Excursions and Services Events

Excursions and Service Events Policy

Mandatory – Quality Area 2

Purpose

This policy will provide guidelines for Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc. to plan and conduct safe and appropriate excursions and service events

Policy statement

1.   Values

Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc. is committed to:

  • providing opportunities through the educational program for children to explore and experience the wider environment and broader society
  • ensuring that all excursions and service events are accessible, affordable and contribute to children’s learning and development
  • ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of children at all times, including during excursions and service events
  • providing adequate supervision of all children during excursions and service events.

2.   Scope

This policy applies to the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, Certified Supervisors, educators, staff, students on placement, volunteers, parents/guardians, children and others attending the programs and activities of Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc., including during offsite excursions and events.

3.   Background and legislation

Background

Excursions and service events are planned to extend the educational program and further develop the current interests of children. “Participating in their communities strengthens children’s sense of identity and wellbeing” (Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world, Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework – refer to Sources). The purpose and educational value of each excursion or service event should be clearly communicated to parents/guardians.

When planning excursions and service events, it is important to ensure that they are inclusive of all members of the service community. Consideration must be given to any extra costs involved and the ability of families to pay these costs. Consideration must also be given to ensuring that all children can attend regardless of their abilities, additional needs or medical conditions (refer to Inclusion and Equity Policy, Dealing with Medical Conditions Policy, Asthma Policy, Anaphylaxis Policy, Diabetes Policy and Epilepsy Policy). Clear procedures must be developed and followed, and these should be communicated to parents/guardians.

A risk assessment must be carried out for each excursion to determine any risks to children’s health, safety or wellbeing before permission is sought from parents/guardians (Regulations 100, 101). The risk assessment must identify each risk and specify how the risk will be managed and/or minimised (Regulation 101). Written authorisation for the child to attend the excursion must be obtained from a parent/guardian or person named in the child’s enrolment record before the child can be taken outside the service premises. For details regarding information to be included in the written authorisation, refer to Attachment 1.

 

 

Legislation and standards

Relevant legislation and standards include but are not limited to:

  • Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011: Regulations 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 123, 355, 357, 360
  • National Quality Standard, Quality Area 1: Educational Program and Practice

–    Standard 1.1: An approved learning framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child’s learning and development

–    Element 1.1.3: The program, including routines, is organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning

–    Element 1.1.5: Every child is supported to participate in the program

  • National Quality Standard, Quality Area 2: Children’s Health and Safety

–    Standard 2.3: Each child is protected

–    Element 2.3.1: Children are adequately supervised at all times

–    Element 2.3.2: Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury

4.   Definitions

The terms defined in this section relate specifically to this policy. For commonly used terms e.g. Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, Regulatory Authority etc. refer to the General Definitions section of this manual.

Adequate supervision: (In relation to this policy) supervision entails all children (individuals and groups) in all areas of the service, being in sight and/or hearing of an educator at all times including during toileting, sleep, rest and transition routines. Services are required to comply with the legislative requirements for educator-to-child ratios at all times. Supervision contributes to protecting children from hazards that may emerge in play, including hazards created by the equipment used.

Adequate supervision refers to constant, active and diligent supervision of every child at the service. Adequate supervision requires that educators are always in a position to observe each child, respond to individual needs and immediately intervene if necessary. Variables affecting supervision levels include:

  • number, age and abilities of children
  • number and positioning of educators
  • current activity of each child
  • areas in which the children are engaged in an activity (visibility and accessibility)
  • developmental profile of each child and of the group of children
  • experience, knowledge and skill of each educator
  • need for educators to move between areas (effective communication strategies).

Attendance Record: Kept by the service to record details of each child attending the service including name, time of arrival and departure, signature of person delivering and collecting the child or of the Nominated Supervisor or educator (Regulation 158(1)).

Excursion: An outing organised by the education and care service. The written permission of parents/guardians or a person named on the child’s enrolment record as having lawful authority must be obtained before educators/staff take children outside the service premises.

Under the National Regulations, the definition of ‘excursion’ does not include an outing organised by services operating from a school site, where the child/ren leave the service premises with an educator/staff member, but do not leave the school site.


 

Service event: A special activity, event, visitor or entertainment organised by the education and care service that may be conducted as part of a regular session at the service premises or as an excursion.

