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April 2011

Monash University recognises that despite the range of child care options available to staff and students through the University and the wider community, there may be, on occasion, the need to bring their children into classrooms, lecture theatres or offices.

The University also acknowledges that due to the nature of teaching and research activities, there are a variety of hazards and risks which have the potential to impact on the health and safety of anyone on campus and that they have a legal and moral obligation to ensure the health and safety of all persons, including children who may be on university premises.

The information below applies to staff and students bringing dependent children onto campus whilst engaging in work or study related activities and is designed to support the existing positive practices within Monash University which recognise that provision for students with family responsibilities is a fundamental prerequisite for achieving equality of educational and employment opportunity.

Responsibilities of Parents

  • Requests to bring a child to a lecture or tutorial should be made (preferably in advance) to the relevant lecturer and should be reasonable in the circumstances.
  • Parents should be sensitive to the needs of colleagues and should not expect others to care for their children. When bringing children into the University the needs of other students should be recognised and respected.
  • In the interests of public health, sick/ill/infectious children should not be brought onto campus.
  • Children will not be permitted in areas where there are health or safety hazards including:
    • laboratories
    • dark rooms
    • workshops
    • plant rooms
    • food preparation areas
    • areas where chemicals are stored
    • areas where machinery is used and;
    • any other areas designated as hazardous by the local Occupational Health and Safety Committee.
  • Children brought into the University must be under the direct supervision of an accompanying parent or caregiver at all times. Responsibility for all aspects of the child's behaviour should rest solely with the parent.
  • Children are permitted to accompany their parents to the Library, Student Union, Student Services Centre or other non-teaching areas subject to particular regulations relating to the hazardous areas mentioned above. Parents or caregivers must ensure that other users of these facilities are not unreasonably inconvenienced by the child(ren)'s presence

Responsibilities of Staff

  • Requests by parents to bring children to a classroom or lecture theatre shall be treated sympathetically and no reasonable request refused.
  • Factors to be considered when granting permission to bring children on campus may include the age of the child(ren), the environment (location, size of area), and the degree of possible interference with other students and staff.
  • The length of time and frequency of visits should be arranged, in advance, between the staff member and parent.
  • A lecturer may request a student to remove a child if his or her presence is disruptive to other students in the classroom or study areas.

Responsibilities of heads of academic/administrative units

To avoid children being injured in departments:

  • remind all staff that children brought into the University must be under the direct supervision of an accompanying parent or caregiver at all times
  • remind all staff and students that they have a legal responsibility, under the Occupational Health & Safety Act, to ensure the safety of all persons, including children, on university premises
  • request your Safety Officer and area supervisors to identify potential hazards to children in areas other than those which have been mentioned above or specifically identified by your local Occupational Health & Safety Committee as being "no access" areas for children
  • when evaluating equipment prior to purchase, give consideration to the potential hazards it may pose to children, as well as adults.

Resolution of Problem or Disputes

  • Monitoring, intervention and resolution of any problems or disputes rests with the relevant staff member concerned and their supervisor.
  • If a matter is unresolved and there is a risk to health and safety, the University's Procedures for health and safety issue resolution (pdf 46kb) should be utilised.
  • In the instance that a child is found to be unsupervised, contact local security staff.

Further information

For additional information contact Occupational Health and Safety:

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