Changes are being put in place that will gradually phase out swimming pools and spas at family day care residences and venues to improve safety for children. Additional safety measures at residences and venues with water features will also be implemented.

Following the tragic drowning death of a toddler at a family day care residence in 2015, the Coroner made a number of recommendations for child care services that operate at residences and venues with swimming pools, spas or water features.

Consultation was undertaken on a range of options to address each aspect of the Coroner’s recommendations. Consideration was given to the possible impact of any proposed changes on the family day care sector, the families who rely on them and most importantly the safety of the children who attend a family day care service.  A Decision Statement was developed based on the consultation which outlines Minister McGurk’s preferred option to address the recommendations and that Decision Statement is now available from the Education and Care Regulatory Unit web page.

The decision has been made to gradually phase out swimming pools and spas at family day care services, along with implementing other safety measures. This decision will require changes to the conditions set on family day care providers and educators as well as regulation amendments that will need to be progressed through both national and Western Australian legislative processes. The Department of Communities will update family day care approved providers and educators as these changes progress.

For more information read Minister McGurk’s media statement or visit the Education and Care Regulatory Unit.