CHILD Protection Minister Simone McGurk supports the Coroner’s recommendation that new family day care operators cannot set up in a home with a swimming pool, outdoor spa or pond.
The Coroner made the recommendation in the report into the 2015 drowning death of two-year-old Lachlan Mitchell.
Lachlan died after being found face down in the pool of a Carramar family daycare centre on November 9, 2015.
Ms McGurk has asked the Department of Communities how to best enact the Coroner’s recommendations and ensure the safety of children using these facilities.
“The death of Lachlan Mitchell was without question a tragedy,” Ms McGurk said.
“I take this opportunity to extend my sympathies to Lachlan’s family. Lachlan’s mother gave compelling evidence to the coronial inquest.
“I am supportive of increasing inspections and restricting new family day care providers to those who do not have a pool or spa.
“As the childcare regulator for Western Australia, the Department of Communities is looking at how best to enact the Coroner’s recommendations.
“I appreciate that the great majority of family day care services operate compliantly with the necessary levels of supervision, and are well run businesses. For that reason, changes that need to be made to regulations will be done in close consultation with the sector.
“I will consult with the sector before deciding on final changes to apply.”
There are currently 38 family day care service accreditation holders in Western Australia, who are responsible for about 1400 homes which operate family day care facilities in the state.
Of these 1400 homes, 258 are currently registered as having a pool, water feature or water hazard on or near their properties which are subject to annual safety inspections.