A Perth toddler required life-saving CPR when they were discovered unconscious with a skipping rope around their neck at a childcare centre in the CBD.
The three-year-old was resuscitated and has physically recovered from the experience, but authorities have come down hard on G8 Education, trading as The Learning Sanctuary Kings Square, by dishing out an Australian record $90,000 penalty.
The emergency unfolded on September 8, 2022, when two children were left unsupervised in an outdoor play area.
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Learning Sanctuary staff returned 14 minutes later to find one of the children unresponsive and entangled in a skipping rope caught on a slide.
The child required 18 chest compressions before coming to and was rushed to hospital.
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The matter was referred to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) following an investigation by the Department of Communities, which uncovered significant breaches.
SAT handed G8 Education two fines worth $50,000 and $40,000 for inadequate supervision.
It is the first time in Australian history that a maximum penalty has been handed down for these types of offences.
The State Administrative Tribunal has ordered a Perth early education and care service to pay a penalty of $90,000 after a three-year-old child required life-saving action after being left unsupervised for 14 minutes. File image. Credit: Getty Images
Alarmingly, G8 Education had been put under the microscope for supervision breaches just a year before the 2022 “critical incident” when it was issued three compliance notices.
Several measures were put in place initially, but the centre failed to maintain them.
Authorities said that if they had, the skipping rope emergency could have been prevented.
“This incident clearly demonstrates the catastrophic consequences that inadequate supervision practices can have if policies and procedures are not followed,” Department of Communities’ acting-executive of regulations and quality, Angelo Barbaro, said.
“Approved providers of early education and care services hold an unmitigable obligation to uphold the very highest standards of care and supervision, to ensure child safety and wellbeing is prioritised.
“This incident was highly distressing for the child, family and all children and staff present.
“This very easily could have resulted in a death.”
The Learning Sanctuary’s motto is “a safe place for children to grow”. Credit: Facebook
A G8 Education spokesperson said it “took immediate steps” to review its facility and practices and had rolled out improvements across its entire network.
“We have worked closely with the Education and Care Regulatory Unit during its investigation of this incident and accept the findings of the State Administrative Tribunal report,” the representative said.
“We have implemented all recommendations in the report and remain committed to providing safe, secure and supportive learning environments for the children in our care.”
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