates and fences are secured.
Goodstart also takes all necessary action to safeguard children from abuse, neglect and harm. This includes a number of initiatives to prevent, identify and respond to any allegation of abuse, including a new Protective Strategies kit, which centre teams are using as part of their work and other tools and resources and specialist training around mandatory reporting requirements.
Each Goodstarter must complete mandatory training on all areas of safety, supervision and child protection. This training covers a range of topics from first aid, incident response and administering medication to food allergens, infection control and transporting children. This ensures all Goodstarters are equipped with the knowledge and skills to ensure the safety of every child.
In recent years, Goodstart’s board established a Safe Work and Wellbeing committee to ensure the work around safety remains a priority.
In 2021, a Chief Safety Officer was appointed, which was a first for the early learning sector.
Since then, Goodstart has invested around $12 million in safety and the safety team of six has grown to 32 safety health and wellbeing partners and specialists who support the network and help build improved systems and processes.
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