Childcare settings are a vital part of children’s lives – they support healthy development, provide opportunities for children to learn and socialise, and are essential to effective safeguarding. As such, it is a priority for Child Wise that childcare workers - paid and unpaid – are supported with high quality information, tools and resources to implement effective child safety practice in their centres.
This is how Child Wise can help equip childcare workers with the knowledge to create and work in a child safe organisation.
What does child safety and protection mean in an early childhood context?
Childcare workers are uniquely positioned to contribute to the safety and protection of children who use their services. Many childcare workers have ongoing relationships with children and families, and as such can observe changes in behaviour or presentation over time. Childcare workers are also often trusted by both children and families, and so it’s likely that they may be approached about concerns including abuse, neglect, or family violence. As such, it is vital that everyone who works in an early childhood context, either paid or unpaid, is supported to know how to recognise indicators of abuse and neglect, and respond in a trauma-informed way.
Child safety and protection in an early childhood context also means ensuring children are safeguarded when they spend time in your organisation. That means:
- Fostering a culture where everyone understands their safeguarding responsibilities and feels able to speak up about concerns;
- Creating meaningful opportunities to involve children, families and communities in the organisation, and ensuring they are aware of their rights and how to raise concerns;
- Ensuring robust recruitment and selection process so only the most qualified staff and volunteers provide services at your organisation;
- Developing clear and well understood complaints handling and reporting processes;
- Ensuring staff and volunteers are supported to develop their safeguarding practice, through supervision, training and performance review;
- Being aware of possible risks and managing these effectively;
- Ensuring your policies and procedures reflect your commitment to child safety and enable staff and volunteers to provide safe services;
- Continuously reviewing your child safety practice and making improvements where required.
What types of childcare organisations will benefit from child safety training or consulting?
Child Wise services are relevant for any childcare organisation – small, medium and large -- whether a single independent centre or part of a larger network of services. Because Child Wise is a national organisation with safeguarding expertise in all states and territories, Child Wise is also able to respond to the needs of childcare organisations with a multi-state or national footprint.
Child Wise curriculum and resources also address safeguarding across the 0-17 age range. As some childcare organisations also provide services to children and young people of older age ranges, our services can be tailored to your context so that they are relevant to all your staff and volunteers.
What will your childcare team learn about child safeguarding with Child Wise?
Whether participating in training or engaging a Child Wise consultant, your childcare team will have access to the most up to date safeguarding information and will be supported to achieve the following learning outcomes:
- Understanding the evolving context of child safeguarding in Australia;
- Developing an understanding of children’s rights, and the most effective ways to engage and empower children and their families in developing your safeguarding infrastructure;
- Ensuring a comprehensive understanding of your legal and ethical safeguarding obligations;
- Building insight as to how your organisation can establish a child-safe culture where everyone understands their safeguarding responsibilities and feels able to speak up about concerns;
- Understanding the barriers to change, and developing strategies to overcome these;
Child safety and protection training courses for childcare workers across Australia
We have a range of training programs that can be tailored to meet your childcare centre needs. Our packages range from our Child Safe Fundamentals package to our Child Safety Champions package for people who have a dedicated child safety portfolio or want to have a more detailed understanding.
Format: our programs range in length from 2 hours to 2 days and provide different levels of engagement depending on your organisation’s specific needs.
We provide in-house training sessions that are tailored to the size and complexity of your organisation as well as the needs of your team.
We include practical hands-on activities and examples that can be tailored to your organisation to reinforce the learning experience.
Face-to-face training for childcare workers across Australia
As part of our offering to childcare centres, we can deliver training programs to staff, volunteers and directors in-house, directly at your centre location.
We are still offering face-to-face in-house training as long as it's within state-based COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.
In-house training is recommended for organisations that need to train groups of staff and volunteers, or the board/leadership team. In-house training can be delivered in its standard format or customised to suit your organisational needs and context. The training provided includes state-based and national legislation that applies to your centre.
If you have any questions about what programs are currently available or would like to book an in-house training session, contact us to discuss your needs and get a free quote.
Online child safety and protection training for childcare workers and early childhood educators
We are now offering virtual classroom training programs, which are a teaching and learning environment where participants can interact, communicate, view and discuss presentations, and engage with learning resources while working in groups, all in an online setting.
Delivered by highly qualified and experienced Child Wise trainers, our virtual classrooms are very interactive and limited to a small class of up to 20 participants to ensure a complete learning experience for participants.
To read more about the virtual training programs on offer, please click here.
Training for international childcare and early childhood organisations
Our child protection virtual trainings are tailored to international childcare and early childhood organisations that would like to improve their knowledge on child protection policies and principles. Our passionate trainers have experience in training organisations in New Zealand, South East Asia as well as in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories where participants get to join the session tailored to their needs from the comfort of their home.
Talk to one of our experts to learn more about how we can help your organisation become child safe, or head here to view the virtual trainings currently available.
Tailored consulting and coaching services to meet the needs of the childcare sector
We recognise that the childcare sector will sometimes require a more tailored safeguarding solution. We also understand that accessing one of our training programs might help you to better understand your gaps, and the sort of support you need to strengthen your safeguarding practice. As such, Child Wise offers a range of tailored consulting and coaching services, including:
- Child Safety Reviews which are holistic, systemic processes designed to help you understand your strengths, gaps and opportunities for improvement;
- Desktop reviews of policy, procedure and other documents to assess compliance with legislation and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations;
- Development of policy and procedure;
- Systemic learning reviews following a serious incident to help you assess the effectiveness of policy, procedure and practice and identify opportunities to strengthen your safeguarding approach going forward;
- Coaching around a range of safeguarding topics which will provide you with the tools and resources to implement changes in your policy, procedure and practice.
Does Child Wise offer a child safety accreditation or certification program?
Child Wise also offers a Child Safe Accreditation program for organisations seeking a visible recognition that they meet a prescribed set of child safeguarding standards. The Child Wise Accreditation program is built around the National Principle for Child Safe Organisation as well as additional Child Wise requirements, and involves a rigorous assessment of child safety practice in organisations.
We also run regular child safety webinars and online events
Child Wise regularly offers child safety webinars and other online events on a range of topics which are relevant to the childcare sector. To access these as well as a range of other tools and resources, you may wish to become a member of our Community of Practice. For more information about the Community of Practice.