Three Childcare Services Fined Thousands For Children Escaping

By March 15, 2019

Children have been able to leave 3 different services in Western Australia, without being noticed, causing each service to be fined thousands of dollars by the State Administrative Tribunal.

  • A toddler with additional needs was able to escape on the services by slipping through the boundary fence which consisted of a small piece of "pool type" fence which led to a gap for the child to slip through. As the toddler slipped through he ran onto the road, in front of a car, where passengers got out to help him. The childcare supervisor noticed the missing boy and collected him from the passengers.  The centre placed a supervisor next to the gap in the fence for the rest of the day to ensure no other children could escape and fixed the fence the following day The centre was fined $10,500 and forced to pay $2000 in costs.
  • A seven-year-old boy left his OOSH service and walked to him home 250 metres down the road. The boy's disappearance went unnoticed, as an Educator had miscounted during the headcount. The spokeswoman said the incident was a “result of human error” and that it was “extremely fortunate” that the missing child was found so quickly. The centre has put in place a range of new systems since the incident to increase supervision. The centre was fined $10,000 and forced to pay costs of $2000.
  • A 3-year-old, left his service during nap time and his mother found him at her workplace, 250 metres down the road. Owner Barbara Johnston, who was interstate at the time, said while the incident was regrettable, she had full confidence in her staff. The child's parents continue to send him to the centre.  The centre was fined $2000 and forced to pay $1000 in costs. 

Reference:
John, David, Three WA Childcare Centres Fined After Kids Able To Leave Unnoticed, The West Australian, 12 March 2019