1 Policy Statement 2.2.6

QUALITY AREA 2:

SLEEP AND REST

1 Policy Statement 2.2.6

Family day care educators will take reasonable steps to ensure the needs for sleep and rest of children are met, having regard to their age, developmental and individual needs. At Rainbow Bridge Family Day Care Pty Ltd, we believe all children deserve a restful time of quiet rejuvenation. Rest is seen as a wonderful time to revive, replenish, and reinvigorate our selves for the next part of the day. Children learn to self-regulate during this time, and have an opportunity to practice self-care. Sleeping during this time is not mandatory but is encouraged if the need is evident.

2 NQS


2.1.2 Each child’s comfort is provided for and there are appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation

2.1.3 Effective hygiene practices are promoted and implemented

2.3.1 Children are adequately supervised at all times

2.3.2 Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury

3.1.2 Premises, furniture, and equipment are safe, clean and well-maintained

3 National Regulations


Part 4.1 Children’s health and safety Division 1 – 81

Part 4.3 Physical environment Division 1 – 103, 105, 106, 110 Division 2 – 115

Part 4.7 Leadership and service management Division 1, subdivision 2 –166 Division 2 -168, 169 Division 3, subdivision 1 – 176

4 Service Goals

  • that children have a daily opportunity to rest/sleep/relax/rejuvenate as an essential component of good health but will not be forced to sleep
  • that children are protected and kept safe from harm during rest and sleep times
  • that equipment for rest and sleep including bedding and linen is sufficient as per the regulations

5 Related policies

Policy 2.2.3 Health and Hygiene

6 Supporting documents

WH16 HEALTH TEMPLATE Sleep and Rest Checklist RBFDC

WR8 RISK TEMPLATE Maintenance of Building and Equipment form RBFDC

E8 Residence and or venue assessment form RBFDC

7 Who is affected by this policy?

  • Approved provider and coordination unit staff
  • Educators
  • Educational Assistants and relief educators
  • Child

Updates to the Sleep and Rest Regulations and Law October 1st 2017

http://www.acecqa.gov.au/Safe-sleep-and-rest-practices

Decision RIS Summary Of Changes To The NQF

8.28 This proposal considered the introduction of sleep and rest policies and procedures for all approved providers.

  • Require approved providers to have in place policies and procedures about sleep and rest for children and infants.
  • This will be similar to the current policy and procedure requirements outlined in regulation 168(2).
  • Guidance on Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) will be developed for approved providers, nominated supervisors and educators.

Decision RIS reference – page 133-134

Updated Regulation 97   Emergency and evacuation procedures

(1)  The approved provider of an education and care service must take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs for sleep and rest of children being educated and cared for by the service are met, having regard to the ages, development stages and individual needs of the children .

Penalty: $1000.

(2)  A nominated supervisor of an education and care service must take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs for sleep and rest of children being educated and cared for by the service are met, having regard to the ages, development stages and individual needs of the children.

Penalty: $1000.

(3)  A family day care educator must take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs for sleep and rest of children being educated and cared for by the educator as part of a family day care service are met, having regard to the ages, development stages and individual needs of the children.

Penalty: $1000.

Approved Provider Compliance Responsibilities – Regulation 81 Sleep Rest

Documenting sleep and rest practice

As the approved provider, you must ensure that sleep and rest policies and procedures are in place at the service and applied in each residence and venue. This includes safe sleeping practices.

See our website for information on sleep and rest:

acecqa.gov.au/nqf-changes/information-sheets- and-resources

New fines exist for services if the following is not met: The needs for sleep and rest of children in attendance are met, with regard to the ages, development stages and individual needs of the children

$2000 for individuals, and $10000 in any other case.

