Sleep and Rest Procedures              Sleep and rest Practices and Procedures

The nominated supervisor of an education and care service must take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs for sleep and rest of children being educated and cared for by the service are met, having regards to the ages, development stages and individual needs of the children. Clause 82 (2) on P 102 of the National Regulations.

Policy Review from the 1st October 2017 Regulation 81 (Sleep and Rest).


Due to risks associated with children when sleeping Education and Care Services must ensure that policies and supervision procedures are in place that meet the National  Standards  for sleep.

Principles to guide our practice:

  1. Bullet Effective sleep and rest strategies are important to ensure that a child feels safe and secure whilst they are resting.

  1. BulletApproved providers, nominated supervisors and all educators have a duty of care to ensure that children are provided with a high level of safety when sleeping and resting and every reasonable precaution is taken to protect them from harm and hazards.

  1. BulletRed Nose (Formally SIDS and KIDS)  is considered the national authority on safe sleep practices.

  1. BulletThis policy should be regularly reviewed to ensure that it continues to meet national standards and guidelines.

  1. BulletServices should consult with individual families about their child’s individual needs and be sensitive  to different values and parenting beliefs (cultural or otherwise) associated with sleep and rest.

  1. BulletIf a family’s wishes or beliefs  are in conflict with current evidence based guidelines the service will need to determine if there are exceptional circumstances that allow for alternative practices eg  with some rare medical conditions it may be necessary for a baby to sleep on his side /stomach which is against recommendations for this age group.

  1. BulletChildren’s individual sleep needs are taken into account. This meets the standard 2.1 (element 2.1.2) of the National Quality Standard, each child’s comfort ,must be provided for and there must be appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s sleep, rest and relaxation needs.

Procedures for Rest



  1. BulletChildren should sleep and rest with their face uncovered.

  1. BulletA quiet place should be designated for rest and sleep, away from interactive groups. If designated for rest, the space should allow for a calm play experience.

  1. BulletChildren’s sleep and rest environments should be free from cigarette or tobacco smoke.

  1. BulletSleep and rest environments and equipment should be safe and free from hazards.

  1. BulletSupervision planning and the placement of educators across a service should ensure educators are able to adequately supervise sleeping and resting children.

  1. BulletEducators should closely monitor sleeping and resting children and the sleep and rest environments. This involves checking/inspecting sleeping children at regular intervals, and ensuring they are always within sight and hearing distance of sleeping and resting children so that they can assess a child’s breathing and the colour of their skin. Service providers should consider the risk for each individual child, and tailor Sleep and Rest Policies and Procedures (including the frequency of checks/inspections of children) to reflect the levels of risk identified for children at the service. Factors to be considered include the age of the child, medical conditions, individual needs and history of health and/or sleep issues.

Safe Bedding

  1. BulletLight bedding is the preferred option; it should be tucked in to the mattress to prevent the child from pulling bed linen over their head.

Safe placement

  1. BulletEnsure a safety check of sleep and rest environments is undertaken on a regular basis.

  1. BulletIf hazards are identified, lodge a report as instructed in the service’s policies and procedures for the maintenance of a child safe environment.

  1. BulletEnsure hanging cords or strings from blinds, curtains, mobiles or electrical devices are away from cots and mattresses.

  1. BulletKeep heaters and electrical appliances away from cots.

  1. BulletDo not place anything (e.g. amber teething necklaces) around the neck of a sleeping child. The use of teething bracelets (e.g. amber teething bracelets) is also not recommended while a child sleeps.

Individual children 

  1. BulletEnsure that children who do not wish to sleep are provided with alternative quiet activities and experiences, while those children who do wish to sleep are allowed to do so, without being disrupted. If a child requests a rest, or if they are showing clear signs of tiredness, regardless of the time of day, there should be a comfortable, safe area available for them to rest (if required). It is important that opportunities for rest and relaxation, as well as sleep, are provided.

  1. BulletConsider that there are a range of strategies that can be used to meet children’s individual sleep and rest needs.

  1. BulletLook for and respond to children’s cues for sleep (e.g. yawning, rubbing eyes, disengagement from activities, crying, decreased ability to regulate behaviour and seeking comfort from adults).

  1. BulletAvoid using settling and rest practices as a behaviour guidance strategy because children can begin to relate the sleep and rest environment, which should be calm and secure, as a disciplinary setting.

  1. BulletMinimise any distress or discomfort.

Acknowledge children’s emotions, feelings and fears.

Understand that younger children (especially those aged 0–3 years) settle confidently when they have formed bonds with familiar carers.

  1. BulletEnsure that the physical environment is safe and conducive to sleep. This means providing quiet, well-ventilated and comfortable sleeping spaces. Wherever viewing windows are used, all children should be visible to supervising educators.


  1. BulletEach classroom’s programme must be flexible to take into account the individual needs for children based on rest, sleep or nutrition.  For example, if a child is falling asleep at playtime, a bed is provided for this child to rest ensuring that the child’s health is checked to make sure that they are not ill.

  1. BulletIf a parent request that a child has a sleep/to be woken up/not sleep then this request will tried to be met.  However it is the Centre’s policy to consider the needs and well-being of the child. Children will be woken after 30 minutes rest.   If a child falls asleep when a parent has asked for the child not to sleep then the staff member will wake the child after 30 minutes rest.

           Parent requests need to be noted on the sign on book under comments.


This policy is flexible and needs to be evaluated each term to monitor children’s developmental needs/parents requests and staff planning. At all times the welfare and the development of the CHILD is paramount. Educators have the right to determine the child’s needs for rest during the day with consultation with the Nominated Supervisor.