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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 7 April 2011) . . Page.. 1558 ..


Mrs Dunne: It’s what the regulations say, Joy.

MS BURCH: The regulator of services needs to make sure that children are safe in their learning and development and are supported in education and shared services. The draft regulations do not include a prescriptive definition of children being separated. The outcome is the child is not removed or isolated from other children and staff on an ongoing basis. The regulations require that each child is given positive guidance and encouragement towards acceptable behaviour. I say also that the existing childcare services standards already address this issue within a behavioural guidance context.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what research underpins this regulation and its penalty consequences and will you table that research by the close of business today?

MS BURCH: It would be extensive research that underpins this new framework. This is education and care national law. The research underpinned the bill that was put through the Victorian government back in October. It underpins the bills that are being introduced in each state and territory. I would direct them to multiple websites. I will bring in a list of what I can. But if you want me to truck them in, I am not prepared to do that.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Members of the opposition, your colleague is seeking the floor. Mrs Dunne, you have a supplementary question.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what behavioural guidance context, as you referred to it, is used to determine behaviour management in childcare centres as they currently operate in the ACT, and are time-out provisions allowed?

MS BURCH: It is my understanding that within the current standards and what will be reflected in the new standards is that the services here maintain their compliance with the standards by not isolating children as a strategy to manage children’s behaviours. Children are in services to interact with other children, and early childhood professionals and good practice mean that children should not be separated or isolated for reasons other than their own health or to assist in stopping the spread of an infectious disease.

The professionals, the childcare workers here in the ACT, are skilled at managing children’s behaviour. Sometimes children express difficult behaviour. So it is not unusual for professionals to manage that in their day-to-day environment within centres.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary.


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