The Operational Requirements section of the updated National Quality Standards

(http://files.acecqa.gov.au/files/NQF/Guide-to-the-NQF.pdf) October 2017 that guides Authorised officers when dealing with the service and approved provider suggests:

Sleeping children – page 373

  • The circumstance and needs of each child should be considered to determine any risk factors that may impact on the adequate supervision of sleeping children. For example, babies or children with colds or chronic lung disorders might require a higher level of supervision while sleeping.
  • Sleeping children should always be within sight and hearing distance so that educators can assess the child’s breathing and colour of their skin to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
  • Rooms that are very dark and have music playing may not support adequate supervision of sleeping children. Supervision windows should be kept clear and not painted over or covered with curtains or posters.
  • A family day care service should have an agreed and documented practice for the supervision of sleeping children, tailored to the unique layout and safety considerations of each family day care residence or venue as well as the ages and development stages of the children in care. For example, the service should ensure that children are not placed in the educator’s bedroom if they would have access to medication or other dangerous items.
  • For more information download the Guidance Note: Safe sleep and rest practices for early childhood education and care services available on the ACECQA website (www.acecqa.gov.au). Policies and procedures on sleep and rest must also be in place (see Sleep and rest, below).

Sleep and rest – page 377

  • The approved provider, nominated supervisor and family day care educator must take reasonable steps to ensure children’s needs for sleep and rest are met, having regard to each child’s age, developmental stages and needs.
  • The approved provider must ensure policies and procedures are in place in relation to sleep and rest practices for children and infants, based on current recommended evidence-based guidelines. Planned ‘rest periods’ for young children are often implemented at services, however, routines and the physical environment should also be flexible enough to support children who do not require a sleep and to ensure opportunities are provided for rest and relaxation throughout the day as needed.
  • Authorised officers may look for indications that sleepy children are offered an opportunity to rest, whether by sleeping or just sitting quietly. Where a planned rest period is implemented and not all children are sleeping, authorised officers may look to see if children who appear to be alert and restless are offered appropriate alternatives while others sleep.
  • The requirement to take reasonable steps to ensure children’s needs for sleep and rest are met does not mean children should be required to sleep. If an authorised officer has concerns about a service meeting children’s individual needs for sleep and rest, they may check whether policies and procedures are in place about sleep and rest (required under regulation 168).
  • Consideration should also be given to the hygienic handling of linen used in the provision of sleep and rest (including cushion covers).

More information

  • Visit the Red Nose website (www.rednose.com.au) for free safe sleeping resources or to purchase the Infant Safe Sleeping Child Care Kit for early childhood education and care services, to inform the development of sleep and rest policies and procedures.
  • For more information about recommended evidence-based guidelines, and developing sleep and rest policies and procedures, refer to the Guidance Note: Safe sleep and rest practices for early childhood education and care services available on the ACECQA website (www.acecqa.gov.au).

Acecqa Summary of Changes

http://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf-changes/summary-of-changes

Other matters – Introduction of sleep and rest policies and procedures

Require approved providers to have in place policies and procedures about sleep and rest for children and infants.

This will be similar to the current policy and procedure requirements outlined in regulation 168(2).

Read guidance on safe sleep and rest practices and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Requirements FDC Providers

Documenting sleep and rest practice As the approved provider, you must ensure that sleep and rest policies and procedures are in place at the service and applied in each residence and venue. This includes safe sleeping practices. See our website for information on sleep and rest: http://acecqa.gov.au/nqf-changes/information-sheetsand-resources

Why is the requirement in place

An inquest into the death of Indianna Rose Hicks in 2012 found Indianna, who was five months old when she died suddenly and unexpectedly while in care, died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

A recommendation was made via the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on proposed options for changes to the National Quality Framework (NQF), that Regulation 168 in the National Regulations, ‘Education and care service must have policies and procedures’ be amended to include a requirement for a policy on ‘Sleep and rest for children and infants’, including matters set out in Regulation 81 (Sleep and rest).

Principles to inform procedures 

The following principles may inform sleep and rest policies and procedures at your service.

