NQS: Quality Area 2
This policy is a special circumstance policy which augments the main Langwarrin Park Preschool Emergency Evacuation Policy and the Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy and should be read in conjunction with those policies. This Bush Kinder policy only details the specific evacuation procedures for children, staff and volunteers attending the Bush Kinder program in response to an emergency or hazard that may arise during a session.
This policy aims to:
● Set out clear and safe evacuation principles and procedures for Bush Kinder participants in response to an emergency situation of any type
● Increase awareness and implementation of emergency and evacuation procedures at Bush Kinder amongst staff and the broader kindergarten community
● Provide an appropriate mechanism for communication of the evacuation procedures for requirements for Bush Kinder sessions to parents and to children
Langwarrin Park Preschool is committed to:
● Providing a safe environment for children, staff and volunteers participating in the Bush Kinder program
● Ensuring that an appropriate response is provided, which meets the needs of participants during and following emergency incidents
● Providing effective procedures in place to manage emergency incidents at the Bush Kinder site.
This policy applies to children, parents, staff, committee members, authorised persons, volunteers and students on placement working at Langwarrin Park Preschool.
3. Background and legislation
There are a multitude of possible emergency situations that may arise at Bush Kinder.
These include, but are not limited to:
● Fire / Bushfire
● Chemical hazards
● Missing child
● Dangerous animals and intruders
● Uninvited person/stranger (threatening, causing a nuisance or unease for staff and participants)
● Toxic leak
● Natural events, such as extreme weather, floods, severe winds, thunderstorm or earthquake
● The involvement of firearms or other weapons
● Hazardous substances incidents
● Medical emergency (refer to Incident and medical emergency management policy).
The aim of this policy is to provide the appropriate response to such an incident or emergency to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all Bush Kinder participants.
Relevant legislation includes but is not limited to:
● Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
● Education and Care Services National Law 2010
● National Quality Standards, including Quality Area 2 – Children’s health and safety and Quality Area 3 – Physical environment
● Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
● Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007
Assembly point – A predetermined and mapped safe place for the Bush Kinder group to meet after an emergency evacuation. [Refer to Attachment 1 for Bush Kinder assembly points]
Emergency – A sudden, unforeseen crisis (usually involving danger) that requires immediate action.
Emergency evacuation – Emergency evacuation is the immediate and rapid movement of people away from the threat or actual occurrence of a hazard.
Evacuation route – A predetermined and mapped safe route to move people away from a threat or danger. At Bush Kinder, the route taken will depend on the emergency/danger. [Refer to Attachment 1 for Bush Kinder evacuation routes]
Hazard – The potential to harm a person’s health or safety that can arise from the environment, equipment and substances, poor work design and inappropriate practices and procedures.
5. Sources and related policies
● Bush Kinder Delivery and Collection of Children Policy (Bush Kinder Specific)
● Bush Kinder Extreme Weather Policy (Bush Kinder Specific)
● Bush Kinder Protective Clothing Policy (Bush Kinder Specific)
● Bush Kinder Snake Awareness Policy (Bush Kinder Specific)
● Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy
● Supervision of Children Policy
● Excursion and Service Events Policy
● Sun Protection Policy
● Water Safety Policy
● Occupational Health & Safety Policy
The Committee is responsible for:
● Following all requirements in Langwarrin Park Preschool’s main Emergency Evacuation Policy and the Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy
● Establishing, monitoring and reviewing the Bush Kinder Risk assessment which identifies a number of potential hazards and risks and mechanisms for their treatment.
● Establishing, monitoring and reviewing (in consultation with staff) emergency evacuation procedures, a series of safe evacuation routes and assembly points in response to a range of potential emergency situations [Refer to Attachment 1 for Bush Kinder evacuation procedures, routes and assembly points]
● Ensuring emergency evacuation procedures are included in teachers’ documentation carried at Bush Kinder
● Ensuring a fully equipped first aid kit is included with the Bush Kinder gear and equipment
● Ensuring all teachers and volunteers are aware of the location of first-aid kit at Bush Kinder.
● Providing a fully equipped portable first-aid kit
● Developing a regular training schedule for Bush Kinder staff that includes the operation of communication systems, evacuation procedures, including evacuation routes and safe places; and occupational health and safety and first aid
● Ensuring that all children, staff, parent, students, volunteers and visitors understand the requirements of this policy including conducting practice drills.
● Ensuring new Bush Kinder staff, students and volunteers have an understanding of the Bush Kinder policy and procedures in relation to emergency evacuation in their induction procedure
● Ensuring procedures are in place at Bush Kinder to identify which staff are in attendance at any one time, such as the sign-in sheet. This can then be used to ensure that all staff are accounted for in the event of an emergency.
Staff are responsible for:
● Ensuring the safety of the children, fellow staff members and volunteers in their care and protecting them from hazards at Bush Kinder
● Safely evacuating children and themselves in the event of an emergency situation
● Ensuring that all children, staff and volunteers are accounted for in the event of an evacuation
● Being aware of the Bush Kinder evacuation procedures set out in this policy, along with the evacuation routes and assembly points in the different emergency scenarios as set out in Attachment 1.
● Providing awareness and support to children before, during and after emergencies
● Providing input into the development of procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency situation, and contributing to the review of the procedures following an emergency incident
● Informing the committee and reporting notifiable incidents to the DET
Parents are responsible for:
- Reading and being familiar with the policy
- Bring relevant issues to the attention of both staff and committee
- Ensuring children are signed in and out as per the requirements of the kindergarten’s Delivery and Collection of Children Policy (both the main policy and the Bush Kinder Policy)
- Supporting children’s awareness and education in emergency situations
- Following the directions of staff during an emergency, incident or drill
In order to assess whether the policy has achieved the values and purposes the committee will:
- Seek feedback regarding this policy and its implementation with parents of children participating in the Bush Kinder Program. This can be facilitated through discussions and the annual centre survey.
- Ask staff to share their experiences and observations in relation to the effectiveness of this policy
- Regularly review the policy and centre practices to ensure they are complaint with any new legislation, research or best practice procedures.
Attachment 1: Bush Kinder Evacuation Procedures, Assembly Points and Evacuation Routes
Endorsed by the Langwarrin Park Preschool Committee of Management on 15th March 2021
Emergency Evacuation Assembly Point: Evacuate bush kinder site along Woodlands Track (if safe to do so) and assemble in carpark area