Requirements for checking limited attendance childcare workers

There are requirements for checking the criminal history of workers at limited attendance childcare centres.

Limited attendance childcare centres are:

  • used regularly for the care of three or more children under six years old (this doesn’t include the children of the persons providing the care, or being provided with care before or after school)
  • where the children don’t stay for more than two hours per day and
  • the children’s parents or caregivers are nearby and able to be contacted and can resume responsibility for the children at short notice. 

Examples of limited attendance childcare centres could include gym and mall crèches.

Limited attendance childcare centre workers must undergo a Police vet. The Vetting limited attendance childcare centres workers fact sheet that explains the requirements for checking workers.

Vetting limited attendance childcare workers - fact sheet (PDF 46 KB)

This fact sheet describes the requirements for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) when vetting limited attendance childcare centre workers as required in the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016 (the GRWM Regulations). 

Workers at limited-attendance childcare centres must be checked by police.

Limited-attendance childcare centres are any premises used regularly for the care of three or more children under six years old (this doesn’t include the children of the persons providing the care, or being provided with care before or after school) where:

  • the children don’t stay for more than two hours per day
  • the children’s parents or caregivers:
    • are in close proximity to the children and are able to be contacted and
    • able to resume responsibility for the children at short notice.

These may include gym or shopping mall crèches. 

PCBUs who operate limited-attendance childcare centres have the following duties.

They must:

  • ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that every worker who is employed or engaged to care for children at the centre is suitable for that role
  • obtain a Police vet of every centre worker (or prospective worker) who is to work during normal business hours and is not a teacher or holds a limited authority to teach.

A Police vet is a search of the Police database for information about a person including criminal history. It may also include information about other interactions with the police (eg as a complainant or victim). 

The Police vet must be applied for no later than two weeks after the worker begins working at the centre. PCBUs applying for a Police vet must ensure that strict confidentiality is observed.

The Police vet must be obtained before the worker has, or is likely to have, unsupervised access to children at the centre during normal opening hours.

Note: If limited-attendance childcare centres receive public funding they must comply with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. Under this Act, a Police vet must be obtained before a worker starts work.

In relation to the findings of a Police vet, PCBUs must not take adverse action[1] against a worker until the worker has:

  • validated the information contained in the vet or
  • been given a reasonable opportunity to validate the information, but has failed to do so within a reasonable period.

Further information about police vetting of workers is available on:

Footnote

[1] This is any action that may adversely affect the rights, benefits, privileges, obligations, or interests of any specific individual.

See section 97 of the Privacy Act for the full definition(external link)

General risk and workplace management - part 1 (PDF 407 KB)

General risk and workplace management - part 2 (PDF 288 KB)