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Policy: Health and Exclusion

Guiding Principle

The Centre is committed to providing high quality care in relation to health, safety and welfare of all children and staff at the Centre. Throughout the day at WECC we care for and educate approximately 71 children and 25 staff members. It is imperative that strict health and exclusion measures are followed at all times.  As we provide group care children and staff will at times become sick or unwell whilst being in our care.  This policy relates to the guidelines of minimising the potential spread of infectious disease while in the care of WECC.

Appropriate action will take place should a child become ill while in care or return to care after an infectious illness.

This policy applies to all staff working with children; also to parents/guardians of children attending the Centre.

Staff need to ensure everything possible is done to prevent infectious illness spreading and to ensure appropriate practices are employed when illness occurs. The Centre abides by the Children’s Services Regulations 2009, The Children’s Services Act 1996 and resources Staying Healthy in Childcare and Department of health approved website, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au.

Policy Guidelines

At times children will fall ill during their day at WECC.  All steps need to be taken to ensure the child suffering the illness receives the appropriate attention and the other children and staff in care are provided with a safe and healthy environment.

At no time should a child be sent to WECC if they are unwell.  Unwell can sometimes be difficult to define.  At WECC we define “unwell” as a child who is unable to positively participate in the program, as he/she normally would.

At any time during the day if your child is displaying signs he/she is unwell a staff member from your child’s room will contact you.  Based on what the staff in your child’s room knows about the child, they will usually be able to make an informed decision as to whether the child needs to be collected.  If there are any doubts or uncertainties, these will be discussed with the Director prior to phoning the parent.

As we provide group care, if your child is believed to be suffering an infectious illness, attempts will be made to separate them from their peers to minimise the spread of infection.  Please note this can be difficult to do given the staffing regulations that must be strictly adhered to.

If at any time during the day you are requested to collect your child from WECC, you must ensure you do so within one hour.  We understand that sometimes this may be difficult for parents.  If parent/guardians are unable to collect their child within one hour, staff will begin to call the people outlined on the collection list of your child’s enrolment form.

Illness Exclusion Form

If your child is sent home due to them being unwell with a suspected infectious disease or other illness which requires an exclusion period in accordance with the Exclusion Table, you may be given an Illness Exclusion Form which states the symptoms shown by your child and the exclusion period from WECC.

Medical Clearance Form

In addition to the Illness Exclusion Form, if your child is sent home with a suspected infectious disease or other illness which requires an exclusion period in accordance with the Exclusion Table, you may also be required to obtain a Medical Certificate which requires clearance with a medical certificate from a qualified doctor before your child is able to return to WECC.

The Illness Exclusion Form and the Medical Clearance Forms are designed to ensure that all who attend WECC remain healthy and all endeavours are made to minimise the spread of illness.

We understand that occasionally children will have abnormal bowel motions due to food and other non infectious reasons.  We will contact parent/guardians to collect children if they have had two or more loose bowel movements, as this may be a sign of infection.

At times we may experience an outbreak of Gastroenteritis or another infectious disease; during these times we work strictly under the guidelines of the Victorian Department of Health. At these times exclusion periods may be increased to 48 hours after a child’s last symptom.  All parents will be notified of an outbreak at the service, via signs on the front doors.

If your child is prescribed antibiotics for an illness, we insist that at least the first day of antibiotics is given while the child is kept at home (unless a Medical Certificate is provided).  This applies unless otherwise stated in the Exclusion Table.

We rely on parent honesty in regards to their children, if your child has had a temperature above 38 degrees, vomiting or diarrhoea they must be kept away from the centre for 24 hours since their last symptom.  This is imperative to minimising the risk of infection. This is also the case with administering medication prior to arriving at WECC.  If your child needs pain relief medication i.e. panadol etc to relieve a temperature then they are not well enough for a day in care. Please refer to the administration of medication to children policy.

The Exclusion Table is posted in the foyer and all exclusion periods must be strictly adhered to.

Last review date:

February 2011

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