7 FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT

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					Child Care Unit                              Department of Education                              Licensing Standards




7           FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT
            STANDARD
            Appropriate furniture and equipment is to be provided and maintained in good
            order.

            Rationale
            Appropriate furniture, in sound repair, assist in maintaining children’s safety and wellbeing.
            (Where a service provides overnight care, the requirements for appropriate facilities and furniture
            are covered in Standard 18: Overnight Care).

7.1         Furniture to support the program
            a)     Adequate furniture to meet the age/developmental stages of children is to be
                   available.
            b)     Furniture must be well maintained at all times.
            c)     Furniture must not present a hazard to children.
            d)     Where applicable furniture is to comply with and be maintained so that it continues
                   to meet relevant Australian Standards.

7.2         Facilities to support children’s need for rest
            A suitable area where a child/children can rest is to be available.




                                       CBC2 (Outside School Hours Care), 5 – 12 years. Standard 7: Furniture and Equipment
                                       Revised May 2009
                                Child Care Unit                            Department of Education                              Licensing Standards



                                            It is important that new furniture purchased by the service incorporate safety standards
Explanatory Notes: Standard 7
                                            recommended by recognised health and safety authorities, and/or comply with any
                                            applicable Australian Standards.
                                            It is the service’s responsibility to:
                                                     follow manufacturer’s instructions with regard to care and safe maintenance of
                                                     furniture;
                                                     implement safe practices;
                                                     have in place a management plan for the replacement of items which are damaged or
                                                     unsafe; and
                                                     ensure they have up-to-date information about safety standards.

                                How do we find out about standards for furniture?
                                            Up-to-date information about safety standards can be obtained from:
                                                  Standards Australia (http://www.standards.com.au);
                                                  The Commonwealth Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs
                                                  (http://www.consumer.gov.au);
                                                  The Tasmanian Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
                                                  (http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/ca);
                                                  Kidsafe (Child Accident Prevention Council) (http://www.greenweb.com.au/kidsafe);
                                                   Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
                                                  (http://www.accc.gov.au/) – go to ‘Product Safety’; and
                                                  Choice, the publication of the Australian Consumers Association may provide
                                                  information about brands which meet safety requirements.

                                What do we need to look for in children’s furniture?
                                            Where there is an Australian Standard, it is the service’s responsibility to check
                                            a product against that standard.
                                            If a product meets an Australian Standard, this will usually be included on the product label.
                                            Generally, children’s furniture should:
                                                    be of appropriate height, size and construction for children;
                                                    have smooth surfaces, rounded corners, no sharp edges or points;
                                                    contain no toxic materials such as lead-based paint;
                                                    be of appropriate weight, stability and sturdiness; and
                                                    have no entrapment hazards.
                                                    Note: This is not a definitive list.
                                                    Some information can be found at
                                                    http://www.standards.org.au/downloads/070827_Safe_Domestic_Furniture_Standards_
                                                    Alert.pdf
                                                    Use of appropriate furniture will assist to minimise accidents, and enhance the
                                                    development of children’s confidence and self-esteem.
                                                    Consideration of staff health and safety, e.g. appropriate techniques to lift furniture
                                                    or assist children with additional needs, is also important.




                                                                     CBC2 (Outside School Hours Care), 5 – 12 years. Standard 7: Furniture and Equipment
                                                                     Revised May 2009
Child Care Unit                            Department of Education                              Licensing Standards




                                                                                                                           Explanatory Notes: Standard 7
What about ongoing maintenance of furniture?
            Regular checks are essential for the safety of children and carers, and to satisfy
            duty of care requirements.
            Where a piece of furniture is damaged or unsafe, it must be inaccessible to children until
            repaired.
            Some OSHC services on school sites may use furniture which is school property. It is
            recommended that appropriate reporting procedures, e.g. a maintenance book, be put in
            place.

What facilities are required for children who need to rest?
            The minimum requirement is a quiet area where children who are unwell or who need to
            rest are comfortable and can easily be supervised – this may be a higher priority in Term 1
            when younger children are new to school and OSHC care.

What should we look for with toys and equipment?
            Age labels on toys are a rough guide only, and toys should be selected with safety factors in
            mind.

What are relevant Australian Standards?
            Australian Standard for Children’s Toys (AS 1647.3 – 1995).


How do we find out about these standards?
            Information can be obtained from:
            •      Standards Australia (http://www.standards.org.au);
            •      The Australian Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs (http://www.consumer.gov.au);
            •      The Tasmanian Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
                   (http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/ca); and
            •      Kidsafe (Child Accident Prevention Council) (http://www.greenweb.com.au/kidsafe)

For licensing, the applicant will need to provide the following:
                   Certification that furniture meets Australian Standards, where applicable.




                                     CBC2 (Outside School Hours Care), 5 – 12 years. Standard 7: Furniture and Equipment
                                     Revised May 2009

				
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