  • Effective sleep and rest strategies are important factors in ensuring a child feels secure and is safe at a service.
  • Approved providers, nominated supervisors and educators have a duty of care to ensure children are provided with a high level of safety when sleeping and resting and every reasonable precaution is taken to protect them from harm and hazard.
  • Approved providers are responsible for ensuring sleep and rest policies and procedures are in place.
  • Policies and procedures should be based on current research and recommended evidence-based principles and guidelines. Red Nose (formerly SIDS and Kids) is considered the recognised national authority on safe sleeping practices for infants and children.
  • Regularly review and update sleep and rest policies and procedures to ensure they are maintained in line with best practice principles and guidelines.
  • Nominated supervisors and educators should receive information and training to fulfil their roles effectively, including being made aware of the sleep and rest policies, their responsibilities in implementing these, and any changes that are made over time.
  • Services should consult with families about their child’s individual needs and be sensitive to different values and parenting beliefs, cultural or otherwise, associated with sleep and rest.

If a family’s beliefs and requests are in conflict with current recommended evidence-based guidelines, the service will need to determine if there are exceptional circumstances that allow for alternate practices. For example, with some rare medical conditions, it may be necessary for a baby to sleep on his or her stomach or side, which is contrary to Red Nose recommendations. It is expected that in this scenario the service would only endorse the practice, with the written support of the baby’s medical practitioner. The service may also consider undertaking a risk assessment and implementing risk minimisation plans for the baby.

In other circumstances, nominated supervisors and educators would not be expected to endorse practices requested by a family, if they differ with Red Nose recommendations. For example, a parent may request the service wrap or swaddle their baby while they are sleeping. However, according to Red Nose recommendations, this practice should be discontinued when a baby starts showing signs that they can begin to roll (usually around four to six months of age, but sometimes earlier). Nominated supervisors and educators should be confident to refer to the service’s Sleep and Rest Policies and Procedures if parents make requests that are contrary to the safety of the child. Child safety should always be the first priority.

  • Children have different sleep, rest and relaxation needs. Children of the same age can have different sleep patterns, which nominated supervisors and educators need to consider within the service. As per Standard 2.1 (element 2.1.2) of the National Quality Standard, each child’s comfort must be provided for and there must be appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s sleep, rest and relaxation needs.
  • Services providing overnight care may need to develop sleep and rest policies and procedures specific to this type of care (or incorporate overnight care into overarching policies and procedures), as overnight practices will differ to those used during the day. Policies and procedures should consider: the physical safety of the child’s sleeping environment; plans for the supervision of the child while they are sleeping, including how they will be monitored during the night; access of the child to other parts of the house during the night; access of other people to the child’s sleeping environment and night time emergency evacuation plans (e.g. in the case of a fire, intruder etc).

Current recommended evidence-based practices – safe sleep and rest practices

Children of all ages
Children should sleep and rest with their face uncovered. A quiet place should be designated for rest and sleep, away from interactive groups. If designated for rest, the space should allow for a calm play experience. Children’s sleep and rest environments should be free from cigarette or tobacco smoke. Sleep and rest environments and equipment should be safe and free from hazards. Supervision planning and the placement of educators across a service should ensure educators are able to adequately supervise sleeping and resting children. Educators should closely monitor sleeping and resting children and the sleep and rest environments. This involves checking/inspecting sleeping children at regular intervals, and ensuring they are always within sight and hearing distance of sleeping and resting children so that they can assess a child’s breathing and the colour of their skin. Service providers should consider the risk for each individual child, and tailor Sleep and Rest Policies and Procedures (including the frequency of checks/inspections of children) to reflect the levels of risk identified for children at the service. Factors to be considered include the age of the child, medical conditions, individual needs and history of health and/or sleep issues.
Babies and toddlers
Babies should be placed on their back to sleep when first being settled. Once a baby has been observed to repeatedly roll from back to front and back again on their own, they can be left to find their own preferred sleep or rest position (this is usually around 5–6 months of age). Babies aged younger than 5–6 months, and who have not been observed to repeatedly roll from back to front and back again on their own, should be re-positioned onto their back when they roll onto their front or side. If a medical condition exists that prevents a baby from being placed on their back, the alternative practice should be confirmed in writing with the service, by the child’s medical practitioner. Babies over four months of age can generally turn over in a cot. When a baby is placed to sleep, educators should check that any bedding is tucked in secure and is not loose. Babies of this age may be placed in a safe baby sleeping bag (i.e. with fitted neck and arm holes, but no hood).At no time should a baby’s face or head be covered (i.e. with linen). To prevent a baby from wriggling down under bed linen, they should be positioned with their feet at the bottom of the cot. If a baby is wrapped when sleeping, consider the baby’s stage of development. Leave their arms free once the startle reflex disappears at around three months of age, and discontinue the use of a wrap when the baby can roll from back to tummy to back again (usually four to six months of age). Use only lightweight wraps such as cotton or muslin. Visit the Red Nose website to download an information statement – Wrapping Babies https://rednose.com.au/article/wrapping-babies and the brochure – Safe Wrapping https://rednose.com.au/resources/education for more information. If being used, a dummy should be offered for all sleep periods. Dummy use should be phased out by the end of the first year of a baby’s life. If a dummy falls out of a baby’s mouth during sleep, it should not be re-inserted. Babies or young children should not be moved out of a cot into a bed too early; they should also not be kept in a cot for too long. When a young child is observed attempting to climb out of a cot, and looking like they might succeed, it is time to move them out of a cot. This usually occurs when a toddler is between 2 and 3 ½ years of age, but could be as early as 18 months. Download the brochure – Cot to bed safety: When to move your child out of a cot https://rednose.com.au/resources/education for more information. 

