A man who worked at a childcare centre in the Greater Hobart area has been charged with producing child exploitation material

Hobart Magistrate's Court

A man who worked at a childcare centre in the Greater Hobart area has been charged with producing child exploitation material.

Key points:

  • The childcare centre says it’s been working with police since October 2020
  • The man — who met all legal requirements to work with children — was immediately stood down and subsequently fired
  • He has been charged with producing child exploitation material

The center involved sent families a letter explaining that the organization had been assisting police with the investigation since October 2020 “regarding serious allegations concerning child safety”, and “the employee was stood down immediately whilst the matter was investigated”.

They said, “the individual’s employment was formally terminated” and that “from the time the organization became aware of the alleged behaviour to the point of termination, the staff member did not attend work at the service.”

“The individual met all legal requirements to work with children including the possession of a valid Tasmanian Registration to Work with Vulnerable People (RWVP),” it said.

“This registration is checked prior to commencement of employment and the status closely monitored for the duration of employment. The RWVP was suspended immediately by the Department of Justice at the beginning of the investigation.

“The organization has strict policies and procedures in place regarding Child Safety and Mandatory Reporting.

“A framework of child safe practices is embedded in daily operations, leadership and management, education and care environments and interactions with children.

“Staff are informed of their obligations and legal requirements at the time of their induction and routinely throughout their employees through professional development and regular staff communication.

“We would also like to acknowledge how incredibly difficult it has been for those involved.

“We continue to work with our staff, families and the service community to support each other and to do everything possible to ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of children in our care.”

Police said instances of people either producing, viewing, supplying or being in possession of child exploitation material are extremely serious.

Police confirmed the man was charged on January 29, but said the investigation was ongoing, that they were still making inquiries and further charges may be considered.

The man has been bailed to appear at the Hobart Magistrates Court in April.

The Department of Education’s Education and Care Unit — Tasmania’s childcare regulator — has been notified of the serious incident.

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