Apply for SunSmart Status

Stop - before you apply

Before your early childhood or primary school setting applies for national SunSmart status please search and view our SunSmart database to see if it is already an active member of Cancer Council ACT's National SunSmart Early Childhood Program or National SunSmart Schools Program.

A little background first - why bother?

A healthy balance of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure is important for general health. Too much UV from the sun can cause sunburn, skin damage, eye damage and skin cancer. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Two in three Australians will develop some form of skin cancer before they are 70.

Over-exposure to UV during childhood and adolescence is a major contributing factor of skin cancer, including melanoma, later in life. Cancer Council reccomends a combination of sun protection behaviour when UV levels reach three (3) or above. In Canberra average UV levels are 3 and above for part or most of each day from August to May. During the daylight saving/summer period it is important to take extra care between 11am – 3pm as this is when annual UV levels reach their peak. ACT early childhood services and schools should aim to minimise outdoor activities and events during this peak UV period.

Too little UV from the sun can lead to low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D regulates calcium levels in the blood. Vitamin D is necessary for the development and maintenance of healthy bones, muscles and teeth. Around the June and July winter period in Canberra, daily UV levels drop and remain low (under three) so sun protection isn’t usually required during this period unless spending extended periods outdoors.

Children attend early chidhood services and schools up to 5 days a week (during daily UV peak periods) making ACT early childhood and school settings an important part of delivering this balanced approach and education between UV exposure, sun protection and vitamin D.

OK, let's get started

About Your School/Service

Tell us about your sun protection measures

What types of hats are allowed at your school/service?
What are the consequences for a student/child not having an appropriate sun protective hat and/or clothing when UV levels are 3 and above?
Are any of the following items included in your dress code / sports uniform / uniform?
What obstacles (if any) would prevent your school from including sunglasses in your clothing/uniform and sun protection policy?
What happens at your school/service regarding the use of SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum sunscreen?
Please indicate any practices that are in place to provide additional protection to students/children (and workers) during 'peak UV times' (i.e. between 11am and 3pm during summer)
How do workers actively reinforce sun protection on a regular basis with students/children?

Sun protection and infants (ELCs only)

Does your service’s UV protection policy consider the special need of babies (say under 6 months)?

Thinking about your physical environment

Please describe the availability of shade at your school/service.

Curriculum and national framework

Schools only: How is sun protection (and vitamin D) incorporated into your school's curriculum?

Your UV (sun) protection policy

Who was involved in the development of your policy?
What obstacles (if any) were encountered in introducing a comprehensive sun protection policy?
Important information for you

If your school/service is awarded with a nationally recognised SunSmart status it will receive a large 60 cm x 90 cm We are SunSmart sign, a SunSmart certificate and resource material including an automatic subscription to receive the local Cancer Council ACT SunSmart e-news. Please note that there is a one-off joining fee of $65 (incl. GST), this is to cover the cost of your large SunSmart sign (an invoice will be posted to your school/service after it has received its SunSmart sign). If your school would like its sign awarded at a school assembly please discuss this with Cancer Council’s SunSmart Services Coordinator so these arrangements can be made.

Your privacy is important to us

Your contact details will only be used to provide you with information and resources relating to Cancer Council’s National SunSmart Schools or Early Childhood Program. All school/service information will be at all times kept private and confidential, and no identifying information will be used for statistical purposes. If you wish to discuss the storage and use of your details, please contact Cancer Council ACT on 6257 9999 or view our Privacy Policy on our website. On being awarded national SunSmart status your school/service's name will be acknowledged on Cancer Council ACT’s website in recognition of your ongoing efforts and commitment toward skin cancer prevention and awareness. You will also be able to monitor your current SunSmart status and next review date online via your SunSmart Certificate. Your email contact will be added to our SunSmart email list so we can continue to provide you and your school/service with current information and SunSmart reminders via our electronic e-news. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Know Your SunSmart Responsibilities

If your service or school is awarded national SunSmart status, you will be promoting Cancer Council’s national SunSmart messages in your daily activities and providing a role model for other early childhood and school seetings throughout Canberra. Canberra early childhood and school settings participating in the National SunSmart Early Childhood and Schools Programd must agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • To actively enforce their sun protection policy and practices as documented
  • To take all reasonable steps to ensure that all staff, children and families are aware of the sun protection policy and its requirements
  • To inform Cancer Council ACT of any changes to your policy and practices and anything else that may relate to or affect its inclusion in the National SunSmart Early Childhood Program.
  • Your service or school agrees to comply with the following SunSmart minimum standards:
  • Sun protection measures are used from August to May whenever the UV Index level reaches 3 and above.
  • Outdoor times are minimised as much as reasonably practicable between 11am and 3pm during daylight saving time/summer (ie Terms 1 and 4).
  • A combination of sun protection measures are considered when planning ALL outdoor activities. (e.g. recess, camps, excursions, sporting events, swimming carnivals etc).
  • The service or school has sufficient shade or is working toward increasing the number of trees and shade structures so as to provide adequate sun protected areas in the grounds.
  • Children/students are encouraged to use available areas of shade for outdoor activities, especially during daylight savings time.
  • Children/students who do not have appropriate hats or sun protective clothing are directed to play in the shade or a suitable area protected from the sun.
  • Appropriate sun protective clothing is included in the dress/ uniform code and recommendations for parents.
  • When UV levels are 3 and above ALL children/ students (and educators/teachers) wear a broad brimmed, legionnaire or bucket style hat.
  • The use of wrap-around sunglasses that meet Australian Standard 1067 (Sunglasses – Category 2, 3 or 4) is encouraged.
  • The use of SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen is encouraged.
  • Children/students receive daily opportunities and reminders to apply sunscreen daily Ie before lunch and afternoon play.
  • Children/students have easy access to sunscreen (classrooms etc)
  • Educator/teachers assist children/students who require assistance to apply sunscreen correctly.
  • Special care is taken for babies (early childhood settings).
  • All workers are required (under WH&S) to reduce their risk of Occupational UV Exposure when working outdoors (and act as positive SunSmart role models in doing so).
  • During the June and July winter period sun protection will not be enforced.
  • Programs (inc games and activities) on SunSmart messages are included in learning outcomes/curriculum across learning and year levels.
  • Positive SunSmart behaviour is regularly reinforced and promoted to the whole community (eg. via newsletters, enrolement, website etc).
  • The service/school considers displaying the SunSmart Widget on its website to assist educators, children and families with accurate daily sun protection times.
  • Educators/teachers are actively encouraged to choose Generation SunSmart as a Proffesional Learning Activity.
  • Educators/teachers are encouraged to download the SunSmart App to assist them with accurate daily sun protection times.
  • The service/school submits a copy of its UV Protection Policy at least once every three (3) years to Cancer Council ACT. The service monitors its compliance with its policy and works toward improvement where necessary.

Once your service/school has been awarded national SunSmart status it becomes an active member of Cancer Counil ACT's National SunSmart Early Childhood Program or National SunSmart Schools Program and your service/school has therefore agreed to participate in a SunSmart policy and program review every 3 years and to update its policy and practices if necessary to maintain the above SunSmart responsibilities. Your service/school will aim to set high national SunSmart standards for other ACT early childhood and school setting to follow.

Failing to take part in the SunSmart review process will result in your service/school's national SunSmart status being suspended until further notice, your service/school will also be politely asked to remove its SunSmart sign from being displayed.

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Cancer Council ACT



(02) 6257 5055



Unit 1 (The Annex)
173 Strickland Crescent
Deakin ACT 2600