Centre-based early childhood services, including pre-school, long day care, kindergarten and occasional care, all play a significant role in minimising our children’s time spent in the sun. Staff can help change behaviour by acting as SunSmart role models and incorporating games and activities around skin protection.
Early childhood services can reduce children's UV radiation exposure and skin cancer risk because:
- children often attend services when daily UV radiation is at its highest
- early childhood is a significant period to promote and encourage healthy life style behaviours
- early childhood services, in partnership with families and their communities, can help reduce UV radiation exposure and change behaviour through policy, education, environment and role modelling
View Cancer Council Australia's Position Statement - Sun Protection and Infants
Duty of care
Early childhood services, including Family Daycare Schemes have a responsibility to implement skin cancer prevention strategies for children and staff health.
Children: Duty of care refers to the need to protect children against foreseeable harm. Sunburn is a foreseeable outcome of over-exposure to solar UV radiation and there is now evidence linking UV exposure, particularly during childhood and adolescence (but also adulthood) to skin cancer development later in life.
Workers: Occupational UVR Exposure is a serious Work Health and Safety (WH&S) issue for people who spend part or most of their working day outside. Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, all persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their workers. Similarly, workers have a responsibility to adopt protective measures introduced by their employer to maintain a safe workplace.
Staff can claim sun protection related expenses on their income tax. For more information contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 2861(employees) or 132866 (for businesses) or visit ato.gov.au.