Early Childhood Education Services Emergency Planning Guidance
Best Practice Guide [BPG 6/11]
When an emergency such as an earthquake occurs, the safety of a person’s family is generally their first consideration. Parents who entrust the care of their children to others want the reassurance that those caring for and educating their children will do all they can to keep their children safe, particularly when those children are very young.
Having a strong emergency plan in place ahead of time can enable a safe response to emergencies that arise as the result of natural hazards and other emergency situations. The National Emergency Management Agency and the Ministry of Education have jointly developed this Best Practice Guide to help ECE services develop emergency plans and put them into practice.
The primary focus of the Best Practice Guide is the planning process which, if followed, should result in a comprehensive, relevant and practical Emergency Plan. Since there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution that can address every situation, the guidance provided is not intended to be a set of rules. Instead, it provides five planning steps and supporting information, including what sorts of issues should be covered in emergency plans, how to gather information to help write emergency plans, and who should be involved and consulted during an emergency plan’s development. The guidance also includes some advice on issues to consider during the planning process about how to transition to a smooth recovery following an emergency event or disaster.
Given that planning for natural hazards is similar to planning for other hazards that ECE services could face (such as fire, power failure, bomb threats etc), the guidance is intended to fit with procedures ECE services might already have in place. It also includes information about which legislative requirements apply to ECE services in the emergency planning context.