Safe environments and equipment

Safe cots

All cots sold in Australia must meet the current mandatory Australian Standard for Cots (AS/NZS 2172), and should carry a label to indicate this.
All portable cots sold in Australia must meet the current mandatory Australian Standard for children’s portable folding cots, AS/NZS 2195, and should carry a label to indicate this.
Cots used at a service should meet current standards. Download the guide to infant and nursery products publication – Keeping Baby Safe – for more information from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website.
Bassinets, hammocks and prams/strollers do not carry safety codes for sleep. Babies should not be left in a bassinet, hammock or pram/stroller to sleep, as these are not safe substitutes for a cot.

Safe cot mattresses

Mattresses should be in good condition; they should be clean, firm and flat, and fit the cot base with not more than a 20mm gap between the mattress sides and ends. A firm sleep surface that is compliant with the new AS/NZS Voluntary Standard (AS/NZS 8811.1:2013 Methods of testing infant products – Sleep surfaces – Test for firmness) should be used.
Mattresses should not be elevated or tilted. Testing by hand is not recommended as accurate in assessing compliance with the AS/NZ Standard. For information on testing adequate mattress firmness, watch this video or refer to written instructions
Remove any plastic packaging from mattresses.
Ensure waterproof mattress protectors are strong, not torn, and a tight fit.
In portable cots, use the firm, clean and well-fitting mattress that is supplied with the portable cot. Do not add any additional padding under or over the mattress or an additional mattress.

Safe bedding

Light bedding is the preferred option; it should be tucked in to the mattress to prevent the child from pulling bed linen over their head.
Remove pillows, doonas, loose bedding or fabric, lambs wool, bumpers and soft toys from cots.
Soft and/or puffy bedding in cots is not necessary and may obstruct a child’s breathing. Download the information statements – Pillow UseSoft Toys in the Cot and Bedding Amount Recommended for Safe Sleep – for more information on the Red Nose website.

Safe placement

Ensure a safety check of sleep and rest environments is undertaken on a regular basis.
If hazards are identified, lodge a report as instructed in the service’s policies and procedures for the maintenance of a child safe environment.
Ensure hanging cords or strings from blinds, curtains, mobiles or electrical devices are away from cots and mattresses.
Keep heaters and electrical appliances away from cots.
Do not use electric blankets, hot water bottles and wheat bags in cots.
Do not place anything (e.g. amber teething necklaces) around the neck of a sleeping child. The use of teething bracelets (e.g. amber teething bracelets) is also not recommended while a child sleeps.

