Personal phones restricted in the early childhood education and care services

Taking photos and videos of children on personal phones and devices will be restricted by early childhood education centres who adopt the new National Model Code and Guidelines.

In place from today, the new Code and Guidelines set out that only service-issued devices can be used when photographing and filming children.

The Code and Guidelines also outline the strict controls that must be in place for taking, sharing and storing images or videos.

Providers of centre-based early childhood education and care are strongly encouraged to adopt the Code under which, personal devices can only be carried or used in limited circumstances such as for health or family reasons.

The Code and Guidelines form part of a range of actions Federal, State and Territory Governments are taking to respond to the 16 recommendations of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) Review of Child Safety Arrangements under the National Quality Framework.

All Education Ministers are committed to progressing work across all recommendations related to physical and online safety, child supervision and staffing requirements, and are actively considering regulatory reform.  

Centre-based early childhood education and care services will be guided by the voluntary Code and Guidelines while further child safety regulatory reforms are being progressed.

The National Model Code and Guidelines are attached.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:

“The safety and protection of children in early childhood education is our highest priority.

“Australia has a very good system of early childhood education and care, but more can be done to make sure safety guidance and measures are fit-for-purpose.

“That’s why Education Ministers are acting on this key recommendation to make sure the right rules are in place to keep our children safe while they are in early education and care.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly:

“We’re ensuring child safety measures in early childhood education and care services remain contemporary and fit-for-purpose.

“This is about helping early childhood education and care providers to embed a child-safe culture in their services.

“We will continue to act swiftly to ensure all early childhood education and care services remain safe for our children.”

Quotes attributable to ACT Minister for Early Childhood Development Yvette Berry:

“Creating a child safe culture is important work for all of us.

“Our early educators are dedicated professionals. This National Model Code and Guidelines will further support them to continue upholding the safety, health and wellbeing of children.”

Quotes attributable to Victorian Minister for Children, Lizzie Blandthorn:

“Every child has a right to feel safe when accessing early childhood education.

“The Victorian Government is committed to measures which will keep our children safe.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car:

“Ensuring parents and carers have confidence when dropping their children off at an early learning centre or preschool must be a priority.

“Childcare educators play a vital role in giving children the best start to their educational lives, and these guidelines set a benchmark for services to deliver best practice.

“Governments are working together to ensure we have a strong early childhood sector across the country.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for Education Di Farmer:

“Queensland is pleased to be leading this national work – we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to child safety.

“Young Queenslanders deserve to learn in safe and caring environments and anything we can do to make early childhood education better, then that is what we will do.”

Quotes attributable to Northern Territory Minister for Education, Mark Monaghan:

“The Northern Territory was one of the first jurisdictions to ban mobile phones in schools, and now even stronger measures are in place across our early education centres to ensure we create safe learning environments for all young minds.”

Quotes attributable to Tasmanian Minister for Education Jo Palmer:

“There is nothing more important than keeping our children safe.

“This is about protecting our children and ensuring early childhood education centres are as safe as possible for our youngest Tasmanians.

“The Tasmanian Government is committed to making meaningful and ongoing changes to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.”

Quotes attributable to Western Australian Minister for Early Childhood Education Sabine Winton:

“Maximising the safety of children is an important part of building a foundation for them to thrive.

“The Western Australian State Government is proud to support the National Model Code.

“The Code is a great example of governments and the sector working together to support providers of early childhood education and care with best practice guidance on how to keep children safe.

“We will continue to work with our sector partners across WA to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children.”