PROTECTIVE CLOTHING POLICY

NQS: Quality Area 2

PURPOSE

This policy aims to:
● Set out clear guidelines for parents and staff regarding appropriate clothing to be worn by children attending Bush Kinder in various weather conditions to ensure their safety and wellbeing (including a description of clothing which should not be worn)
● Provide clear guidelines regarding the change of clothes requirements for Bush Kinder participants
● Provide an appropriate mechanism for communication of the protective clothing requirements for Bush Kinder sessions to parents

POLICY STATEMENT

1. Values

Langwarrin Park Preschool is committed to:
● Providing a safe and healthy environment for children participating in the Bush Kinder program
● Facilitating a Bush Kinder experience in a variety of (safe) weather conditions, including rain, to allow children to experience nature across as broad a spectrum as possible and without compromising the safety of the participants
● Ensuring clothing worn by children in the program allows for maximum comfort, free movement and does not obstruct the children in their activities in the Bush Kinder setting
● Facilitating communication to parents to ensure compliance with this policy

2. Scope

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

Langwarrin Park Preschool’s Bush Kinder program is intended to operate across a broad spectrum of weather conditions, allowing children to experience nature and its elements across the seasons. Whatever the weather, children are encouraged to take the lead in playing, exploring and learning in a bush or natural environment. For this reason, there are some particular clothing requirements in the Bush Kinder setting that may differ from requirements in a centre-based environment.

Relevant legislation may include 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

4. Definitions

Protective and appropriate clothing and footwear:

It is important that Bush Kinder participants wear appropriate and protective clothing and footwear which:
● allows children to move freely and undertake activities such as climbing, balancing, running, puddle jumping
● keeps children warm and dry in cold/wet weather
● protects children from the damaging effects of the sun, UV rays in warm weather and high UV conditions.
● prevents sunburn, bites, scratches and stings. (Even in warm weather, long sleeve tops and long pants are recommended – this clothing should be loose fitting and light).
● Where possible clothing is made from natural fabrics which allow breathability and is comfortable against the skin
● In the case of footwear, keeps feet and toes covered and has a flexible and gripped sole to allow children to climb and balance on uneven surfaces

The following table provides examples of recommended clothing, clothing which is not recommended and unacceptable clothing:

 WARM WEATHERCOLD/WET WEATHER
RECOMMENDED CLOTHING & FOOTWEARLight, loose fitting long sleeve tops and long pants, broad rimmed hat, enclosed shoes, high visibility vest*Waterproof – puddle suit*Waterproof – jacket.Long pants, long sleeve top, beanie, gloves, thermals, high visibility vest*
NOT RECOMMENDED CLOTHINGShort sleeve topsShort sleeve tops
UNACCEPTABLE CLOTHING & FOOTWEAROpen toe shoes, sandals, thongs, crocs, singlet style tops, shorts, skirts, dressesNon waterproof clothing, Open toe shoes, sandals, thongs, crocs, singlet style tops, shorts, skirts, dresses

* Puddlesuits and high visibility vests provided by Langwarrin Park Preschool.

Change of clothes: All children participating in Bush Kinder are required to bring a change of clothes and footwear as these may become wet and muddy. It is recommended that the spare clothing include:
● Spare top and bottoms of appropriate thickness/weight for the weather on the day
● Spare underpants (and singlet in winter)
● 2 pairs of socks
● 1 pair of gumboots (it is not recommended that gumboots are worn at all times due to the restriction of movement they impose).

5. Sources and related policies

Kindergarten policies
● Bush Kinder Delivery & Collection of Children Policy (Bush Kinder Specific)
● Bush Kinder Extreme Weather Policy (Bush Kinder Specific)
● Bush Kinder Emergency Evacuation Policy (Bush Kinder Specific)
● Bush Kinder Snake Awareness Policy (Bush Kinder Specific)
● Incident, Injury, Trauma & Illness Policy 
● Supervision of Children Policy
● Excursion & Service Events Policy
● Sun Protection Policy
● Water Safety Policy
● Occupational Health & Safety Policy

PROCEDURES

General

The Committee is responsible for:
● Implementing and maintaining a Protective Clothing Policy which provides clarity to parents and staff as to the appropriate clothing children are required to wear to Bush Kinder in various weather conditions to ensure their safety and wellbeing (including a description of clothing which should not be worn)
● All parents being aware of this policy and provided access to the policy on the group Facebook page, and made available upon request.
● Supplying puddlesuits and high visibility vests.
● Ensuring staff are appropriately educated on procedures in the event that children are not wearing compliant clothing

Staff are responsible for:
● Ensuring all children being dropped off to Bush Kinder are wearing appropriate clothing in line with this policy. If inappropriate clothing is worn, staff are to:
● Highlight to the parent dropping off the child which clothing is inappropriate and the reasons for it
● Determine if the change of clothing brought by that child is appropriate and request the parent change the clothes on the child if need be
● If the clothing has the potential to put the child’s safety and wellbeing at risk and there is no suitable alternative clothing, inform parent that the child is not able to attend Bush Kinder

  • Assisting changing the child’s change of clothing if needed 
  • Encouraging children to tell a staff member if they need help with clothing or feel uncomfortable. 
  • During orientation sessions, advising parents of the clothing requirements of Bush Kinder 
  • Checking that the children have their waterproofs in their bags if they are not wearing them.

Parents are responsible for: 

  • Ensuring protective and appropriate clothing is worm to Bush Kinder by their child in line with this policy 
  • Changing their child’s clothing as instructed by the teacher to enable their child to participate in the Bush Kinder session if required. 
  • Ensure their child’s change of clothes includes items as set out in this policy 
  • Reading and being familiar with the policy 
  • Bringing relevant issues to the attention of both staff and committee 
  • Changing children into and out of the water proofs at the start and end of each session 

Evaluation 

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 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. 

Authorisation 

Endorsed by the Langwarrin Park Preschool Committee of Management on the 15th March 2021

Review Date

March 2022