Animal and Pet Policy


Aim

To promote respect for the environment including animals, to teach children about the proper care and treatment of animals, and to provide a safe and hygienic environment that minimises the risk of injury or disease from the animal.

Implementation

Caring for animal at service

The Nominated Supervisor and educators understand that interactions with animals can help children develop various skills, values and knowledge. For example, caring for an animal can develop consideration and empathy for other living things, contribute to growing independence and responsibility, promote understanding about the interdependence between living things and the environment and foster attitudes like curiosity, co-operation and inquiry that promote all types of learning. Suitable animals include domestic dogs, cats, farm animals, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and fish.

The Nominated Supervisor and educators will complete a risk assessment before caring for an animal at the service to ensure all potential risks associated with caring for animals or interacting with them are identified and eliminated or minimised. The risk assessment will include any special considerations relating to children or adults who have weakened immune systems, or who have allergies or asthma which may be triggered by the animal, and pregnant educators.

Educators will discuss with children how to interact safely and hygienically with animals and always supervise them when interacting with animals to ensure this occurs. Educators will ensure, for example, that children wash their hands after handling animals, their feed or feed containers, environment or waste and do not:

  • kiss animals or bring them close to their mouth,
  • place their hands in or near their mouths until they have washed them
  • eat or drink animal feed and water
  • sit, lie or play in an animal’s bedding
  • interact with animals if they are ill or have an infectious disease.

The Nominated Supervisor will ensure parents/guardians are included in any decision to keep animals at the service and will respond to any of their concerns. Parents/guardians will be advised they can access the risk assessment if they wish.

To promote the safety of all children and adults, and ensure the animal’s wellbeing, all animals will be housed in suitable cages/environments and will be clean and in good health. The Nominated Supervisor will seek immediate veterinary care where an animal is ill or distressed. Educators will teach children how they should approach and respond to the relevant animal.

Pet Visits

Families must get permission from the Nominated Supervisor before bringing pets into the service. Where this has not occurred, pets must be left a safe distance outside the service fence so children at the service can’t touch them through the fence.

The Nominated Supervisor will complete a risk assessment before allowing a family pet into the service and will consider where relevant the same considerations as those mentioned above in the policy. The Nominated Supervisor will also ensure the same safety measures are implemented where relevant if the pet is allowed into the service.

Further information about safety measures is contained in the Animal and Pet Procedure which the Nominated Supervisor and educators will implement in relation to service animals and pet visits. If the center keeps chickens, educators and staff will implement the Collecting and Handling Eggs Procedure to ensure the safe handling and use of the chickens’ eggs.

Related Policies

Hand Washing Policy
Hygiene Policy

Sources

National Quality Standard

2.1.2 Health practices and procedures – Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.

2.2.1 Supervision – At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard.

3.1.1 Fit for purpose – Outdoor and indoor spaces, buildings, fixtures and fittings are suitable for their purpose, including supporting the access of every child.

3.2.3 Environmentally responsible – The service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible.

Education and Care Services National Law

167 Offence relating to protection of children from harm and hazards

Education and Care Services National Regulations

168 Policies and procedures are required in relation to health and safety

Early Years Learning Framework
Outcome 1

Children develop their emerging autonomy, interdependence, resilience and sense of agency

Outcome 2

Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

Outcome 4

Children develop dispositions for learning

Children develop a range of skills and processes

Other
Animal Contact Guidelines SA Health

Tools

Procedure – Animal and Pets

Procedure – Collecting and Handling Eggs

Risk Assessment – Activities_Experiences_Situations

Risk Assessment – Risk_Benefit_ Activities_Experiences

Review

The policy will be reviewed annually by the Approved Provider, Supervisors, Employees, Families and any committee members.

Reviewed : 10-20-2021
Date for next review : 10-20-2022