Risk assessment: (In the context of this policy) a risk assessment must identify and assess any hazard that poses a risk to a child’s health, safety and/or wellbeing while on an excursion, and specify how these risks will be managed and/or minimised (Regulation 101). Risk assessments must consider:

  • the proposed route and location of the excursion
  • any water hazards (refer to Water Safety Policy)
  • any risks associated with water-based activities (refer to Water Safety Policy)
  • transport to and from the proposed location of the excursion (refer to Occupational Health and Safety Policy)
  • the number of adults and children participating in the excursion
  • the number of educators or other responsible adults who will be providing supervision given the level of risk, and whether or not specialised skills are required (e.g. lifesaving skills)
  • the proposed activities, and the impact of this on children with varying levels of ability, additional needs or medical conditions
  • the proposed duration of the excursion, and the impact of this on children with varying levels of ability, additional needs or medical conditions
  • any items/information that should be taken on the excursion e.g. first aid kit, emergency contact details for children, medication for children with known medical conditions (such as asthma, anaphylaxis and diabetes) and a mobile phone.

A sample Excursion Risk Management Plan is provided on the ACECQA website at http://acecqa.gov.au/storage/Excursion%20risk%20management%20plan.pdf

Regular outing: (In relation to education and care services) means a walk, drive or trip to/from a location that the service visits regularly as part of its educational program, and where the circumstances covered by the risk assessment are the same on each trip. If the excursion is a regular outing, an authorisation from parents/guardians is only required to be obtained once every 12 months. A new authorisation is required if there is any change to the circumstances of the regular outing.

Supervision: refer to adequate supervision in Definitions above.

