OSHC provider issued heavy penalties for children leaving service
The Sector > Quality > Compliance > Nearly $70,000 in penalties for an OSHC provider after 3 separate abscondments

Nearly $70,000 in penalties for an OSHC provider after 3 separate abscondments

by Freya Lucas

December 21, 2023

The West Australian regulatory authority has issued a number of financial penalties to an outside school hours care (OSHC) provider in relation to three separate incidents in which a child left the premises they were enrolled in. 


In the first incident, an investigation by the Department of Communities found that in February 2023, a three-year-old child left the OSHC service and was found on a road nearby
by a member of the public. The temperature on that day was 36 degrees.


It is worth noting at this juncture that the WA school system has children enrolled in primary school settings – and therefore into OSHC services – from pre kindy, at age three years. 


For offences relating to the inadequate supervision of a child, the provider was ordered to pay $18,500.00 by the Tribunal.


The Tribunal found that on this occasion the provider had also failed to take reasonable precautions to protect a child in the care of the service from harm and from any hazard likely to cause injury, ordering the provider to pay a further $15,000.00.


Incident two related to two children, both five years of age, who were in the care of the provider at a different school than the school in incident one. In this case, which occurred in December 2022, both children left the service unsupervised and were located 600 metres from the premises. 


In this case, the Tribunal found that the provider had failed to adequately supervise the children, and issued a penalty order for $16,000. 


The third incident, occuring in January 2023, relates to a failure to supervise a four year old child who also left the premises unsupervised, resulting in another penalty of $14,000. 


The provider at the centre of the case was also ordered to pay $4,000 toward the legal costs incurred by the Department. All told, the provider was left with $67,500 in penalties relating to the three incidents.


“Inadequate supervision can place children into situations where they are seriously or fatally injured. It is the Approved Provider’s role to ensure that the risk of harm and hazard to children is minimised and reflected in robust supervision policies and procedures,” Phil Payne, Executive Director, Regulation and Quality, Department of Communities said. 


“Service Providers should continue to review their business practices and capacity to provide active supervision of children in their care. A Service Provider which fails to do so will be investigated by the Department of Communities and may face disciplinary proceedings.”


More information about adequate supervision can be found here

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