Perth, WA: Nido Early School fined $24,500 after two-year old child left outside unsupervised on hot day


A childcare centre that left a two-year old outside in a play area unsupervised on a hot day has been fined $24,500 by the State Administrative Tribunal.

Last year, a two-year old was found by an educator crying, hot and sweaty in a back corner of the playground at Nido Early School in the Perth suburb of East Victoria Park.

The child had been outside for more than an hour while the other children were inside having a nap.

When staff found the child they immediately cooled them down with a wet towel and notified authorities.

The child was soon settled and playing with other children 15 minutes after being found.

The tribunal found that the childcare centre contravened section 165(1) of the national law by failing to ensure that children were adequately supervised at all times while in its care.

The tribunal was told that a new staff member who had only been working at the centre for two weeks when the incident occurred had not been told about a supervision plan or procedures to check the outdoor area before leaving it.

Normally, staff would conduct a headcount every 30 minutes, but on this day it was not done.

Since the incident, the childcare centre had updated its supervision policy to train new staff about what to do when senior educators were not available.

Department of Communities Regulation and Quality executive director Phil Payne said the department would continue to work with education and care providers to ensure they had adequate measures in place to support staff in delivering appropriate supervision of children.

“The importance of active supervision and conducting timely physical headcounts at regular intervals and in particular during transition periods is crucial in ensuring adequate supervision is provided,” he said.