Safety First: For Happy, Confident Learners
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The health and wellbeing of every person at Guardian is precious. For everyone at Guardian, there is no greater responsibility than to care for the safety of children, families, and for other Team Members.
October is National Safe Work Month, with the theme of ‘Know safety, work safely’.
It all starts with thinking about safety, what it means for us, and how we can individually contribute. Throughout the month, we’re taking extra time to think about how we approach the safety and wellbeing of everyone at Guardian: children, families, Team Members, and our community.
Providing care and education for young children is an amazing privilege, and a huge responsibility. Beyond the fundamentals of safety, that everyone has a right to a safe workplace, we need to think about preventing harm and promoting the wellbeing of children.
We’re proud to be a Child Safe Organisation, which means we leave no stone unturned when it comes to developing and implementing ways improving safety and protecting children.
Guardian Team Members are all trained to appropriately manage the various situations that can arise in a childcare setting. And we have guidelines and policies to promote safety and wellbeing.
We believe that safety should be part of our culture. Part of how we think and act throughout the day. That starts with taking personal responsibility for health, safety, and wellbeing, and constantly reflecting on what we can each do to make our learning environments places that inspire confidence, friendship, security, and happiness.
Safety and learning
Safe workplaces are happy workplaces. Not only does a focus on safety prevent harm and injury, it supports how children learn. When a child feels safe and secure, we know they are more engaged and effective in their learning. Feeling safe also supports children as they become themselves, build confidence, and develop friendships.
For that reason, we extend our safety-first approach to not only protecting children, but to helping them learn how to be safe. We’ve developed a number of innovative tools to support children to think about safety and to take responsibility for themselves and others.
One of the ways we teach children how to be safe is by using simple words and phrases that supports them to understand what’s happening, be observant, and who to talk to if there’s something not right.
We invite them to draw pictures to show what they think could be done to make a situation safer. Like young detectives, they’re observing, thinking, and reporting what they see.
Through these fun experiences, they’ve not only learned to identify hazards, they’ve engaged their motor skills for drawing, developed thinking and problem-solving skills, and have the satisfaction of seeing their voice matters when they speak up.
Safety for life
A child’s safety and wellbeing can have lifelong impacts.
Imagine how a child feels when they know that their Centre is full of fun, and is a place where all children, including those that are vulnerable and from diverse backgrounds, feel safe. A place where their voices are heard and decisions are made that affect their lives in a positive way.
Embedding a safety-first culture at Guardian also includes having a Safety Champion at every Centre. Our Safety Champions are part of a national safety committee who meet regularly to discuss and discover ways to improve and promote safety for children, families, and teams.
This continues the cycle of thinking about safety, taking personal responsibility, and acting, which ultimately means that safety is part of our culture and everyday behaviour. A truly safety-first culture means children have an environment where safety, security, and wellbeing support them to be bold, curious, and creative in their learning.
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