Procedures for the bushfire seasons

The way kindergartens, child care centres and family day schemes in Victoria respond to bushfires has been revised.

Fire danger ratings and warning have been introduced in Victoria to provide clear direction on the safest option for preserving life.

Children’s services – and schools – identified as being high fire risk will be closed on days declared by fire authorities to be Code Red.

Our facility has been identified as being high fire risk.

Our facility has been identified as being high fire risk.

We will be closed on a code Red day.

Where possible, we will provide parents with up to three days notice of a planned closure. We will contact you directly by letter with advance on planned closures and will confirm the decision to close by 12 noon the day before the planned closure.

Once confirmed, the decision to close will not change, regardless of improvements in the weather forecast. This is to avoid confusion and help your family plan alternative care arrangements for your child.

No staff will remain on site when the facility is closed by the threat of fire.

On days such as these, families are encouraged to enact their Bushfire Survival Plan. For those living in a bushfire prone area, when Code Red days are forecast, the safest option is to leave the night before, or early in the morning of the Code Red day.

As part of preparing our facility for the threat of fire, we have completed the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s self-assessment of our emergency preparedness.

What can parents do?

Make sure your family’s bushfire survival plan is up-to-date and includes alternative care arrangements in the event that our facility is closed. Make sure we have your current contact details, including your mobile phone numbers. Keep in touch with us by reading our newsletters, and by talking to your child’s teacher or any other member of our staff.

If your child is old enough, talk to them about bushfres and your family’s bushfire survival plan.

On days of high fire risk, children should never be left at home in the care of older children.

You can access more information about bushfires and children’s services on the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – see: www.education.vic.gov.au/bushfires

For up-to-date information on this year’s fire season, visit the CFA website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au or call the 24-hour Victorian Bushfires Information Line on 1800 240 667.

(advice to families issued November 2012)