Emergency Management Requirements

Requirements for all centre-based services

All centre-based services must have an emergency and evacuation policy and procedures (regulation 168(2)(e)) and ensure that they are based on a risk assessment that is conducted to identify potential emergencies that are relevant to the service. Where appropriate the policy and procedures to effectively manage bushfire emergencies should be developed in consultation with relevant authorities.   

These must include:

  • instructions for what must be done in the event of an emergency
  • emergency procedures and evacuation diagram.

The service’s evacuation diagram and instructions must be displayed in a prominent position near each exit of the service premises. The emergency procedures must be documented and rehearsed at least every 3 months that the service is operating by the staff members, volunteers and children present at the service on the day of the rehearsal and the responsible person present at the time (regulation 97).

The emergency and evacuation policy and procedures should confirm how emergencies will be managed to reduce the associated risks and maintain children’s safety. This may include identifying circumstances when the decision is made to close the service.

The approved provider of an early childhood service service must ensure that copies of the current emergency and evacuation policy and procedures are available for inspection at the service premises at all times that the service is educating and caring for children (regulation 171(2)).

Bushfire At-Risk Register (BARR)

Victoria has a number of fire-prone areas where there is a higher risk of bushfire activity. Centre-based services located in these areas are placed on the Department’s BARR and additional conditions are placed on their service approval. 

To view list of services on BARR, see: BARR

Pre-emptive school relocation or closure on forecast elevated Fire Danger Rating days (Government school policy)

The Pre-emptive school relocation or closure on forecast elevated Fire Danger Rating days policy will affect early childhood services or outside school hours care services located on government school sites or within close proximity to a government school in a high designated bushfire risk area.

This policy outlines that in exceptional circumstances, some government schools may pre-emptively close or relocate on a forecast elevated Fire Danger Rating day.

To view the policy, see:
The Pre-emptive school relocation or closure on forecast Extreme Fire Danger Rating days policy (pdf - 618.43kb)
Pre-emptive school relocation or closure on forecast Exteme Fire Danger Rating days policy (docx - 308.22kb)

Requirements for centre-based service that are placed on the BARR

Centre-based services placed on the Department’s BARR are required to meet additional conditions that are imposed on their service approval. These are:

  • the approved provider of a service on the BARR must ensure that on any day declared to be a Code Red day for the region in which a service is located, that the service is closed and remains closed for the duration of the Code Red day
  • services named on the BARR must submit their current emergency management plan annually to their respective QAR Regional Office by 21 November.

For more information, see: Managing bushfire risk in centre-based services

Requirements for all family day care services

All Victorian family day care services have the following bushfire conditions imposed on their service approval:

  • the approved provider must identify family day care educators operating in a family day care residence or approved family day care venue in Victoria at particular risk of bushfire and ensure that these family day care educators do not operate on a declared Code Red day in their Bureau of Meteorology district
  • where a family day care residence or approved family day care venue is identified as being at particular risk of bushfire, policies and procedures relating to emergency and evacuation must incorporate policies and procedures for monitoring bushfire risks and informing families of service closures resulting from bushfire risks.

The approved provider of each family day care must:

  • assess the location of each residence and/or venue to determine whether the residence or venue is located in an area considered as high risk of bushfire. To assist in determining locations at high risk of bushfire, see: BARR
  • ensure that the family day care service has an emergency and evacuation policy and procedures in place including: 
    - an evacuation diagram
    - instructions for what must be done in the event of an emergency
    - these procedures must be documented and rehearsed every 3 months by each family day care  educator and the children being educated and cared for by the family day care educator on the day
  • incorporate procedures for monitoring bushfire risks for each family day care residence or venue
  • ensure that education and care is not provided at a family day care residence or venue located in an area considered as high risk of bushfire on a declared Code Red day in their Bureau of Meteorology district
  • inform families of any family day care residence or venue where education and care cannot be provided due to a Code Red day in their Bureau of Meteorology district.

For more information, see: Managing bushfire risk in family day care

Developing an emergency mangement plan

A range of resources have been created to assist services in developing their emergency management plans, they include: 

  • Guide to Developing an Emergency Management Plan
  • Emergency Management Planning FAQs
  • Emergency Management Plan Template for Early Childhood Services.

To view, see: Resources - Emergency Management

Relevant authorities

Volunteer and community based fire and emergency services organisation in Victoria, see: Country Fire Authority (CFA)

For fire and flood warnings or fire and flood warnings view emergency incidents in Victoria See: VicEmergency

For weather warnings, see: Bureau of Meteorology

Contact details

The Department is the Regulatory Authority in Victoria.
Phone: 1300 307 415
Email: licensed.childrens.services@edumail.vic.gov.au

For further information regarding the submission of your emergency management plan, contact the relevant regional office: Quality Assessment and Regulation: Regional Offices.

For further information in relation to emergency management contact Operations and Emergency Management at your DET region:

​Region​Contact
​South West Victoria​03 5337 8429
​South East Victoria​03 8765 5745
​North Western Victoria​03 5440 3175
​North Eastern Victoria​03 8392 9336