Safe Sleep

This week is Safe Sleep Week where Red Nose Australia raises a National Awareness Campaign to help save little lives while providing practical advice to parents and caregivers to help reduce the risk of sudden and unexpected death in infancy (including SIDS and fatal sleep accidents).  Red Nose Australia is exploring their Six Safe Sleep recommendations this week across their social media channels and website.

The Six Safe Sleep Recommendations are:

  1. Place bub on their back, no need for them to sleep on their tummy or side.
  2. Keep bub’s head and face uncovered. Covering bub’s face or head with clothing like hats or headbands actually increases the risk of sudden infant death.
  3. Keep your bub smoke-free before and after birth. Having a smoke-free home and a smoke-free family is the best way to protect bub’s breathing.
  4. Safe sleeping environment for bub all day and all night. A good firm, clean and flat mattress in a safe cot is best. No need for blankets, soft bedding, toys, pillows or bumpers in the cot.
  5. Sleep bub in your room for the first 6-12 months.
  6. Breastfead bub is better.

Red Nose Australia will be running a Safe Sleep Forum for Parents on Wednesday 9th of March at 7.30pm AEDT.  The forum will cover

  • setting up a safe (but stylish) sleep space,
  • milestones to look out for with your bub,
  • and give you tips to help you see what products are useful, and what to avoid!

There will be a recording available for Health professionals regarding the Six Safe Sleep steps and will discuss the importance of language and how best to communicate to a range of culturally diverse audiences.  Check the Red Nose Australia website to register and for further information.

Childcare Centre Desktop have a comprehensive resource library which includes Safe Sleep resources.

Our Sleep and Rest Policy assists management and educators ensure that all children have appropriate opportunities to sleep, rest and relax in accordance with their individual needs. Our policy sets out quality practice and is informed by recognised and evidence-based principles. Safe Sleep practices are informed by Red Nose and guidance from ACEQCA.

Location: Childcare Policies » Quality Area 2

A Safe Sleep Audit Risk Assessment Action Plan is available as a template to ensure safe sleeping practices are implemented for all children.

Location: Compliance » Children’s Health and Safety

A Safe Sleep Audit is available as a template to maintain effective sleep and rest strategies, ensuring children’s individual sleep and rest needs are met in line with recognised safe sleeping practices.

Location: Childcare Forms » Audits

A Safe Sleep Record template is available to document physical checks that occur while children are sleeping

Location: Childcare Forms » Forms Templates

Managing a positive case of Covid-19 in ECEC settings

There has been a significant increase in transmission of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in all states and territories over the past few weeks. With ECEC services ready to reopen their doors to children this week, and OSHC services operating for vacation care, management will be wanting to know what risk-based strategies to implement to limit the spread of COVID and know how to manage close contacts and positive cases.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) notes that the current and expected future high caseloads of COVID-19 will necessitate a change in public health actions and policies and processes for testing, tracing, isolating and quarantining to support ‘public health sustainability, social cohesion and economic recovery’. (AHPPC- 30 December 2021.)

Our COVID-19 Management Policy outlines various strategies and procedures implemented within the service to mitigate the risk of transmission of the virus. Strategies such as handwashing, wearing of face masks, vigilant cleaning, social distancing, reducing visitors to the service and ensuring all staff and visitors are vaccinated remain valid.

What is complicated and state specific however is how to manage a positive case of COVID-19 within your service. Key points are listed below, however management should contact their state/territory regulatory authority or Public Health Office for specific guidelines on a daily/weekly basis and make adjustments to their policy as required. Ensure you communicate any changes to your families and keep accurate records of all children, staff and visitors to assist in notifying close contacts when required.

We are all aware public health resources are strained at the moment regarding identification of positive cases through PCR testing and availability of rapid antigen tests. Hopefully rapid tests will be more available in the coming weeks and assist your service manage the Omicron variant of COVID-19.


The new national definition of a COVID close contact is: a person who has spent four hours or more with a confirmed case in a household or ‘household-like’ setting. (30 December 2021).