Meeting children’s sleep, rest and relaxation needs

Individual children

Ensure that children who do not wish to sleep are provided with alternative quiet activities and experiences, while those children who do wish to sleep are allowed to do so, without being disrupted. If a child requests a rest, or if they are showing clear signs of tiredness, regardless of the time of day, there should be a comfortable, safe area available for them to rest (if required). It is important that opportunities for rest and relaxation, as well as sleep, are provided.
Consider that there are a range of strategies that can be used to meet children’s individual sleep and rest needs.
Look for and respond to children’s cues for sleep (e.g. yawning, rubbing eyes, disengagement from activities, crying, decreased ability to regulate behaviour and seeking comfort from adults).
Avoid using settling and rest practices as a behaviour guidance strategy because children can begin to relate the sleep and rest environment, which should be calm and secure, as a disciplinary setting.
Minimise any distress or discomfort.
Acknowledge children’s emotions, feelings and fears.
Understand that younger children (especially those aged 0–3 years) settle confidently when they have formed bonds with familiar carers.
Ensure that the physical environment is safe and conducive to sleep. This means providing quiet, well-ventilated and comfortable sleeping spaces. Wherever viewing windows are used, all children should be visible to supervising educators.

Please see Safe Sleeping Attachments 1,2,3 & 4 from Red Nose that go hand in hand with this policy.

8 Strategy and Procedures:

Sleep and Rest

  • The approved provider and coordination unit staff will ensure that a family day care educator must take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs for sleep and rest of children being educated and cared for by the educator as part of a family day care service are met, having regard to the ages, development stages and individual needs of the children.
  • The family day care educator will consult with parents of children in care as to their individual sleep/rest requirements, family culture and values that are associated with rest
  • As appropriate, educators will encourage gently children to sleep in order to meet their development and at the time that best suits their needs using strategies such as darkening the room, setting the mood, singing lullabies, sectioning off rest areas from play areas etc.
  • Effective rest and sleep strategies are important factors in ensuring a child1 feels secure and safe in a child care environment
  • No child will be forced to sleep during rest times; children who do not wish to sleep will rest quietly or be offered alternative activities such as reading or puzzles.
  • The service’s Rest and Sleep Policy is based on recommendations from the recognised national authority, SIDS & Kids.
  • If a family’s beliefs and practices are in conflict with this, then the service will not endorse an alternative practice, unless the service is provided with written advice from a medical practitioner.

For example, only in rare medical conditions is it necessary for a baby to sleep on its stomach or side. The service will only endorse this practice if the baby’s medical practitioner supports the alternative sleeping practice in writing with sound medical reasons.

  • The service defines ‘rest’ as a period of inactivity, solitude, calmness or tranquility, and can include a child being in a state of sleep.

By defining the term ‘rest’ in the policy statement, services can accommodate the rest needs of a child regardless of their age. This may assist outside school hours care services when developing policies and procedures on rest for school age children.

  • Each service will detail the resting times of the day for children. For example, the service may encourage flexible resting period for babies while toddlers and preschool children may have a scheduled time of the day when rest time occurs (for example, after lunch).
  • The educator has a duty of care to ensure that all children are provided with a high level of safety when resting or sleeping while in care.
  • It is understood, by service staff, educators, assistants, relief educators, children and families, that there is a shared responsibility between the service and other stakeholders to ensure that the Rest and Sleep Policy and procedures are accepted as a high priority.
  • In meeting the service’s duty of care, it is a requirement that the coordination unit and educators implement and adhere to the service’s Rest and Sleep Policy.

The rest/sleep environment aesthetics

  • Educators are encouraged to demonstrate high levels of ‘care of the child’, especially with regard to the sleep rest rhythm.
  • Educators will be encouraged to use their voice to sing quietly, play real harmonious music (eg glockenspiel) in preference over recorded sound, to find way/s to encourage children toward rest/sleep time such as using a lavender facewash, a ‘hush brush’ feet dust off using a soft bristled brush, or gentle back or shoulder massages (with verbal permission of child necessary).
  • Educators may share a special story chosen with regard to mood they wish to create or imaginative pictures they wish to foster(eg The Enchanted Forest by Enid Blyton, Pippi Longstocking, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory etc.)
  • Educators will complete the ‘Care of the Child’ foundation training which will support their ability to create peaceful and aesthetically pleasing environments for sleep with regard to ‘lowering or deleting the ‘white noise’ in the space, room colours, what is on the walls that may be distracting, choices of bedding (materials, colours etc), room set up, bedding set up, the sleep space (toys out of sight etc) and the mood of the educator as a factor in the imitative phase and more.

