Home' Belonging Early Years Journal : Volume 4 No 3 Contents 76 • BELONGING EARLY YEARS JOURNAL • VOLUME 4 NUMBER 3 • 2015
child health + safety
'For example, there may be a brochure in three
different languages saying that a child up to seven
must use a restraint. But the level of detail about what
sort of restraint for children of different ages may not be
in the brochure, and you may have to go elsewhere to
nd that information.That's when these families have
dif culty accessing the more detailed information.
Family day care is popular among families and
educators from diverse cultural backgrounds. Many
of Victoria's newest family day care services are
located in population growth areas whose new
residents include large numbers of migrants and
refugees. Nationally, about 38 per cent of family day
care educators speak a language other than English,
according to federal government gures.
In Victoria, almost half of family day care educators
are from non-English speaking backgrounds, according
to previous research cited in Brown's study.
Zora Marko, an early childhood road safety
expert with Early Learning Association Australia
(ELAA), agrees with the study's conclusion that the
demographic pro le of family day care means that
the services are ideally placed to reach out to parents
from non-English speaking backgrounds to improve
their understanding of how to transport children safely.
Marko has been working with VicRoads and the
sector's peak organisation, Family Day Care Australia,
over the past few years, examining the needs of family
day care educators and service providers.
This work has since led to the development of a
best practice road safety policy, Safe Transport Policy
(Family Day Care), for the family day care sector,
with free tailored training and resources to improve
educator and parental knowledge about the safe
transportation of children.
An information brochure, Travelling with Children
in Cars, has recently been produced in 22 languages
by ELAA, funded through TAC's Community Grants
program. Audio le versions of the brochure have
been created in 10 languages, with more languages
planned.This translated material complements work
that ELAA undertakes in delivering Victoria's early
childhood road safety education program, Starting
Out Safely, funded by VicRoads.
'This is the rst time that something so
comprehensive in a range of languages has been
developed about the use of child restraints,
says. 'We're providing these new resources and
structured training for educators to help overcome the
issues that the sector and the study have highlighted.
'If educators are more con dent about the quality of
the information they're receiving on child restraints, then
they'll be more con dent relaying this information more
effectively to parents.This is really important for families
from non-English speaking backgrounds because they
often feel more comfortable seeking information from
educators from the same cultural background.
ELAA is a peak organisation, representing parents
and early learning services, including kindergartens,
childcare centres and family day care.
In August, the organisation and VicRoads launched
a website (www.childroadsafety.org.au) containing
online versions of the new brochures and other new
resources for home-based and centre-based early
Marko says that the website was developed to
provide a central location for educators and parents
to get clear, easily accessible information about
early childhood road safety education and the
safe transportation of children. Most of the website's
material was relevant for use throughout Australia and
New Zealand, and can be downloaded for free.
The website includes practical tips, such as an
easy ve-step test to judge when a child can safely
graduate from wearing a booster seat to an adult seat
belt.The test, devised by road safety experts, is based
on a child's height and best practices that are higher
than the minimum standards required under current
road safety laws.
Safest fit: When a child can use an adult
seat belt or sit in the front seat
The five-step test:
Use this test to judge whether a child is big
enough to be safely restrained by an adult seat
belt.The child should be able to:
1 . sit with their back against the seat back
2 . bend their knees comfortably over the front of
the seat cushion
3 . sit with the sash belt across their mid-shoulder
4 . sit with the lap belt across the top of their
5 . remain in this position for the whole trip.
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