Although childcare centres may know and understand Safe Sleeping practices, best practice suggests that performing an audit at regular intervals provides a benchmark to record continuous improvement in the workplace.
This is particularly relevant when ensuring your Centre meets its obligations under the recently introduced National Quality Framework (NQF) Regulation 168 as it provides evidence that you and your staff understand, and importantly, practise the recommended Safe Sleeping guidelines as well as provide a Safe Sleeping environment for the children in your care.
Underpinning best practice are solid policies which guide not only management and educators, but all stakeholders – including parents, other caregivers and the community. Policies can often be perceived as a ‘necessary evil’; however, clear, concise policies form the bedrock on which to build best practice and have the capacity to “inform, empower and protect”.
Soteria Safe Sleeping Advice has developed a number of tools to assist in this area including checklists for the sleeping space in centres and policy and procedure compliance.
Soteria Safe Sleeping Advice can visit your Centre to inspect your facilities and assist you with advice and recommendations, where required, to meet the standards now needed to ensure a safe sleeping environment.
Safe Sleeping Space Checklist
The checklist will cover various aspects of the environment in which you place children to sleep including adhering to Safe Sleeping recommendations, checking the products you use (e.g. cots, bedding) and the sleeping space itself.
Policy and Procedure Compliance Checklist
To assist child care centres meet their compliance obligations, Soteria Safe Sleeping Advice is developing a checklist which will cover the principles of a sound Safe Sleeping Policy and the procedures and processes that flow from that.
With compliance becoming more involved, Soteria Safe Sleeping Advice can provide support where difficulties or uncertainty in applying Safe Sleeping recommendations arise. For example, where cultural or other parental concerns may conflict with your obligation to follow the NQF, or you are considering purchasing new equipment and standards are unclear, we can offer guidance to inform your decisions.