Child­care breaches

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - David Johns

A FOUR-year-old boy was se­verely burnt while mak­ing play­dough and an autis­tic child walked home un­no­ticed in a string of en­force­ment ac­tions for child­care cen­tres across Perth.

Five no­tices of en­force­ment ac­tions for Perth­based child­care cen­tres were pub­lished on­line by the De­part­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties this month.

Among the more se­ri­ous was an in­ci­dent at Lit­tle Be­gin­nings Ed­u­ca­tion Forrestfield in Jan­uary 2018, in which a four-year-old child was “se­verely burned” by hot wa­ter used to make play­dough.

A staff mem­ber put a jug of hot wa­ter down in the mid­dle of a ta­ble and when the ta­ble was bumped it spilled over the boy. The burns to the boy’s legs, gen­i­tals and but­tocks im­me­di­ately blistered and peeled.

The cen­tre was hit with $23,000 in penal­ties and le­gal costs re­lat­ing to the in­ci­dent, as well as some ad­di­tional breaches.

Owner and ap­proved provider Al­lan Mul­lett said the in­ci­dent was re­gret­table and “tugged at the heart strings”.

“It wasn’t our best day,” he said.

Mr Mul­lett said the cen­tre had put new pro­ce­dures in place since the in­ci­dent, in­clud­ing stricter first aid pro­ce­dures and train­ing more reg­u­larly than re­quired by law.

In Fe­bru­ary, a nineyear-old autis­tic child left un­no­ticed from Help­ing Hands Atwell, an out­side school hours care ser­vice at Atwell Pri­mary School.

The mother later in­formed the provider the child had walked home.

Help­ing Hands Atwell was fined $12,000 for the breach and or­dered to pay $1500 in le­gal costs. The cen­tre did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

Nip­pers Va­ca­tion Care in Warn­bro was forced to pay $10,000 in fines and costs af­ter a six-year-old child was left on a bus the be­fore-school care provider was us­ing to take chil­dren to their schools.

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