Kids HQ Jacaranda in High Wycombe. Picture: Google Maps

Childcare centre fined after sandpit scrap

Kids HQ Jacaranda in High Wycombe has been order to pay $13,500 in fines and costs after an incident occurred at the centre's sandpit while children were left unsupervised.
February 29, 2024
Gera Kazakov

A HIGH Wycombe childcare centre has been fined after a scrap occurred within the centre’s sandpit between children which none of the outdoor supervisors witnessed.

On February 26, the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) ordered the Kids HQ Jacaranda pay $12,000 for failing to ensure that children receiving education and care at its service were adequately supervised at all times while in the care of the service, and a further $1500 towards legal costs.

The SAT statement of agreed facts state the incident occurred in the afternoon of December 2022 and primarily involved three children in an area which four educators were supervising.

The agreed facts describe the sandpit scrap then occurring between 3.07pm and 3.14pm, with the four area supervisors all reporting that they did not see or hear the incident.

It began when a child hit another with a yellow dish in the sandpit, which resulted in the other retaliating by hitting and attempting to scratch and bite the first child, all while following the child who hit them until that child fell over.

Another child then joined in throwing sand and objects at the first child, before they left the sandpit while the first laid there motionless for some time before getting up.

The facts state that once the altercation ended, the first child had what appeared to be bite marks and scratches to their right cheek and ear, alongside injuries to both hands.

In making its decision, SAT stated the centre has shown a desire to ensure a similar incident does not occur at its premises.

SAT noted that the centre has now added a ‘director of supervision’ position, to ensure the supervision policy is followed and supervision points are staffed, and that staff only leave supervision points provided other staff members has covered their position.

The centre has added a lanyard system to identify supervision points so workers know where they are stationed, and it also increased the number of outdoor supervision points.

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