Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation in childhood and adolescence greatly increases the chances of developing skin cancer later in life. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. It is recommended that all early childhood and out of school hours care (OSHC) services develop and implement a comprehensive, evidence-based sun protection policy to reduce UV exposure and associated risks.
Research shows services with a written sun protection policy have the greatest number of children and staff protecting themselves from the sun.
The SunSmart Early Childhood and OSHC program aims to minimise exposure to UV radiation from the sun during the early years. SunSmart membership is associated with significant improvements in the quality of policies and strategies to reduce sun exposure.
Support for WA Early Childhood and OSHC services
- The SunSmart membership program assists ECEC and out of school hours care services to minimise over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and reduce the risk of skin cancer by developing a comprehensive sun protection policy.
- Sun protection best practice guidelines for Western Australian early childhood & OSHC services
- Educators and staff can access our free online professional learning modules at Generation SunSmart.
- The Play Active Program supports ECEC services to encourage children to be physically active and less sedentary by developing a comprehensive physical activity policy. The program includes a Resource Guide with practical tips, information as well as access to online or face-to-face training.
SunSmart Early Childhood Services
Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure during childhood and adolescence has a big impact on future skin cancer risk. Reducing UV exposure reduces skin cancer risk. Infants and children are often in childcare or at kindergarten during the peak UV times during the day, making it essential for early childhood centres to not only have practices in place to protect the children in their care, but also to educate and act as role models for the importance of sun protection. The SunSmart program for early childhood and out of school hours care (OSHC) aims to minimise exposure to UV radiation from the sun and influence sun protection behaviours.
Why become a SunSmart member?
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority’s National Quality Standard requires all childcare services to have a sun protection policy. Early childhood centres have a duty of care to minimise children’s exposure to the sun and provide an environment that encourages sun protection behaviours.
The SunSmart program assists childcare and early learning services to develop and maintain sun protection policies and put them into action.
Joining the SunSmart program demonstrates a commitment to securing the future health and well-being of children and staff. The program is open to childcare, family day care schemes, OSHC and early learning services.
SunSmart members comply with the following minimum standards:
- A sun protection policy is implemented whenever the UV Index reaches 3 or above.
- All children and staff wear a broad brimmed, legionnaire or bucket hat when outside.
- The use of SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen is required.
- Sun protective clothing is required.
- Play experiences about sun protection are included in the education program.
- The sun protection policy is reflected in the planning of all outdoor events
- Outdoor experiences are rescheduled, whenever possible, to minimise time outdoors when the UV Index is 8 and above.
- The service has sufficient shade or is working towards increasing shade in the outdoor play space.
- The service reviews its sun protection policy regularly.
- SunSmart services will be reassessed every three years to confirm sun protection practices.
Apply to become a SunSmart service or renew your membership
Become a SunSmart service is easy, simply:
- Review the Sun protection best practice guidelines for Western Australian early childhood & OSHC services
- Develop and implement a sun protection policy or update the existing one. A SunSmart early childhood sample policy and a SunSmart OSHC policy is available for services to adapt.
- Complete an application form online or download the SunSmart Application Form For information on details we collect, please see our Privacy Collection Statement.
- We will review your application and policy and provide feedback or suggested updates.
- Once approved, we will post out your SunSmart membership pack and you will be able to proudly display your ‘We are SunSmart’ sign.
A joining fee is payable upon qualification as a SunSmart member.
ECEC services: $80 (incl GST)
Family Day Care services: $80 (incl GST)
Out of School Hours Care services: $50 (incl GST)
Renewal of SunSmart membership: no charge
Replacement sign fee: $55 (incl GST)
SunSmart members receive:
- A metal ‘We are SunSmart’ sign
- SunSmart membership certificate
- A 20% discount at the Cancer Council WA shop in Subiaco
- Supporting resources to assist staff and parents in promoting sun protection
- Ongoing updates, support and advice
Cancer Council WA requires SunSmart Services to review their sun protection policy every three years to maintain their SunSmart membership. Renewal of membership is free of charge to the original centre management.