Swift action on child fears

Pakenham Gazette_20160511_P3

Authorities have moved swiftly to alleviate concerns that children in the toilet of a Pakenham childcare centre could be seen from the window of a neighbouring business.

One of the parents, who did not wish to be named to protect the identity of their child, claimed that three weeks ago they had overheard a conversation between a Time 4 Tots staff member and a parent discussing the visibility of the childcare centre toilets from the waiting room of St Antony Medical Centre next door.

“I decided to go into the doctor’s clinic myself and sure enough you can see children using the toilets,” the parent claimed.

“My children attend this centre and I am concerned that anybody is able to see and take photos of innocent children.

“The Education Department has received a few complaints from parents, including myself, in regards to the issue.

“The centre has a duty of care to these children.”

The Department of Education and Training, which is responsible for the regulation of early childhood education and care services operating under the Education and Care Services National Law Act (2010), said they received one complaint on Thursday 5 May.

The complaint was acted upon within half an hour and the regulatory authority was advised that the matter had been rectified on Friday morning.

A fence had been fixed and a shadecloth was erected to shield the childcare centre toilets from view, the department spokesperson said.

A Time 4 Tots licensee said the centre had been aware of the issue since the beginning of last week.

“In the whole 10 years we’ve been here there have been no issues raised about this problem, even for the department who perform consistent checks of the centre,” the licensee said.

“You would have to exert yourself for there to be an issue. You would have to be stepping on your tiptoes or standing on a chair quite close to the glass in the doctor’s clinic to see anything.

“But we have been a part of the Pakenham community for a long time and are always going to listen to concerns from families and acknowledge issues they may have with our centre. We did rectify the problem quickly.”

There are no other significant compliance issues with Time 4 Tots Early Learning Centre within the Department of Education’s enforcement and compliance actions.

Attempts to obtain comment from the medical centre were unsuccessful.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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