Twenty day wait is too long for Police checks - ECC

15 July 2021

The Early Childhood Council is calling on the Police to reduce the time required for a pre-employment Vet Report from twenty to five days through proper resourcing, to give small businesses certainty in recruiting.

"I sympathise with the Police Vet team trying to process 650,000 report requests a year - the government set these rules in place and left the sector to deal with this obvious bottleneck."

"But like many organisations, including ECE centres, the Police had ample time to get ready for the tidal wave of requests driven by the Children’s Act," said ECC CEO Peter Reynolds.

The ECC supports the requirement to obtain proper criminal history information of people applying to work in ECE centres, but says a twenty day target for compulsory reports is too long.

"Childcare centres are in the middle of a teacher shortage and staffing crisis, and anything creating recruitment delays must be addressed."

"We believe it’s more than reasonable to expect an average five day turnaround on a Police Vet Report request, but there were delays in this system before the Children’s Act was introduced, that became steadily worse since."

"We believe the system that produces these reports needs a significant overhaul, with appropriate resourcing - and it needs to happen as soon as possible," said Mr Reynolds.

Centres are required under the Children’s Act and Education and Training Act to police vet their people before they can start work.

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