Bushfire At Risk and 'Code Red' days

Ignite Minds has is an approved Family Day Care service with some conditions.  As prescribed by law a full copy of all conditions can be found on the wall in each approved Family Day Care premise.

Two of the conditions relate to Bushfire preparedness.

Condition 4.

The approved provider must identify and maintain an up to date record of this service’s family day care educators operating in a family day care residence or approved family day care venue in Victoria who may be at risk of bushfire (bushfire-at-risk educators);

In assessing if educators operating venues are in bushfire at risk areas Ignite Minds first uses the Victorian Government overlay map to see if any bushfire at risk overlays exist.  Ignite Minds may include additional Residences/Venues on that risk if deemed appropriate.  Appropriate factors include but not limited to:

  • Density of surrounding forests
  • If evacuation would be restricted to 1 road
  • Advice from local CFA or government authorities

Currently the following Services are considered to be Bushfire at risk

Condition 5.

For any bushfire-at-risk educators, the approved provider must ensure that:

a. bushfire-at-risk educators do not operate on any day declared by the Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner to be a day of ‘Code Red’ Fire Danger Rating that would apply to the location in which that family day care residence or approve family day care venue is located; and

b. the service’s emergency and evacuation policies and procedures required under regulation 168 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations include a current Emergency Management Plan (EMP) for managing the service’s bush-fire related risks;

c. the Emergency Management Plan (EMP) is kept up to date, reflects the family day care educator’s operating context and includes:

i. procedures for monitoring and managing bushfire risks and events;

ii. procedures for notifying families of any closure

d. the Emergency Management Plan (EMP) is reviewed and updated as necessary at least once each calendar year. 

Procedure for service Closures

  1. All educators listed below Condition 4 above will have an Emergency Management Plan on site and all families will be requested to review and sign the document
  2. All educators will download the Vic Emergency app from Apple or Google Play stores.  Families are strongly encouraged to do so.
  3. All educators will set a watch zone within 20km of their residence.
  4. Code Red days can be called the night before and will be notified via the Vic Emergency app.  information is also available here https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/total-fire-bans-and-ratings
  5. All services listed as withing Bushfire at risk zones will close and children are not allowed to attend
  6. Where services are closed or evacuated as a consequence of Condition 5.a families will still be liable to pay fees.
  7. In some situations, services may elect to close their services during Severe or Extreme fire danger ratings.  Where Educators elect to close on a lower risk rating parents will not be liable to pay fees.
  8. Educators will contact all families informing them of service closures
  9. Ignite Minds will post information about services closures to StoryPark and email families.

Procedure for Services that remain open in Code Red zones.

  1. The 'code red' warning focuses on residents who live in the bush, in high-risk areas.
  2. Services that operate in Code Red zones may remain open if they are not listed at Condition 4 above
  3. Families and Educators must remain hyper vigilant and enact their emergency management plans
  4. Conditions can change quickly.  Families and Educators must maintain up to date information about the local emergency conditions via the Vic Emergency app
  5. Educators must monitor all children for signs of heat stroke, remain indoors and hydrated at all times.
  6. Families are strongly encouraged to keep children home on Code Red days.Families are strongly encouraged to keep children home on Code Red days.
  7. “A Code Red means if we see fires in those areas, they will be fast moving, unpredictable, and uncontrollable,” Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.  Families and Educators cannot rely on emergency services to be able to attend their residence on Code Red days.

  8. Procedure for Service Evacuation
  1. All educators have VIC emergency app installed with a watch zone of 20 km.

  2. Types of confirmation that the Educator is enacting their bushfire evacuation plan.

    1. Ignite Minds rings Educator if alert in watch zone

    2. Educator rings Ignite Minds if alert in watch zone

  3. Locate the Bushfire Management Plan from the Educators folder

  4. Notify all parents by posting a Storypark post in that educators room
  5. Commence ringing all parents or guardians or authorised nominees and inform them

    1. There is an evacuation taking place

    2. The children are being cared for and accompanied by their educator

    3. Please do not attempt to collect children from an active bushfire

    4. Please do not attempt to contact the educator as they are busy caring for children in this stressful time (and need to conserve mobile phone battery)

    5. Ignite Minds will post regular updates to StoryPark and email.

    6. Parents should monitor Storypark and phone for additional updates from Ignite Minds.

    7. Parents should communicate any additional information via Ignite Minds and not directly to the educator during evacuation.

  6. Ignite Minds and Families will ring the Vic Emergency hotline on 1800 226 226 and find out when it is safe to collect children from evacuation centres.

  7. Ignite Minds will notify families of evacuation address when safe to collect children from evacuation centres