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



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:


Become a ‘time-smart’ childcare service

Tick these five critical boxes using our regular ‘do-it-with-you’ Newsletter to Families 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.

You could create a system of different coloured highlighters to support different Quality Areas for quick reference, again for Assessment & Rating and for you to be assured that your information is of high quality. Once you get in the habit of seeking outcomes, you’ll be surprised how many ‘boxes’ you are ticking each month!


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 organic compliance.