1. Policy

Harmony Early Education Pty (and each of its related entities) (“Harmony”) operates Closed Circuit Television Systems (CCTV) in various internal and external locations of each Harmony childcare centre.

The aim of this policy is to clearly outline the purpose of, use of and access to CCTV recordings by Harmony.

2. Purpose

Harmony operates CCTV systems for the purposes of:

  • Prevention, deterrence and notification of break-ins or attempted break-ins, crime, theft and vandalism;
  • Ability to investigate and report on incidents where surveillance provides supporting evidence;
  • Providing assurance, security and safety to employees, children, visitors, volunteers, contractors, and members of the public entering the centre; and
  • Educator training.

Recorded images are retained and used only in accordance with the purpose for which the CCTV system was installed unless they are subject to State or Federal laws that may require these records to be used as evidence in legal proceedings or otherwise in accordance with the provisions of this policy.

Harmony adheres to the Privacy Act 1988 and complies with the Australian Privacy Principles.

3. Installation and Maintenance

Harmony is responsible for ensuring that CCTV installation and use is compliant with relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory and Local Government laws and regulations at all times.

Harmony and the Nominated Supervisor for each centre will ensure that:

  • Harmony engages the services of qualified, licensed and reputable third-party contractors to install its CCTV systems.
  • Cameras are only installed in accordance with relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory laws.
  • CCTV cameras and storing devices are well maintained and checked for operational use on a regular basis as per manufacturer instructions.
  • CCTV cameras are clearly visible and not concealed in any way.

Harmony and the Nominated Supervisor for each centre will ensure that reasonable steps are taken to notify those entering and using each Harmony centre of the use of CCTV, this includes:

  • Access to the Harmony CCTV policy upon child enrolment;
  • Notifying employees upon employment;
  • Erecting clearly visible signage at the entrance of the centre to notify staff, families and visitors about surveillance; and
  • Ensuring that cameras are in clear view and not hidden in any way.

The Harmony CCTV system may be subject to unforeseen technical issues, software defects, hardware failure, power outages or force majure events beyond the control of Harmony which results in temporary disruption to its regular operation. As such, Harmony cannot guarantee the uninterrupted operation of the CCTV system, including the cameras, storage devices, other hardware items and associated software.

4. Location of Cameras for Use

Harmony and each Nominated Supervisor will ensure that the location of any CCTV camera is such to maintain the dignity of those at the service and provide coverage to meet the purpose of the system. Cameras are to be directed at areas rather than individuals.

Specific camera locations will vary from centre to centre. However, in any given centre a clearly visible camera may be present in the following locations:

  • Carpark and external walls;
  • Entry and reception areas;
  • Hallways;
  • Kitchens;
  • Studios and Playrooms; and
  • Outdoor play spaces.

Cameras will not be placed in or be able to reach any of the following locations:

  • Toilets;
  • Change rooms;
  • Bathrooms and showers;
  • Breastfeeding locations;
  • Areas put aside for prayer;
  • Staff rooms;
  • Storerooms; and
  • Laundries.

The CCTV systems that Harmony use do not record sound.

The planning and design of each system has endeavoured to ensure that they will provide maximum effectiveness and efficiency within the confines of the law, however it is not possible to guarantee that any system will cover or detect every single event which takes place in the centre or within the areas of coverage.

Harmony will regularly review the systems to ensure that they are functioning correctly, whether additional cameras are necessary and that the existing cameras are situated in the most appropriate locations (and installed to maximise coverage). Harmony also reserves the right to remove any one or more cameras at any given centre at its discretion.

5. Monitoring

Harmony staff do not monitor CCTV footage in real-time, unless that is done for the purposes of child safety when such staff member is in an adjoining room or attending to multiple tasks.

Some of Harmony’s CCTV systems record images (whether they are monitored or not). Such records may be accessed and used for investigative, training or evidentiary purposes. The duration of time that recorded images are held will vary from centre to centre due to variables including the use of motion sensing technology and the size of storage devices. Generally, recorded images are held for between 30 and 60 days (unless a copy is made for the purposes of an ongoing investigation, as evidence of a performance management issues or complying with a relevant law). After that time footage is deleted or de-identified in accordance with relevant laws.

6. Storge of Images

The imagery recording systems (recorders and storage devices) which Harmony uses as part of its CCTV system are kept in lockable enclosures to protect against unauthorised access or vandalism.

The CCTV monitoring devices will be located in secure locations where they are unlikely to suffer from criminal attack or unauthorised access. Computers able to access images are password protected. Access is only provided to Harmony company directors, the CEO, authorised members of the senior management team and the Nominated Supervisor or responsible person in charge of the relevant centre. Access may also be granted to third party consultants for the purposes of investigative management if required.

7. Use of Images

The CCTV recording system operates in real mode, monitoring the centre continuously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout each year.

Harmony may rely on CCTV recordings to investigate alleged breaches of Harmony policies, laws, regulations and standards. Any such investigation will be carried out in accordance in with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.

The Harmony CCTV systems would not normally be utilised purely for staff monitoring and surveillance. However, this may occur where there is a reason for temporary monitoring for an identified cause.

Where an incident has occurred or an allegation is made, a Harmony company director, the CEO, authorised member of the senior management team or the Nominated Supervisor or responsible person in charge of the relevant centre may review recorded CCTV to find out what happened and who was involved. This may include views before, during and after the incident with enough detail to recognise those present, and what happened including events leading up to and immediately after the event.

All requests to view, access or have released any CCTV recording must be immediately referred to the Harmony company directors or the CEO for consideration. Harmony will respond within a reasonable timeframe to any request, with consideration to the length of time the image is stored for and the length of time taken to search for and view the image.

Any images requested to be viewed by a Harmony staff member, family or visitor of the centre will only be granted when:

  • It is requested in writing and approved by a Harmony company director or the CEO in advance;
  • It is for a lawful purpose;
  • It involves that person or his/her child directly;
  • It is viewed at the service in the presence of a Harmony company director or the CEO, other authorised member of the senior management team or the Nominated Supervisor or responsible person in charge of the relevant centre (noting that no other person may view the playback and no person is permitted to create a secondary recording of the playback, for example via a mobile recording device).

Images will only be released to a third party when requested in writing for a lawful reason such as a subpoena by a Court of Law or for an official police investigation or in accordance with other relevant law requiring such disclosure (including to the relevant Commonwealth or State or Territory government departments which are concerned with the welfare of children or other children’s services).

Due to the inclusion of other persons in images recorded, these will not be released unless requested for a lawful purpose in a subpoena by a Court of Law or for an official police investigation or in accordance with other relevant law requiring such disclosure.

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