In 2011, HomesafeKids performed trial Educator Premises Assessments for Whittlesea Council. The assessment criteria was based on Whittlesea Council’s previous hand-drafted assessments. The advantages of the HomesafeKids assessment were perceived as follows:
- HomesafeKids assessors were more experienced with technical issues such as glass analysis, electrical components, fire safety, unstable furniture, entrapment issues, etc.
- Council operatives’ time was better utilised providing other services.
- Educators would take the assessment more seriously if performed by a professional assessor.
- The cost of the assessment would be paid by the educator rather than absorbed by council.
HomesafeKids developed a digital assessment that enabled efficient on-site implementation and processing.
Following the success of the 2011 program for Whittlesea, a number of other councils expressed interest in the program.
The assessment was further developed to incorporate guidelines provided by Family Day Care Victoria, National Quality Standards and the requirements of each council, with the view of providing a comprehensive, universal document ultimately suitable for all councils and private operators. An electronic ‘sign-off’ was added to deal with items of non-compliance and to provide instant approval for the educators.
During 2012, assessments were performed for four councils over a two month period, delivering a highly professional report of each educator’s premises.
HomesafeKids continues to develop the assessment and is currently incorporating specialised equipment for the measurement of glass status, temperatures and entrapment issues.
Each Family Day Care assessment requires approximately 1½ hours of site time, then an additional 10 minutes’ processing time. The assessment is converted to .pdf format and delivered electronically to the council Family Day Care team.
The cost of each assessment is contingent on the capability of performing assessments in ‘blocks’ for maximum efficiency and to minimise travel times.