Provision and maintenance of rest and sleep equipment

  • Every day, the service will conduct a safety check of the resting environments, equipment and/or aids. If educators identify any hazards they will complete a Maintenance of Building and Equipment form and document their actions to remedy the problem/s within a reasonable timeframe as instructed in the Child Safety and Supervision policy.
  • Hanging cords or strings from blinds, curtains, mobiles or electrical appliances must be tied away from cots or mattresses to prevent a child from choking or hanging.
  • The service does not permit the use of hot water bottles, electric blankets or heated wheat bags in children’s cots or on mattresses. These items present a risk of children either being scalded or developing hyperthermia (overheating).
  • If children are allowed to rest outdoors, the service may decide to identify how they will maintain a safe environment for children when resting.

Sleep and rest equipment hygiene.

  • The approved provider and educators will ensure that all equipment and furniture used in providing rest or sleep are safe, clean and in good repair. (reg 103)
  • Every day, the babies’ cots and resting mattresses/beds are cleaned and wiped down with natural cleaners (non-chemical). Cots and bedding are aired weekly and laid in the sun for a time.
  • Each child has their own bed linen.
  • Bed linen is supplied and washed by the child’s family each fortnight.
  • Other resting materials or aids, such as cushions, will be cleaned as needed. (eg washed in the machine every fortnight and sundried)

Sleep strategies

The primary safe resting and sleeping practices for children in care at this service are:

  • All children will be placed on their back to rest when first being settled for a rest. If a child turns onto their side or stomach during sleep, then allow them to find their own sleeping position.
  • All children will rest with their face uncovered.
  • Children’s rest environments are free from cigarette or tobacco smoke as detailed in the service’s Health and Hygiene Policy. (See policy 2.2.3)
  • The rest environment, equipment and materials will be safe and free from hazards as detailed in the service’s Child Safety and Supervision policy (see policy 2.3.1)
  • Educators will monitor resting children at regular intervals and supervise the rest environment as per licensing regulations/best practice standards.

Safe resting practices for babies

For the purpose of this policy, a baby is defined as a child aged from birth to 24 months.

  • Babies will be placed on their back to rest.
  • If a medical condition exists that prevents a child from being placed on their back, the alternative resting practice must be directed in writing by the child’s medical practitioner on a Medical Emergency Action plan.
  • If older babies turn over during their sleep, allow them to find their own sleeping position, but always lay them on their back when first placing them to rest.
  • At no time will a baby’s face be covered with bed linen.
  • To prevent a baby from wriggling down under bed linen, they will be placed with their feet closest to the bottom end of the cot.
  • Quilts and duvets will not be used as bed linen. Pillows, lamb’s wool and cot bumpers are not allowed. Educators must ensure soft toys are monitored.
  • Light bedding is the preferred option, which must be tucked in to prevent the baby from pulling bed linen over their head.
  • Sleeping bags with a fitted neck and arm holes are an alternative option to bed linen and encourage a baby to rest on their back. Sleeping bags should not have a hood.

Safe resting practices for toddlers

For the purpose of this policy, a toddler is defined as a child aged from eighteen months to three years.

  • Toddlers will be placed on their back to rest, unless otherwise directed in writing by the child’s medical practitioner.
  • If toddlers turn over during their sleep, allow them to find their own sleeping position, but always lay them on their back when first placing them to rest.
  • At no time will a toddler’s face be covered with bed linen.
  • If using a cot, toddlers will be placed with their feet closest to the bottom end of the cot to prevent them from wriggling down under bed linen.
  • Quilts and duvets will not be used to cover toddlers in a cot or on a mattress. Pillows, lambs wool and cot bumpers are not recommended. Educators must ensure soft toys are monitored.
  • Light bedding is the preferred option, which must be tucked in to prevent the toddler from pulling bed linen over their face.
  • Sleeping bags with a fitted neck and arm holes are an alternative option to bed linen and encourage a toddler to rest on their back. If parents request tocontinue using the sleeping bag option when the toddler rests on a mattress, then the service will comply.
  • Quiet experiences may be offered to those toddlers who do not fall asleep.