Within an ECEC setting some states are suggesting a close contact is any person who was indoors in the centre at the same time as the case during their infectious period for more than 15 minutes. (NSW, SA).

In Victoria, any person who has spent time with a positive case (during their infectious period) on site at an ECEC service will be referred to as an ‘education contact’.


The isolation period for COVID-19 is now 7 days regardless of vaccination status. Release from isolation if PCR and/or Day 6 Rapid Antigen Test is negative

Northern Territory- Positive COVID-19 cases must be in self-isolation for 14 days


Any person who tests positive to COVID-19 must inform their workplace/employer and early childcare facility as soon as possible. If a parent or carer attended the ECEC service while infectious they must inform the service. All close contacts must get a PCR test if they have symptoms and are strongly recommended to use daily RAT for 5 days if they don’t have symptoms.

Public Health units MAY NOT contact individual people if they are deemed a close contact any longer.

The person with COVID-19 is asked to tell people they have spent time with from 2 days before they started having symptoms or tested positive (whichever came first).


When you get a positive case in your service, you must lodge a 101- health emergency notification in NQA-IT Systemwithin 24 hours.


If any person has COVID-19 symptoms they should have a standard PCR test performed at a testing clinic to confirm they have COVID-19.

Rapid antigen tests are a quick way to detect COVID-19. If the RAT has a positive result, the person should get a standard PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

RATs can be used for children over the age of 2.


VICTORIA Managing a confirmed case of COVID-19 in early childhood education and care services
NSW Managing COVID cases
QUEENSLAND Managing a confirmed case of COVID-19

Cleaning after a COVID-19 case

SOUTH AUSTRALIA Managing a confirmed case of COVID-19

Education and Care Services

WESTERN AUSTRALIA COVID-19 Department of Education
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY Managing a confirmed case of COVID-19 in education and care services



Childcare Centre Desktop completes restructure as new strategic investor prepares to rapidly innovate

Childcare Centre Desktop, the online resource library focused on early childhood education and care (ECEC) documentation that supports services meet their operational and compliance responsibilities, has confirmed the completion of a restructure that will see majority ownership transfer to a new strategic investor as it lays the foundation for a new frontier in childcare software.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Sam Benjamin and Debbie Nerio as the new majority owners of the Childcare Centre Desktop family. Between them they bring an extraordinary amount of childcare experience as well as a digital capability that is second to none,” Mark Evans, founder and CEO of Childcare Desktop said.

To read the whole article follow this link to The Sector

Child Safe Standards Scheme – NSW

The Child Safe Standards Scheme was passed by NSW Parliament on 10 November 2021.

Under the new Scheme, child-related organisations including education and early childhood, will be required to implement the 10 Child Safe Standards. Under the legislation, the Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) has more power to monitor and investigate how organisations implement the Child Safe Standards to support the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

To assist services implement the Child Safe Standards, the NSW Regulatory Authority in consultation with the OCG released a Guide to the Child Safe Standards in August.

The Childcare Centre Desktop has been working towards a national commitment to the Child Safe Standards when reviewing and developing policies and resources over the past 12-18 months. We also developed a Child Safe Standards NSW Checklist to assist services audit and check current policies and practices and provide points for critical reflection and discussion.

Find this resource in Audits & Checklist Library. Quality Area 2. Child Safe Standards NSW Checklist or search using the search tool. If you are not a member of the Desktop follow this link for more information.

For more information about the legislation go to:


Policy Review Routine

All tasks associated with the accuracy, relevance and delivery of your childcare service policies takes time…and a decent chunk of your sanity.

It’s one of those critical responsibilities that must be embraced – but – a multitude of priorities can get in the way of good planning so we provide our members with a monthly policy review routine.

