Illness Policy

Lili’s Early Learning has a duty of care to ensure all persons are provided with a high level of protection during the hours of the services operation.

Maintaining a healthy community in child care is the responsibility of both parents and staff. Our centre is not a place for sick children, as we cannot provide the care contagious or ill children need. Illnesses can be passed on quickly and easily so for the health and wellbeing of everyone, we ask sick children not attend.

If your child is unwell…. 

The health and wellbeing of children is the centre’s highest priority. Children MUST NOT come to the centre if they are unwell. A child will not be able to attend the centre for any period during which the child has an infectious condition that is contagious through normal social contact.

All reasonable and practical steps should be taken by parents and staff to avoid the spread of illness within the centre. It is important for parents to develop a support network of family and friends in case a child becomes ill.

Infectious Illness
To protect children from the risk of cross-infection children who are unwell will be excluded from the centre in accordance with the centre’s exclusion policy. Children must not return to the centre until the conditions fulfill the criteria for return to care. Medical certificates, if required, must clearly state that the child is not infectious to other children and the child is well enough to participate fully in the program. Children with symptoms of bacterial infections of the respiratory tract, nose and throat e.g., green runny nose with a fever above 38.0 will be excluded while the child presents with these symptoms. This policy will be strictly adhered to by staff. A list of minimum periods of exclusion from schools and children’s services is displayed in the centre.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea
If a child suffers from vomiting or diarrhoea, the child MUST be excluded from the centre for a minimum 24 hours from the last symptom and until fully recovered.  If the children returns to the Centre after 24 hours, and the symptoms reoccur, the child will again be excluded for a further 24 hours and must not return until fully recovered.  The child must have resumed their normal diet before returning.

Infection of the eye, characterized by redness and yellow discharge and/or watering. The condition is highly contagious and requires prompt medical attention; therefore, parents are requested to exclude their child from the centre while their symptoms exist. The child will be excluded while there is any evidence of discharge or excessive irritation of the eye

Skin Rash
If a child develops an unusual skin rash, parents are required to seek medical attention and have the child cleared as non-infectious with a medical certificate prior to coming back to the centre.

Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex)
Painful, blister like sores, usually around the mouth. A child with cold sores must be excluded until the sores have completely healed as they are unable to be comfortably covered.

Common Cold
The common cold is just that, common – especially in young children. Therefore, a child with the symptoms of a common cold (clear runny, blocked nose, sneezing and a mild cough) may attend the centre; however the child must be well enough to enjoy a day of normal activities and there must be no other symptoms of illness (fever, green runny nose, severe cough etc.).

Children with the common cold will be excluded if the child feels or appears unwell or develops any further symptoms or requires extra care due to the illness.

Staff and parents must ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to minimise the risk of cross infection of the cold virus through use of disposable tissues, good hand washing practices and washing of toys

Parents are reminded they may NOT bring their child to the centre if they have had a fever in the last 12 hours.

Notification of an Infectious Illness
If a child is diagnosed with an infectious illness the parent must notify the centre immediately to enable the centre to notify other parents of children who may be at risk of infection.

Staff will be guided by the recommended practices of ‘Staying Healthy in Childcare 2012’ and the Department of Health for notification and exclusion of children with an immunisable disease. Children on antibiotics will be excluded until a medical certificate is provided stating that the child is no longer infectious to others.

Doctors Certificate
A doctor’s certificate may not always be sufficient to allow a child to return to the centre. If the child presents with conditions and symptoms of an excludable illness e.g. fever, discharge from the eye, green runny nose or signs of being unwell, he/she may be excluded.

Bringing a Temperature Down
A fever is defined as a temperature above 38.0. If a child develops a fever, the parent/guardian is contacted to give permission for us to administer Panadol. Should the Panadol not bring the temperature below 38 degrees within an hour or the parent does not wish for us to administer the medication - the parent will be asked to collect their child. 

We will ensure your child drinks plenty of water and excessive clothing will be removed until the parent arrives.

Notification of a Sick/Infectious Child
If a child appears unwell at the centre the staff member caring for your child at the time will:

Ring the parent/guardian and request that the child be removed from the service immediately. Where there is an occurrence of an immunisable infectious disease, each child’s parent/guardian will be notified as soon as practicable of the occurrence. Staff will contact the Department of Health for guidance.

Separation of Sick and Well Children
After a parent of a sick child has been notified and asked to pick up the child from the centre, the sick child will be separated, where practicable, from the other children in a quiet area on a mattress or in a cot away from the other children (where the can be easily supervised by staff and their condition monitored and recorded at regular intervals).

Parents of children who are not immunised may be excluded from contact with other children in accordance with DEECD guidelines. We understand that parents may find an exclusion ruling difficult due to work commitments and pressures. However, “Children must be excluded until the child’s condition fulfils the criteria for return to care in accordance with the centre’s policies. Manager’s should not be influenced by letters from doctors which allows the child to come back into care unless all criteria for return have been fulfilled.” (NHMRC 2005)

Important Notice for Staff

A notice will be given to inform parents of any two cases of illness or disease within the centre. A photocopy from the ‘Staying Healthy in Childcare’ regarding the illness should be posted for parent information. 

All personal information regarding children with an illness is strictly confidential and must not be disclosed. 

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Department of Health may require notification in some instances of an outbreak of immunisable infectious diseases in the centre or of multiple outbreaks of infectious illness.

Exclusion times as set by the Health Department apply for all infectious diseases. A general notice will be displayed on the Notice board and the room affected informing parents of infectious diseases (or the like) in the centre.

If a child has an accident, is injured or is ill the parents will be notified immediately. During this time the child will be made as comfortable as possible and will be kept under close observation until the parent arrive.

If the parent cannot be contacted, the emergency person nominated will be contacted.

In emergency circumstances where an ambulance or a doctor is required we will proceed to contact them immediately.

Upon collection of your child a staff member will discuss the incident with you and you will then need to sign the accident book for our records.

At LEL we are committed to preventing the spread of infectious illnesses through the implementation, monitoring and maintaining of simple strategies such as, hand washing, effective cleaning procedures, and an understanding and knowledge of children’s health.

Sourced: Education and Care Services National Regulation 2012 National Health and Medical Research Council (2001) Staying Healthy in Child Care; Preventing infectious disease in child care, (5th edition). Policy reviewed August 2017