5.   Sources and related policies

Sources

  • Belonging, Being & Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia: www.deewr.gov.au/EarlyChildhood/Policy_Agenda/Quality/Pages/EarlyYearsLearningFramework.aspx#keydocuments
  • Guide to the National Quality Standard, ACECQA: www.acecqa.gov.au and http://acecqa.gov.au/links-and-resources/national-quality-framework-resources/
  • Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework: www.education.vic.gov.au/earlylearning/eyldf/default.htm
  • Acceptance and Refusal of Authorisations Policy
  • Administration of First Aid Policy
  • Administration of Medication Policy
  • Anaphylaxis Policy
  • Asthma Policy
  • Code of Conduct Policy
  • Curriculum Development Policy
  • Dealing with Medical Conditions Policy
  • Delivery and Collection of Children Policy
  • Diabetes Policy
  • Emergency and Evacuation Policy
  • Enrolment and Orientation Policy
  • Epilepsy Policy
  • Fees Policy
  • Food Safety Policy
  • Hygiene Policy
  • Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy
  • Inclusion and Equity Policy
  • Interactions with Children Policy
  • Nutrition and Active Play Policy
  • Occupational Health and Safety Policy
  • Participation of Volunteers and Students Policy
  • Sun Protection Policy
  • Supervision of Children Policy
  • Water Safety Policy  
  • developing an Excursions and Service Events Policy in consultation with the Nominated Supervisor, Certified Supervisor, educators, staff and parents/guardians at the service
  • ensuring educators, staff, parents/guardians, volunteers, students and others at the service are provided with a copy of the Excursions and Service Events Policy and comply with its requirements
  • ensuring that all parents/guardians have completed, signed and dated their child’s enrolment form (refer to Enrolment and Orientation Policy) including details of persons able to authorise an educator to take their child outside the service premises (Regulation 160)
  • ensuring that parents/guardians or persons named in the enrolment record have provided written authorisation within the past 12 months where the service is to take the child on regular outings (refer to Definitions), and that this authorisation is kept in the child’s enrolment record (Regulation 161) (refer to Attachment 1 – Developing an excursion/service event authorisation form)
  • ensuring that a child does not leave the service premises on an excursion unless prior written authorisation has been provided by the parent/guardian or person named in the child’s enrolment record, and that the authorisation includes all details required under Regulation 102(4) (refer to Attachment 1 – Developing an excursion/service event authorisation form)
  • ensuring that the number of children attending an excursion does not exceed the number for which service approval has been granted on that day
  • ensuring that a risk assessment (refer to Definitions) is carried out for an excursion (in accordance with Regulation 101) before authorisation is sought from parents/guardians (Regulation 100)
  • ensuring the risk assessment (refer to Definitions) identifies and assesses the risks, specifies how these will be managed and/or minimised, and includes all details required by Regulation 101 (refer to ACECQA’s sample Excursion Risk Management Plan at http://acecqa.gov.au/storage/Excursion%20risk%20management%20plan.pdf)
  • considering the financial ability of families before deciding on an excursion/service event that would require an additional charge.
  • ensuring that proposed excursions/service events are inclusive of all children regardless of their abilities, additional needs or medical conditions (refer to Inclusion and Equity Policy, Dealing with Medical Conditions Policy, Asthma Policy, Anaphylaxis Policy, Diabetes Policy and Epilepsy Policy)
  • providing and maintaining a portable first aid kit that can be taken on excursions and other offsite activities
  • developing an Excursions and Service Events Policy in consultation with the Approved Provider, Certified Supervisor, educators, staff and parents/guardians at the service
  • ensuring educators, staff, parents/guardians, volunteers, students and others at the service are provided with a copy of the Excursions and Service Events Policy and comply with its requirements
  • ensuring that a child does not leave the service premises on an excursion unless prior written authorisation has been provided by the parent/guardian or person named in the child’s enrolment record, and that the authorisation includes all details required under Regulation 102(4) (refer to Attachment 1 – Developing an excursion/service event authorisation form)
  • ensuring that children are adequately supervised (refer to Definitions) at all times
  • ensuring that educator-to-child ratios are maintained at all times, including during excursions and service events (Regulations 123, 355, 357, 360)
  • ensuring only educators who are working directly with children are included in educator-to-child ratios
  • ensuring that parents/guardians, volunteers, students and all adults participating in an excursion are adequately supervised at all times and are not left with sole supervision of individual children or groups of children (refer to Participation of Volunteers and Students Policy)
  • ensuring that a risk assessment (refer to Definitions) is carried out for an excursion (in accordance with Regulation 101) before authorisation is sought from parents/guardians (Regulation 100)
  • ensuring that excursions and service events are based on an approved learning framework, the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child, and take into account the individual differences of each child (refer to Curriculum Development Policy)
  • ensuring the purpose and educational value of each excursion or service event is communicated to parents/guardians
  • ensuring that proposed excursions/service events are inclusive of all children regardless of their abilities, additional needs or medical conditions (refer to Inclusion and Equity Policy, Dealing with Medical Conditions Policy, Asthma Policy, Anaphylaxis Policy, Diabetes Policy and Epilepsy Policy)
  • ensuring an accurate attendance record (refer to Definitions) is kept for children attending an excursion, and for children remaining at the service while an excursion is happening
  • ensuring that there is an accurate list of all adults participating in an excursion, including parents/guardians, volunteers and students, with contact details for each individual
  • ensuring that each child’s personal medication and current medical management plan is taken on excursions and other offsite activities (refer to Dealing with Medical Conditions Policy, Asthma Policy, Anaphylaxis Policy, Diabetes Policy and Epilepsy Policy)
  • ensuring that a portable first aid kit (including required medication for dealing with medical conditions) is taken on excursions and other offsite activities
  • ensuring a mobile phone, the emergency contact details for each child and the contact details of their medical practitioner are taken on excursions for notification in the event of an incident, injury, trauma or illness
  • ensuring sunscreen (if required) is taken on excursions/service events
  • displaying a notice at the service indicating that children are on an excursion, and including the location of the excursion and expected time of return to the service.
  • developing an Excursions and Service Events Policy in consultation with the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor and parents/guardians at the service
  • reading and complying with the requirements of the Excursions and Service Events Policy
  • providing parents/guardians or a person named in the child’s enrolment record with an excursion/service event authorisation form   
  • maintaining the required educator-to-child ratios at all times, and adequately supervising (refer to Definitions) children during excursions and service events
  • adequately supervising parents/guardians, volunteers, students and all adults participating in an excursion, and ensuring that they are not left with sole supervision of individual children or groups of children (refer to Participation of Volunteers and Students Policy)
  • communicating the purpose and educational value of each excursion or service event to parents/guardians
  • including all children in excursions and service events regardless of their abilities, additional needs or medical conditions (refer to Inclusion and Equity Policy, Dealing with Medical Conditions Policy, Asthma Policy, Anaphylaxis Policy, Diabetes Policy and Epilepsy Policy)
  • taking each child’s personal medication and current medical management plan on excursions and other offsite activities (refer to Dealing with Medical Conditions Policy, Asthma Policy, Anaphylaxis Policy, Diabetes Policy and Epilepsy Policy)
  • taking a portable first aid kit (including required medication for dealing with medical conditions) on excursions and other offsite activities
  • keeping an accurate attendance record (refer to Definitions) of children attending excursions
  • keeping an accurate list of all adults participating in an excursion, including parents/guardians, volunteers and students, with contact details for each individual
  • taking a mobile phone, a copy of the attendance record, emergency contact details for each child and the contact details of the child’s medical practitioner on excursions for notification in the event of an incident, injury, trauma or illness
  • taking sunscreen (if required) on excursions/service events
  • discussing the aims and objectives of the excursion or service event, and items of special interest, with children prior to undertaking the activity
  • informing parents/guardians of items required by children for the excursion or service event
    e.g. snack/lunch, sunscreen, coat etc.
  • reading and complying with the requirements of this Excursions and Service Events Policy
  • completing and signing the authorised nominee section (refer to Definitions) of their child’s enrolment form (refer to Enrolment and Orientation Policy) before their child commences at the service
  • completing, signing and dating excursion/service event authorisation forms
  • reading the details of the excursion or service event provided by the service and asking for additional information if required
  • providing items required by their child for the excursion or service event e.g. snack/lunch, sunscreen, coat etc.
  • understanding that, if they participate in an excursion or service event as a volunteer, they will be under the immediate supervision of an educator or the Approved Provider at all times
  • if participating in an excursion or service event, informing an educator immediately if a child appears to be missing from the group
  • complying with all service policies while participating in an excursion or service event including the Code of Conduct Policy, Sun Protection Policy and Hygiene Policy.

