Sun Protection Policy

This policy applies to all centre events on and off site.

Rationale: A balance of ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure is important for health. Too much of the sun’s UV can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancer. Sun exposure in the first ten years of life is a major factor in determining future skin cancer risk. Too little UV from the sun can lead to low vitamin D levels and Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles as well as general health.

This Sun Smart Policy has been developed to:

  • Ensure all children and staff have some UV exposure for vitamin D.
  • Encourage children and staff to use a combination of sun protection measures, such as hats, protective clothing and sunscreen, whenever the UV Index levels reach three and above.
  • Work towards a safe outdoor environment that provides shade for children and staff at appropriate times.
  • Assist children to be responsible for their own sun protection.
  • Educate children in the importance of sun protection
  • Ensure that families and new staff are informed of the service’s Sun Smart measures.

Educators are encouraged to access the Sun Smart UV Alert at to find out daily sun protection times to assist with the implementation of this policy.

We use a combination of sun protection measures for all outdoor activities from September to the end of April and whenever UV levels reach three and above, the level that can damage skin and eyes.

Our Sun Smart practises consider the special needs of infants and all babies under 12 months are kept out of direct sun when UV levels are three and above.

1. Shade
Management ensures there is a sufficient number of shelters and trees providing shade in the outdoor area.
The availability of shade is considered when planning excursions and other outdoor activities.
Children are encouraged to use available areas of shade when outside.
Children who do not have appropriate hats or outdoor clothing are asked to play in the shade or a suitable area protected from the sun. 

2. Clothing
When outside, children are required to wear loose fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Clothing made from cool, densely woven fabric is recommended. Tops with elbow length sleeves, and if possible, collars and knee length or longer style shorts and skirts are best. If a child is wearing a singlet top or dress, they wear a t-shirt/ shirt over the top before going outdoors.

3. Hats
All children are required to wear hats that protect their face, neck and ears i.e. legionnaire, broad-brimmed or bucket hats. Baseball or peak caps are not considered a suitable alternative.

4. Sunglasses [OPTIONAL]
Children and staff are encouraged to wear close fitting, wrap-around sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard 1067 (Sunglasses: Category 2, 3 or 4) and cover as much of the eye area as possible.

5. Sunscreen
SPF 30+/50+ broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen is available for staff and children.
Sunscreen is applied at least 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours if outdoors.
With parental consent, children with naturally very dark skin are not required to wear sunscreen to help with vitamin D requirements.
From 3 years of age, children are encouraged to apply their own sunscreen under supervision of staff.

When enrolling your child, families are:

  • Informed of the service’s Sun Smart policy
  • Asked to provide a suitable hat for their child
  • Asked to provide their child with suitable outdoor clothing that is cool and covers as much skin as possible (i.e. that cover the shoulders and chest, upper arms and legs)
  • Required to give permission for staff to apply sunscreen to their child

Staff OHS and Role modelling

As part of OHS UV risk controls and role-modelling, when the UV is 3 and above staff:

  • Wear sun protective hats, clothing and sunglasses when outside
  • Apply SPF 30+/50+ broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen
  • Seek shade whenever possible

Families and visitors are requested to use a combination of sun protection measures (sun protective clothing and hats, shade, sunglasses and sunscreen) when attending the service. 

Planned experiences
Sun protection and Vitamin D are incorporated into the learning and development program. The Sun Smart policy is reinforced through staff and children's activities and displays.
Staff and families are provided with information on sun protection and vitamin D through family newsletters, noticeboards and website.

Management and staff monitor and review the effectiveness of the Sun Smart policy and revise the policy when required (at least once every three years).

Relevant Documents / Links
Children’s Services Regulations (2009): Section 97, Outdoor space (1c)

Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic) (Part 2: Principles for children)
Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF)
National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)
Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010: Section 167
Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011: regulations 113,114, 168 (2) (a) (ii)
National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care and School Age Care (Quality Area 2)
Building Quality Standards Handbook (BQSH): Section 8.5.5 Shade Areas (Oct 2011)
Get Up & Grow: Healthy eating and physical activity for early childhood (Section 2) 2009
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Radiation Protection Standard for Occupational Exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation (2006)
Safe Work Australia: Guidance Note for the Protection of Workers from the Ultraviolet Radiation in Sunlight (2008)
AS/NZS 4486.1:1997 – Playgrounds and Playground Equipment Part 1: Development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation Shade/Sun Protection

Relevant resources

Sun Smart UV Alert: The Sun Smart UV Alert indicates daily weather forecasts including temperature, local UV levels and times sun protection is or isn’t needed. This is available in the weather section of the newspaper, on the Sun Smart website at, as a free smart phone app or as a widget that you can add to your website

Policy reviewed August 2017