How ERO approaches health and safety during reviews in ECE

As part of each review, services attest that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements. Self-Audit Checklists cover key requirements in four areas: Curriculum, Premises and Facilities, Health and Safety Practices, and Governance, Management and Administration.

ERO looks in more depth at the service’s systems for managing areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • motional safety
  • physical safety
  • suitable suitability of staffing
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fires, earthquakes, and other emergencies.

In this evaluation, ERO was also interested in how services:

  • keep up to date with current and future regulations and laws
  • ensure staff know what they should be doing
  • review their accountabilities in relation to the regulations
  • use ERO’s resources, such as the Assurance Statement and Guidelines.

Sources of information

Many resources were used by services to keep up with new requirements, such as the Education Gazette, the Early Childhood Council website and other early childhood education websites. Around 80 percent of services used ERO’s Assurance Statement and Guidelines to support their management of children’s safety and wellbeing.

Many leaders of services not managing their responsibilities well were unaware of the resources and information available. Once introduced to these resources, many leaders expressed surprise at the amount of support and guidance that existed for services.

A small number of services in remote locations spoke of their isolation as a barrier for staff PLD, and for accessing cluster support. However, development of online resources and support provides alternative sources of information and support.