I don’t think I can follow the policy practices – what should I do?

It is very important that all services comply with the sun smart guidelines. It is great that you have been thinking about your environment and practices to identify this issue. Please contact your Practice Mentor straight away to discuss.

I don’t think I can follow the sun safe guidelines – what should I do?

It is very important that all services comply with the sun smart guidelines. It is great that you have been thinking about your environment and practices to identify this issue. Please contact your Practice Mentor straight away to discuss.

What should I tell families about the new policy?

Families will receive a Family Alert with information about the roll out of the new policy as well a copy of the sun safe policy. If a parent wants more information, you can share some of the resources from the online sun safe module with them.

Does the new policy requirements apply to my own children within my service?

The new policy has been developed with the best interests of all children at heart and is based on sun safe recommendations from the Cancer Council – the national authority on sun safe practices for children. We encourage all parents to understand the sun safe recommendations and implement these in their home environment. At any time your service is operational (ie. You have children signed in to your Family Day Care business); your own child is considered to be a part of the early childhood service that you are delivering, therefore all of the new policy requirements will need to be followed for your own children as well as all other children in your care.

What is adequate shade?

Determining adequate shade is not a one size fits all answer. It will depend on your individual environment. There needs to be enough shaded areas that all children can play freely and participate in the program when it is not appropriate or safe for children to be out in the sun. Depending on your environment, you might have one large shaded area (such as a patio or verandah) or you might have a number of shaded spaces (such as shade sails, trees, gazebos and secured umbrellas).There are some factors for you to consider when you are assessing or planning shade for your service, such as the UV rating of the shade material (for gazebos, umbrellas and shade sails), the shade projection (where the shade will be at different times of the day) and the height of shade structures. Have a read of the Kid Safe Shade in Play spaces guide here for more information.

I read about grandfathering arrangements in the training. What are they?

Grandfathering arrangements are a provision where an old rule continues to apply in some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future situations. In this instance, all Educators that register with Enhance FDC in the future will need to comply with our new sleep, rest and relaxation policy from their first day, whereas we are wanting to work with our current Educators to gradually move from our current policy to our new policy around certain requirements – such as shade requirements in your outdoor environment. As part of our sun safe policy training package, Educators will need to complete our online training module, quiz and acknowledgement and then a critical reflection and action plan. Our grandfathering arrangements will give our current Educators up until the 31st of December 2021 to meet the outdoor shade requirements, and in some other cases (determined in consultation with your Practice Mentor and Children Services Manager) some other aspects of the policy.

I have a family who never follows sun safe guidelines for their child. They always come to care in clothing that is not sun safe and without a hat. What should I do?

Unsafe sun practices can have long lasting implications for young children. Some of these impacts may not be known for many years – such as skin cancers. Other implications are much more noticeable and immediate – such as sun burns. We understand that there are many factors that influence parent actions around sun safety – culture, family routine and structure – and in some cases, financial constraint. In a genuine partnership, we want Educators to work with parents to provide continuity in safe sun practices. However, it must also be acknowledged that some family practices may not be able to be accommodated as they are not in line with our policy or sun smart guidelines. It can be hard to have difficult conversations with families when their requests for their child are not in line with policies, regulations, or best practice. It is imperative that you do not agree to or continue to follow unsafe sun protection practices for any child in your care. It maybe that you need to consider buying some spare hats if children are often dropped off without a hat; or that you have some loose, long sleeve button shirts available that can be slipped over the top of sundresses or singlets with no sleeves. If this is something that is happening in your service, please add it to your critical reflection and action plan so we can help you find a strategy that will work for you and the children in your care. If you need more support, you always have access to your Practice Mentor, Assistant Manager or Children Services Manager. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them.