Amberley O.S.H.C.

Children are our future, We are dedicated to their success!

2.20 Children Accessing the Internet

The service acknowledges that children may access the internet for educational and/or recreational purposes during the operational hours of the program.  Therefore the service takes a proactive approach to educating children on safe and secure internet usage.  This policy aims to establish guidelines on access to the internet and/or online social networking, with the aim of protecting children from risk of harm.

Relevant Laws and other Provisions

The laws and other provisions affecting this policy include:

  • Education and Care Services National Law Act, 2010 and Regulations 2011
  • Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000
  • Child Protection Act 1999 and Child Protection Regulations 2000
  • ‘My Time, Our Place’ Framework for School Age Care
  • Duty of Care
  • NQS Area: 1.1.1, 1.1.6; 2.3.1, 2.3.2, 2.3.4; 3.2.2; 4.2.1; 5.1.3, 5.2.2, 5.2.3; 6.1.1, 6.3.2; 7.3.5.
  • Policies: 2 – Statement of Commitment to the Safety and Wellbeing of Children and the Protection of Children from Harm, 2.8 – Anti-Bullying, 2.15 – Children’s Property and Belongings, 2.18 – Cyber-bullying 3.1 – Educational Program Planning, 6.2 – Provision of Resources and Equipment, 9.3 – Communication with Families, 10.12 – Information technology.

Procedures

Definitions

‘Internet’: refers to the world wide web of computer systems that facilitates the transmission and exchange of data.  Information search engines and web browsers include, but are not limited to, Google, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

‘Social Networking Media’:  refers to any online tools or functions that allow people to communicate or share information via the internet.  This includes, but is not limited to, applications such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

‘Mobile device’:  refers to devices that have non-Wi-Fi internet access such as iPads, tablets, iPods, and mobile phones

Service Responsibilities

The Service will ensure that all service computers and mobile devices with internet access are fitted with adequate security and filtering software to prevent access to inappropriate information and web sites. This includes wireless access.

Software will be installed by technically skilled persons with a record of the time and date of installation maintained.  Software should be regularly updated and reviewed for efficacy.

The Service will ensure all educators are provided with training and support in managing instances of inappropriate use of the internet by children in accordance with relevant aspects of the service’s behaviour support guidelines.

In collaboration with the children, the Service will develop and implement guidelines for accessing the computers/mobile devices and their internet usage whilst in attendance at the service.  This may include the development of ‘user agreements’, in collaboration with children and families.

The services will make available to children and families relevant information about protecting children online and may include such material in service newsletters or other correspondence to children and families.  (See the reference list for a variety of resources where suitable and relevant information may be accessed).

The Service will have clear guidelines on the use of children’s personal belongings, including mobile devices.

Educator Responsibilities

Educators will ensure their own practices role model appropriate safety measures when researching information, either individually or with the children.

Educators will ensure children are only able to access the internet at the service through authorised computers and/or mobile devices that have appropriate security and filtering software installed.

Educators will encourage children’s safe use of the internet through strategies including, but not limited to:

  • Monitoring what children are looking at/for when accessing the internet;
  • Monitoring who children are chatting to/interacting with while accessing the internet;
  • Regular conversations with children about using the internet safely.

Family Responsibilities

To read through the services ‘user agreement’ with your child and ensure they have an understanding of the guidelines.

Be aware of your child’s access to data on devices, whether securely connected through the service or accessible on their own device.

References

Australian Government. (n.d.). Protect your children. Retrieved from Stay Smart Online: www.staysmartonline.gov.au/home_users/protect_your_children

Dept of Education, Training and Employment. (2013). Cybersafety and Cyberbullying – A guide for parents and caregivers. Retrieved from www.education.qld.gov.au

Queensland Children’s Activities Network. (2013, August). Children and Cyber Safety. Intouch Magazine.

Reviewed and updated May 2014, reviewed 9 February 2015


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