26 September 2023

Tougher new water rules kids’ stuff

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Stronger regulations covering additional safety measures and training for family day care educators whose residences have pools, spas or water features have come into effect.

Announced by the Minister for Community Services, Simone McGurk the measures follow recommendations from the 2018 coronial inquest into the death of Lachlan Mitchell, who drowned at a family day care service in 2015.

Ms McGurk said swimming pools and spas would be gradually phased out from family day care services.

“Existing family day care services with pools, spas and water features will also be made safer by new compliance requirements, including monthly inspections of these residences and additional safety devices on site,” Ms McGurk said.

“A transition period will apply to ensure that family day care providers and educators have time to meet the new compliance requirements, including any applicants currently in the process to commence or transfer.”

The Minister said the Department of Communities would begin work immediately to enact the regulatory updates and would collaborate with the sector to support it through the transition period.

“As the child care regulator in Western Australia, the Department of Communities maintains robust policies and processes around family day care services, and I believe these changes will further support child-safety outcomes,” Ms McGurk said.

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