Here’s how it all works…

If you have just joined you’ll see that every policy within our library has been reviewed and updated during the previous year. We track this via a Policy Review Calendar…

  1. A selection of policies is scheduled for review each month. (As per the Policy Review Calendar)
  2. A regulation change or recommended best practice will jump the queue.
  3. During the first week of each month we research, review and update the documents.
  4. Any changes are highlighted in yellow and deletions contain a strike-through.
  5. We send you an email which shows which policies have been reviewed and uploaded.
  6. You can then retrieve the related policies, make any adjustments of your own and efficiently complete your review.

Each year this gives us a planned opportunity to consider the structure and content of each document but most importantly guarantees you a current and effective policy library.

Reconciliation Week 2020

Reconciliation Week 27 May- 3 June 2020  

A key practice in the learning frameworks of early childhood education and care is the notion of cultural competence. This applies to all cultures within our services and particularly as one of our guiding principles from the Education and Care National Law, the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and achievements. All Australians are encouraged to reflect on the part they play on our journey towards achieving reconciliation in Australia.

Whilst it may not be possible to invite your families and community to come together to encourage awareness and learning about National Reconciliation Week, this doesn’t mean your service can’t get involved in a whole range of activities to support and celebrate Reconciliation.

This year’s theme is In This Together and 2020 marks the twentieth anniversary of the reconciliation walks of 2000.

Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians- as individuals, families, communities and importantly as a nation. Every one of us has a role to play when it comes to reconciliation and having a conversation is really important to understand what Reconciliation Week is all about.

The National launch is on Wednesday 27 May 2020 at 12pm with an Acknowledgement of Country.

Wherever your service is located, take time to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and pay your respects.        #InThisTogether2020      #NRW2020

Reconciliation Australia has some excellent suggestions for schools and early learning services to help children be get involved.

Ideas may include:

  • Create and conduct your own Acknowledgement of Country
  • Create actions for your Acknowledgement
  • Watch and discuss Play School: Acknowledgment of Country
  • Display Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags
  • Share books and scaffold discussions about the country described within these (Colours of Australia– Bronwyn Bancroft; Where the Forest Meets the Sea– Jeannie Baker)
  • Connect with your local Aboriginal land council or Elders group (perhaps even organise a zoom meeting)
  • Have a Yarn with colleagues about reconciliation
  • View samples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art
  • Hold a TED talk screening for your staff meeting told by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples
  • Reflect on your service’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) or begin your journey. See the Narragunnawali platform to assist in developing your plan.

Policies within the Childcare Centre Desktop library incorporating cultural competency include:

  • Anti-Bias and Inclusion Policy
  • Respect for Children Policy
  • Interactions with children, families and staff Policy
  • Non-English Speaking Background Policy
  • Celebrations Policy and
  • Multicultural Policy

Information for Early Childhood Education and Care Services Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Following the outbreak of a (new) coronavirus in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, China, confirmed cases of this disease have been recorded around the world including Australia.

The Australian Government has implemented strict public health guidelines to minimise the spread of this virus and to keep our communities safe.

The following information has been gathered from a range of sources to assist early childhood education and care services respond effectively to any possible outbreak.

Services are reminded to review their current policies and procedures related to:

  • Control of Infectious Diseases
  • Handwashing
  • Sick Children
  • Health and Safety

And, to ensure the practices within these resources are being followed.

Childcare Centre Desktop members can search for current policies and support documents within Quality Area 2 – Health and Safety

Communicate regularly with parents and families about hygiene procedures implemented within the service to ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of children, staff, families and visitors. Up-to-date information and recommendations are available from the Australian Government Department of Health. (see links below)

What is COVIC-19

Coronaviruses (COV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness from the common cold to more severe diseases including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The COVID-19 virus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The virus has rapidly spread from where it originated in China to other countries around the world.

Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • difficulty breathing

Spread of infection- COVID-19

The coronavirus is most likely to spread person to person through:

  • direct close contact with a person who while they are infectious
  • contaminated droplets from an infected person to other people who coughs or sneezes, or
  • touching objects or surfaces contaminated by an infectious person and then touching your mouth or face (door handles, tables).

How can we protect children and families in our service?