Safe resting practices for preschool children

A preschool child can be aged from three years to the child’s formal year of pre-primary school.

  • Preschool children will be placed on their back to rest. If they turn over during their sleep, allow them to find their own sleeping position but always ask them to lay on their back when first placing them to rest.
  • At no time will a preschooler’s face be covered with bed linen when they are sleeping.
  • Light bedding is the preferred option.
  • Quiet experiences may be offered to preschoolers who do not fall asleep.

Safe resting practices for school age children

A school age child attends primary or secondary school.

  • If a school age child requests a rest then there is a designated area for the child to be inactive and calm, away from the main group of children.
  • The designated rest area may be a cushion, mat or seat in a quiet section of the care environment.
  • Quiet, solitary play experiences are available for those school age children who request the need for a rest or time away from their peers.
  • Safe resting practices are relevant to school age children because, if they are resting or sleeping they should be monitored at regular intervals and a school aged child’s face should be uncovered when they are sleeping.
  • Light bedding is the preferred option.

Safe resting practices for a child who is unwell

Refer to the service’s policies. See policy 2.2.12 Medical Incidents, injury, trauma and illness; 2.2.14 Administration of First Aid, and 2.3.1 Child Safety and Supervision- Indoor and Outdoor Environments policies for additional information.

  • A child will be placed on their back to rest when displaying signs of being unwell. If a child turns onto their side or stomach during sleep, then allow them to find their own sleeping position.
  • All children will rest with their face uncovered.
  • Children who are unwell will be given the highest supervision priority and monitored constantly especially if the child has: a high temperature, vomited or received minor trauma to their head. For example, a baby who is crawling topples over and bumps their head or a ten year old who receives a blow to the head while playing sport.

Protective behaviours and practices

Supervision of resting children

  • Children are not to be left alone with visitors during sleep or rest time (reg 166) Students or volunteers will not be left unsupervised when settling children for a rest.
  • All children who are resting will be supervised by the educator.
  • All children who have fallen asleep in the service will be monitored regularly with specific attention to breathing patterns.
  • Adults will not rest or sleep in same environment as a child or group of children.
  • The educator regularly checks the rest environment for children aged from 0-2, 2-3, 3-5 years every 10-15 minutes. Educators observe the following and note it on the sleep chart:
  1. the position of each child’s body in their cot/on their mattress;
  2. each child’s breathing rate. If a child is not breathing then the

educator will commence the service’s first aid plan for a non-breathing child;

  1. the arrangement of bed linen. If a child’s face is covered, the

educator will immediately uncover the child’s face; and

  1. the environment. Educators will monitor the temperature, the

security of each cot (for example, are the sides of the cot up and/or locked) and environment safety (for example, location of heaters or hanging cords near cots).

First aid plan for a non-breathing child

  1. Commence (D)RABC
  2. Call for help via mobile phone
  3. Continue with CPR until emergency services arrive.

Settling children for rest

  • The techniques and strategies for settling children before and during a rest period are varied and may be influenced by the service’s philosophy, the professional values of the educator and current best practice. The techniques and strategies for settling a child/children for rest may reflect the:
  1. individual needs of the child or group of children;
  2. parenting beliefs and values of families accessing the service;
  3. professional philosophy, knowledge and experience of staff/carers;
  4. cultural and religious practices;
  5. frequency of days that the child attends care;
  6. circumstances or events happening at home;
  7. consistency of practices between home and care;
  8. child’s general health and wellbeing;
  9. status or condition of the rest environment; and
  10. use of comforters or resting aids (including dummies and security blankets).
  • There is no definitive recognised authority for settling practices for resting children. However, there are general best practice standards. When considering settling procedures for resting children, it is important for educators to:
  1. meet the individual needs of children;
  2. maintain health and safety practices;
  3. minimise any distress or discomfort;
  4. acknowledge children’s emotions, feelings and fears;
  5. avoid using settling and resting practices as a behaviour guidance strategy because the child begins to relate the rest environment, which should be calm and secure, as a disciplinary setting; and
  6. understand that young children (especially from 0 to 3 years of age) settle confidently when they have formed bonds with familiar and trusted staff/educators. Services should prioritise their staffing needs with individuals who are familiar with the young children in care before using relief staff whom children may not know.

