Helping childcare workers and parents to keep kids healthy

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Summary media release information

05 February 2013
Ministerial Media Release
Contact for further information: 
Minister’s Office: 02 6277 7220 NHMRC Media Team: 0422 008 512

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Minister for Health

The Hon Kate Ellis MP
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care

5 February 2013

A new guide aimed at keeping children safe and healthy in child care centres was today launched by Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, and Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care, Kate Ellis.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the new Staying Healthy - Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services gives practical advice to childcare workers and parents on how to reduce the spread of infectious disease such as norovirus and the flu.

“Staying Healthy will provide staff with simple and effective methods for minimising the spread of disease, including advice on cleaning with detergent and water, when to use bleach, using disposable gloves and changing nappies,” Ms Plibersek said.

“It will also help staff recognise and manage a child who is sick, how to discuss with parents the reasons for keeping unwell kids at home, staff immunisation and diseases common to education and care services.”

Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis said the 5th edition of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Staying Healthy report would help child care centres provide quality early education and care.

“We introduced new national standards to lift the quality of child care across Australia because we believe parents deserve peace of mind when they drop their child off they are receiving quality care to a high standard,” Minister Ellis said.

“The new guide will help providers meet the National Quality Framework by keeping kids healthy and improving childcare services.

“All services across the country will be assessed and rated against new National Quality Standard which will ensure that services are meeting basic requirements including children’s health, safety and wellbeing.”

“This guide will provide an invaluable resource for services and educators as they strive to improve the quality of their child care services for children.”

The NHMRC has also developed posters and fact sheets to help child care centres and parents reduce infection. The NHMRC is conducting a public consultation to encourage feedback on these resources.