The best way to protect all children, staff, families and visitors to the service is to implement effective and strict hygiene and cleaning practices and urge families to closely monitor the health of their child and family.

Hand washing is a vital strategy in the prevention of spreading many infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Services should remind families of their Sick Children Policy and their responsibility to help prevent the spread of disease by monitoring their child’s health. If their child is unwell, they are requested to keep the child at home and avoid contact with others to reduce contamination.

If their child develops any of the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, they are to contact their GP immediately.

Hand washing procedures

To ensure the greatest level of personal hygiene, consider implementing a requirement that all parents, children and visitors to the service wash their hands as described below.

Upon arrival at the Service:

Please make sure you clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use the alcohol-based hand sanitiser as provided.

Dry hands with paper towels (supplied)

Dispose in contamination bin (supplied)

Upon leaving the Service:

Use the alcohol-based hand sanitiser for at least 20 seconds before leaving the Service.

Use of tissues

Ensure tissues are available in key locations within the Service.

Communicate coughing and sneezing techniques with children and families through the use of posters, newsletter items and modelling correct behaviours.

For example:

At all times, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a disposable tissue.

Dispose of the tissue in the contamination bin.

Do not store in a pocket or handbag.

Wash hands immediately.

Cleaning indoor and outdoor environment and resources

Ensure all staff adhere to the Health and Safety policy and procedure including the cleaning of toys and resources, handwashing, wearing gloves and appropriate handling and preparation of food.

Communication with families

Provide families with information about how your service is teaching hygiene procedures with children which may include:

  • effective hand washing before and after eating and after using the bathroom
  • cough and sneezing techniques using tissues or sneezing into their elbow
  • not sharing drinks and food with others
  • cleaning of resources and equipment with warm soapy water

Further information and resources

The Australian Government Department of Health are continually updating information about COVID-19 and have provided a range of information sheets for schools and early childhood centres, students and parents.

Check regularly for updates and guidance.

Many resources are available in Chinese and other languages to share with your families.

 Links to Australian Government Department of Health

Specific State and Territory Government Information





South Australia

Western Australia


Northern Territory

Fact sheets and posters

Posters for Handwashing

Australian Indigenous HealthInfonet

Wash your hands poster Victorian Health

How to Handrub? Health NSW

Using tissues

Cover your cough and sneeze poster Victorian Health

Prevent the spread of germs Health ACT


Australian Government Department of Health (2020), Coronavirus, viewed 27 February 2020 <>

NSW Health (2020), Coronavirus, viewed 27 February 2020:<>

National Health and Medical Research Council. (2012) (updated June 2013). Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services.

Priority of Access

Changes to the priority of access guidelines stated in the June 2019 Child Care Provider Handbook ONLY apply to approved providers of early learning and child care under the Family Assistance Law where services receive and pass on Child Care Subsidy payments to eligible families.

These original guidelines were attached to the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate schemes.

As part of the Universal Access National Partnership (UANP) agreement between the Commonwealth and States and Territories governments, child care services involved must adhere to priority of access guidelines. These guidelines differ from those previously outlined in the Child Care Benefit (CCB).

Priority of access for initiatives such as Start Strong in NSW require services to provide equal priority of access for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, indigenous children and children in outer regional, remote and very remote services.

Please refer to the Department of Education in your state or territory for further information about universal access to quality early childhood education programs and initiatives.


Your Regular Newsletter To Families Done For You

Our newsletter resource is the perfect ‘time smart’ solution to provide a relevant and informative publication to your families each month.

We’ve already researched and submitted 80% of the content for you, left space to submit service specific information and uploaded it to our newsletter library so you can download and publish at your convenience.

Each edition is professionally formatted in WORD. You can edit and add information at your convenience then save as a PDF for emailing or posting to your website.

Tick these five critical boxes using our newsletter resource and comply with 11 separate elements of the National Quality Standard

All inclusions in our newsletter resource are by design, not only to inform families but to help as a visual source of evidence for Assessors. Save hours every month, support compliance and increase family feedback.