Service policies

Procedures

The Approved Provider is responsible for:

The Nominated Supervisor is responsible for:

Certified Supervisors and other educators are responsible for:

Parents/guardians are responsible for:

Volunteers and students, while at the service, are responsible for following this policy and its procedures.

Evaluation

In order to assess whether the values and purposes of the policy have been achieved, the Approved Provider will:

  • regularly seek feedback from everyone affected by the policy regarding its effectiveness
  • monitor the implementation, compliance, complaints and incidents in relation to this policy
  • keep the policy up to date with current legislation, research, policy and best practice
  • revise the policy and procedures as part of the service’s policy review cycle, or as required
  • notify parents/guardians at least 14 days before making any changes to this policy or its procedures.
  • Attachment 1: Developing an excursion/service event authorisation form

Attachments

Authorisation

This policy was adopted by the Approved Provider of Elsa Macleod Kindergarten in March, 2014

Review date:    March, 2020

Attachment 1

Developing an excursion/service event authorisation form

The Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 (Regulation 102) specify that written authorisations for excursions, given by a parent/guardian or person authorised on the child’s enrolment record, must include the following details:

  • the child’s name
  • the reason the child is to be taken outside the service premises
  • the date the child is to be taken on the excursion (unless the authorisation is for a regular outing)
  • a description of the proposed location of the excursion
  • the method of transport to be used
  • proposed activities to be undertaken as part of the excursion
  • the period of time that the child will be away from the service premises
  • the anticipated number of children attending the excursion
  • the anticipated ratio of educators to children attending the excursion
  • the anticipated number of staff members, and any other adults who will accompany and supervise children on the excursion
  • confirmation that a risk assessment has been prepared and is available at the service.

The authorisation form should require parents/guardians to include contact details for two people and for the child’s medical practitioner in the event that the child experiences an incident, injury, trauma or illness while on the excursion.

The form must be signed and dated by the parent/guardian or a person authorised on the child’s enrolment form.

Services should also include information about:

  • additional costs involved, if any, and
  • whether parents/guardians/siblings are able to participate in the excursion and, if so, details of the supervision requirements for additional family members.