Sleeping Guidelines

  • All new and second hand cots sold in Australia must meet the Australian Standards for Cots and be labelled AS 2172. Cots that are not labelled with the Australian Standards will not be used by the service.
  • Portable cots will comply with Australian Safety Standard (AS 2195).
  • When using cots or portable cots, ensure the sides are fully locked into place and secure
  1. Check mechanisms regularly for wear.
  2. Use the cot mattress provided. Ill-fitting mattresses may create spaces where a small baby may be trapped.
  3. Stop using the portable cot when the child weighs more than 15 kg.
  4. Place the portable cot away from potential hazards.
  5. Check that latches are securely locked before use.
  6. Staff/carers will ensure that a portacot is placed in an area that is a safe distance from heaters, electrical appliances and hanging cords or string.
  7. Only the supplied portacot mattress will be used in a portacot.
  8. Staff/carers will not place an extra mattress or padding under or over the manufacturer’s portacot mattress.
  9. Staff/carers will report any hazards as detailed in the service’s Maintenance of Building and Equipment Policy.
  • Check regularly for:
  1. Tears in vinyl and loose fabric;
  2. Broken locks and tears that could cause the cot to collapse.
  3. Loose or broken parts
  4. peeling, cracking paint or splintered wood; and
  5. any design flaw that reduces the safety of the cot. For example, missing or broken safety latches to sides.

Note: Staff/carers should assess whether older babies or toddlers have the ability to climb over the sides of a cot as this presents a safety risk.

Behaviour

  • Children will be provided with clean and safe individual beds and bedding (reg 105)
  • Children’s bedding will be stored individually and maintained in a hygienic manner.
  • Children shall never be humiliated or shown negativity through voice or actions when soiling or wetting their bed. Nor shall they be forced to wear nappies to bed for the ease of others.
  • Family and cultural differences shall be taken into consideration and respected regarding sleeping arrangements.
  • When sleeping at the family day care residence, a child shall be under the supervision of the family day care educator and have access to the educator at all times.
  • The area in which the children sleep shall be in the part of the home which has been assessed and approved for family day care.

Critical Information and Reporting

  • The family day care service shall provide family day care educators with up to date information from recognised safety authorities on the selection and use of cots, beds and information from recognised safety authorities on the selection and use of cots, beds and bedding.
  •  in the event of the death of a child (eg cot death), a notice must be provided to the regulatory authority

(i) as soon as practicable but within 24 hours of the death, or the time that the person becomes aware of the death; and

(ii)  in the case of any other serious incident, within 24 hours of the incident or the time that the person becomes aware of the incident (reg 176)

9 Responsible Practice:

The Service Provider:

  • will ensure compliance with regulations at initial home-visit, and will update the service checklist regularly
  • require that educators inform the service when new equipment is purchased and put in place so the coordinator can confirm compliance at next regular visit

Educators and staff members:

  • will ensure sleeping guidelines are met for the safety of all children

Parents or authorised nominees:

  • will provide a set of clean sheets, and a blanket for winter. These will be sent home on a regular basis (fortnightly) for washing. All sleeping paraphernalia will be stored in individually named bags to meet hygiene standards.

10 References:

Education and Care Services National Regulations 2012

Children (Education and Care Services National Law Application) Act 2010

Early Years Learning Framework

National Quality Standards

Australian/New Zealand Safety Standard (AS/NZS 2172 Cots for Household Use

2010)

http://www.sidsandkids.org/safe-sleeping/

11 Review

This policy will be reviewed annually. Reviews will be conducted by

  • Management
  • Educators & Employees
  • Families
  • Interested parties

12 Version Control Table

Hard copies of this document are considered uncontrolled. Please refer to the website for latest version. The policy was developed to comply with the new Education and Care Services National Regulations and the National Quality Standards.

Version control Date released Next review Approved by Amendment
1 January 2014 January 2015 Amber Greene
2 December 2015 December 2016 Amber Greene










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