Continuity in practice can be easily supported through documentation linking. Showing evidence of a recognised ‘issue’ and the suggested solutions in the Newsletter with the aim of prompting feedback, further suggestions and community engagement. I.E: car park safety or policy review

Archive a copy of each newsletter for the purposes of compliance. Record the links back to the NQF & NQS directly onto the copy to be filed.

Newsletters are a comprehensive communication tool. In saying this, it is important that the information is relevant and interesting. Seek feedback from families and staff on what they want, not necessarily what you think they need.

Make sure families have access to your newsletter. Make it easy for them to access and if necessary, put it under their noses but don’t fall into the trap of just placing it into a pocket or sleeve with an attitude of; “it’s up to them to look”. Regularly review and update your families ‘preferred method of communication’ list and see if they would prefer a hard copy or email.

Always keep evidence of any improvement within easy reach. It will confirm your commitment to ‘continuous improvement’ and an organic approach to compliance.



Child Care Subsidy confusion

No doubt you will have discovered there still remains some confusion over the mechanisms & final steps to implement the new childcare subsidy package. The finer details of the CWA and changes to third party software (CCMS) still need to be ironed out so we have opted to wait rather than provide you with inaccurate instructions and resource adjustments.


In the interim ensure that you have:

  1. Read the ‘New Child Care Package’ PDF from the Department of Education and Training (download – New Child Care Package)
  2. Ensure staff members are aware of the changes
  3. Communicate with families – keep them informed
  4. Contact your CCMS provider – where are they up to?

NOTE: as soon as we know that all mechanisms and steps have been confirmed we will then update our Enrolment Pack module and all related forms.


In July 2018 the new child care subsidy (CCS) will be implemented, replacing the Child Care Management System (CCMS) in Centre-based Day Care (CBDC) Services, which includes Long Day Care and Occasional Care Services. Outside School Horus Care (OSHC) Services, which includes Before School Care, After School Care and Vacation Care Services. Family Day Care Services (FDC) and In-Home Care (IHC) Services.

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will replace Child Care Rebate (CCR) and Child Care Benefit (CCB) and will be paid directly to the Service on behalf of families. Factors that determine a family’s level of Child Care Subsidy include: Combined Family Income, outcome of the family activity test and the service type. The activity test refers to the amount of work, training, study, volunteering or other recognised activity, paid and unpaid leave (parental leave), exceptions, casual/irregular hours of paid work. The activity test will determine the hours of activity families are entitled to.

Families will receive a letter from the Australian Department of Human Services explaining what the changes are and how they can claim the single means-tested Child Care Subsidy (CCS). Once Services receive their new CCS approval number, they can work with their childcare software provider to ensure their software is set up with the new Child Care Subsidy requirements.

The final stage of the Child Care Subsidy Transition will be to create new enrolments for each child who are in care from July 2018. New enrolments are required due to legislative changes to Child Care Subsidy payments. Software providers will be streamlining the enrolment process and can assist with enrolment activity.

There are 2 main types of Arrangements under the Child Care Subsidy legislation.

  • Complaint Written Arrangements (CWA) for eligible families claiming Child Care Subsidy
  • Relevant Arrangements (RA) for families who are not eligible or will not be claiming the Child Care Subsidy.

Compliant Written Arrangements is like the current ‘informal’ enrolment and can be modified to change Child Care Subsidy status at any time. CWAs need to be approved by families via the MyGov website before they are activated. Information required for Complying Written Arrangements (CWA) must contain the following

  • Child Name
  • Child Date of Birth
  • Child CRN
  • Start Date of Enrolment
  • Parent Name
  • Parent Date of Birth
  • Parent CRN
  • Notice Type
  • Enrolment Arrangement
  • Session Time
  • Fee’s per Session
  • Educators
  • Late Submission Reason
  • Signing Party

Moving forward with the Child Care Subsidy, Session Reports must be submitted within 14 days, and can only be amended up to 21 days from the end of the reporting week.