Child Safeguarding

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Ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for every little scholar

At Little Scholars, our core responsibility is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of every child in our care. We are  committed to creating environments where all children can feel and be safe. Our approach is comprehensive, aimed at safeguarding children from any form of abuse, neglect, or harm.

Ensuring the safety of a child is a responsibility of all our campus staff – educators, chefs, leadership team – everyone.

Child Safeguarding and Media Consent

 

At Little Scholars, we uphold the highest standards of safety and privacy for all our little ones. In line with our commitment to safeguarding every child’s wellbeing, we ensure that no images or videos of children are used on our social media platforms, online, or in marketing materials without explicit consent. We obtain this consent through a specific agreement signed by parents or legal guardians, ensuring transparency and adherence to privacy laws. Our priority is the safety and security of our children, providing peace of mind for our families while respecting their privacy choices.

National Principles for Child Safe Organisations

As a child-safe organisation, we are committed to Australia’s national principles for children’s safety and wellbeing. Drawn from the work of the Royal Commission, Australia’s Children’s Commissioners and Guardians and the 2005 National Framework for Creating Safe Environments for Children, the National Principles are underpinned by a child-rights approach to build capacity and to deliver child safety and wellbeing in organisations, families and communities.

 

Those National Principles for a child safe organisation, such as Little Scholars, are:

To fortify this commitment, we have our stringent Child Protection Policy and procedures. These policies, procedures and guidelines are designed to address the safety and wellbeing of every child and young person in our care.

We have vigorous recruitment and screening procedures. Our staff and volunteers must have up-to-date Working With Children Checks (Blue card), staff undergo comprehensive background checks, including criminal history and reference checks to be a Little Scholars employee. Little Scholars hosts ongoing education and training for all staff in our campuses, on child safeguarding, recognising signs of abuse and appropriate reporting procedures.

Compliance with our codes of conduct is mandatory for everyone involved with Little Scholars — employees, students, volunteers, visitors, families, and authorised contacts. Failure to comply is not an option and is a condition for participation in our services.

We have a moral and legal obligation to report suspicions, disclosure and/or witnessing of harm of children. Little Scholars has clear reporting protocols for all staff to report any concerns about children in our care, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and neglect, regardless of who is responsible and where the harm occurred. We have a duty of care to report harm that occurs within the service as well as outside.

If a child comes to us and discloses abuse, the role of educators is to listen, reassure and respect that child and what they’re telling us, but also make it clear to the child we will have to share their experience for their own protection.

If you have any concerns about a child’s safety, health, or wellbeing at any Little Scholars campus, we urge you to report it. You can speak directly to the Campus Manager or contact Melanie, operations manager for Little Scholars. While you have the option to remain anonymous, providing contact details will enable us to gather more information and respond more effectively.

Any concerns raised will be directed to the appropriate parties, including regulatory authorities or law enforcement agencies, in line with legislative requirements.

We also believe in empowering children about their rights to prioritise their own well-being and safety, explaining in age-appropriate language. Bravehearts is a not-for-profit organisation that uses its voice to protect children from sexual harm. Bravehearts’ Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure Program visits our campuses each year to provide children with effective personal safety education. The program is curriculum-aligned with the Early Years Learning Framework.

Our learning experiences across our studios and across our campuses support children’s agency and early intervention. These experiences can and do include:

Bravehearts also offers great information for families on teaching children about their personal safety and body autonomy. It has a huge array of resources for parents and educators on child abuse and protection.

Body Safety Australia promotes childhoods free from violence where children enjoy equitable and respectful relationships. Its program is designed to empower and educate children to understand and communicate their right to bodily autonomy, and equip communities to prevent child abuse.

Kids Helpline: telephone 1800 551 800

NAPCAN: Offers information, programs and resources for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

SAFE4KIDS specialises in child protection education, which is also known as child abuse prevention education, protective behaviours, and body safety. Its website has a host of resources including a board game that can be used as an assessment tool to evaluate children’s ability to conceptualise the principles of protective behaviours.

The Daniel Morcombe Foundation provides person child safety education to children and young people to prevent abuse and promote lifelong wellbeing. The foundation offers keeping children safe resources for Prep/Kindy right through to Year 12

ChildSafe Body Safety Education and Resources

Roar Australia – KidsRoar – Delivers engaging protective behaviours programs that focus on ‘Personal Safety 4 Kids.’

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) website was created by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to bring together a world-leading approach to counter child exploitation. They have some great resources for families and carers here.

The National eSafety Commissioner has information for parents and carers on maintaining children under 5’s safety online here.

Here are some resources, both books and digital, to help children learn about their own autonomy and to help protect themselves from any potential harm.

Boss of my own body – Teeny Tiny Stevies

Protect Yourself Rules by Barbara Sinatra Foundation offers age-appropriate cartoons on YouTube

I can use my voice – Unsafe Secrets Song by Livvi Music Media

Project Ari – A podcast for children 8-10 (produced by Nova Entertainment and the Dept of Social Services) about 10-year-old Ari, who’s the world’s first artificial intelligence prototype, as he tries to wrap his ‘data brain’ around the human experience. This series is funny and silly, with plenty of heart, and has been designed as a tool to help start meaningful conversations with children about respectful behaviour.

Everyone’s Got a Bottom Gold Coast Libraries

Authored by Tess Rowley and illustrated by Jodi Edwards, this book is aimed at ages 3 to 8 and shares the story of Ben, along with his brother and sister, learning about their bodies and being safe. For anyone looking for ways to gently begin that conversation about personal safety, we highly recommend this book. The book includes incredibly important information for parents and caregivers inside the back cover.

Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept Gold Coast Libraries

One of the key issues we grapple with in personal safety is the issue of secrecy. This book (recommended for ages 3 to12), written by Jayneen Sanders and illustrated by Craig Smith, provides a gentle avenue for children to learn about their rights to speak out and be safe. It also includes a guide to help parents and caregivers discuss the book with their children.

ABC of Body Safety and Consent Gold Coast Libraries

Written by Jayneen Sanders, this book also looks at the critical issue of consent, but for the younger audience (ages 4 to10), along with important personal safety messages of body ownership, boundaries, respect, safe and unsafe touches, warning signs, and secrets.

My Underpants Rule Gold Coast Libraries

Illustrated and created by Rod and Kate Power, this book for children aged 3 to 8 helps to empower children to understand “What’s under my pants belongs ONLY to ME!” Bright, lively, fun and engaging, it gently and effectively teaches children their ‘Underpants RULE!’

How to say hello Gold Coast Libraries

Written by Sophie Beer, this book helps children understand different ways they can say hello to loved ones, that they can say hello without physical contact

Don’t Hug Doug (he doesn’t like it) Gold Coast Libraries

Written by Carrie Finison, this is another great book to teach children about body autonomy and consent.

Educate2Empower

Educate2Empower Publishing is an international award-winning niche children’s book publisher that specialises in children’s books on body safety, consent, gender equality, respectful relationships, and social and emotional intelligence. Educate2Empower Publishing provides free resources for parents, caregivers and educators on these important topics.

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Come and see the Little Scholars difference

Let us hold your hand and help looking for a child care centre. Leave your details with us and we’ll be in contact to arrange a time for a ‘Campus Tour’ and we will answer any questions you might have!