- State Government urges increased vigilance for family day care centres following coronial inquest into 2015 drowning death of two-year-old child
- Increased inspections recommended for family day care operators at homes with a swimming pool, outdoor spa or pond
Child Protection and Community Services Minister Simone McGurk has welcomed recommendations for tighter restrictions for family day care centres, following the release of the Coroner's report into the 2015 drowning death of two-year-old Lachlan Mitchell.
The Minister supports the Coroner's recommendation that new family day care operators be restricted from setting up in a home with a swimming pool, outdoor spa or pond, and a more rigorous inspection regime.
As the childcare regulator for Western Australia, the Minister has asked the Department of Communities how to best enact the Coroner's recommendations and ensure the safety of children using these facilities.
There are currently 38 family day care service accreditation holders in Western Australia, who are responsible for about 1,400 homes which operate family day care facilities in Western Australia. Of these 1,400 homes, 258 are currently registered as having a pool, water feature or water hazard on or near their properties which are subject to annual safety inspections.
Comments attributed to Child Protection and Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
"The death of Lachlan Mitchell was without question a tragedy.
"I take this opportunity to extend my sympathies to Lachlan's family. Lachlan's mother gave compelling evidence to the coronial inquest.
"I am supportive of increasing inspections and restricting new family day care providers to those who do not have a pool or spa.
"As the childcare regulator for Western Australia, the Department of Communities is looking at how best to enact the Coroner's recommendations.
"I appreciate that the great majority of family day care services operate compliantly with the necessary levels of supervision, and are well run businesses. For that reason, changes that need to be made to regulations will be done in close consultation with the sector.
"I will consult with the sector before deciding on final changes to apply."
Minister's office - 6552 6600