Much ado about nothing: There is NO gun play ban at NSW childcare centres

July 6, 2018

The ACA NSW survey is not a ban on toy guns and gun play at childcare centres.

 

ACA NSW CEO, Chiang Lim spoke with Now To Love saying talk of a ban is "categorically untrue".

"Even if we wanted to, which we don't, we don't have the power to make such a ban," says Lim.

 

"Following the conversations in the UK, we do plan on surveying our members, simply to get the wisdom of them as a collective so that we can gather useful data for centres who are looking at what to do in a situation where gun play might be an issue."

 

"I believe that culturally, we have a natural aversion to guns anyway," says Lim.

 

"Given the training that childcare educators receive, and a cultural predisposition to childcare being a place of nurture and positivity, gun play doesn't really come into the equation that much.

 

"It's quite likely that there are centres where violent gun play has never been a problem, and that's why we considered the survey, so that we can look at some best practice that other centres have developed for dealing with those issues, then redistribute those ideas as a resource."

 

ACA NSW has posted a response on their site to yesterday's media attention, clearly outlining how the information gathered in their proposed survey could be useful to a childcare facility. For example, how do childcare services deal with situations like:

 

  • on dress up days where some children wear police or soldiers uniforms complete with pretend sidearms and other equipment – how do educators/teachers celebrate our men and women in uniform?

  • toy guns, bows and arrows, swords and light sabres – how do educators/teachers ensure safety from projectiles and accidental blows?

  • for some children who have a family history of domestic violence – how do educators/teachers balance play with the potential sensitivity for vulnerable children?

  • software and apps that children bring into the childcare services – how do educators/teachers vet their content?

  • different parents associated in the same childcare service can often have opposing views about their children playing with other children – how do educators/teachers balance what may be contradictory expectations?

 

"We're not even talking about behavioural management," says Lim. "What this will cover comes way before that.

 

"For example, a water pistol is innocuous enough, but having water all over the floor could lead to many problems in a childcare centre, as you can imagine.

 

"But there is no blanket ban. What individual centres do is completely up to them," says Lim.

 

"They have to do what is best for them for the families that use their service and for their local communities"

 

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