SunSmart Recommendations for Childcare Services

The SunSmart Program has 10 recommendations services need to include in their sun protection policy to join the program based on advice from The World Health Organization.
Following are the SunSmart recommendations and some resources which can help you implement them in your service.

1. Scheduling Outdoor Activities
2. Shade
3. Hats
4. Clothing
5. Sunscreen
6. Babies
7. Role Modelling
8. Education
9. Information and Policy Availability
10. Review


Scheduling Outdoor Activities

UV levels and daily sun protection times are used to plan daily activities and ensure a correct understanding of local sun protection requirements.

When children are on excursions all sun protection practices are planned, organised, understood and available

Click here for a UV Alert poster you can use at your service to record the daily UV Index and what times you need sun protection! Simply print, laminate, and fill in every morning.



  • All outdoor activities are planned to occur in shaded areas.
  • Shade options are provided, maintained and promoted to the children.
  • Play-based learning activities are set up and moved throughout the day to take advantage of shade patterns.

Shade options can include a combination of portable, natural and built shade. Cancer Council encourages regular shade assessments and the monitoring of existing shade structures, to assist in planning for additional shade.

Planning more shade or want to assess what you already have? Open our Guidelines to Shade for more information.



  • All staff and children are required to wear SunSmart hats* that protect their face, neck and ears.
  • Children without a SunSmart hat are encouraged to play in an area protected from the sun (e.g. under shade, veranda or indoors), or are provided with a spare SunSmart hat.

* SunSmart hats include:

  • Broad-brimmed hats with a brim size of at least 6cm (adults 7.5cm).
  • Bucket hats with a deep crown and brim size of at least 5cm (adults 6cm).
  • Legionnaire style hats.

Baseball caps or visors do not provide enough sun protection and therefore are not recommended.

Click here to find out more about SunSmart hats!


  • Staff and children are required to wear SunSmart clothing that covers as much of the skin (especially the shoulders, back and stomach) as possible.
  • Children without SunSmart clothing are encouraged to play in an area protected from the sun (e.g. under shade, veranda or indoors) or are provided with spare clothing.

*SunSmart clothing includes wearing:

  • Loose fitting shirts and dresses with sleeves and collars or covered neckline.
  • Longer style skirts, shorts and trousers.

Midriff, crop or singlet tops do not provide enough sun protection and therefore are not recommended.

Do you have concerns about vitamin D? Get some more info from our page on vitamin D here or check out this easy to read infographic.


  • All staff and children are required to apply SPF30+ (or higher) broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours.
  • Permission to apply sunscreen is included in the service enrolment form. Where children have allergies or sensitivity to the sunscreen, parents are asked to provide an alternative sunscreen, or the child encouraged to play in the shade.

Cancer Council recommends usage tests before applying a new sunscreen. All sunscreen is stored in a cool, dry place and the expiry dates monitored.

As a SunSmart centre Cancer Council NSW offers your service sunscreen at wholesale prices! Email us to find out more.


  • Babies under 12 months are not be exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Babies clothing, hat and shade positioning are checked regularly to ensure they continue to be well protected from UV.

The use of sunscreen on babies under 6 months is not recommended due to their sensitive skin. 

For some more information on how to protect your baby in the sun click here.

Role Modelling

Staff act as role models and demonstrate SunSmart behaviours by:

  • Wearing a SunSmart hat, protective clothing, and wearing sunglasses (optional)
  • Applying SPF30+ broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen
  • Promoting the use of shade
  • Discussing sun protection with children and demonstrating a positive and proactive approach to the management of sun protection in the service.

Sun safety is everyone’s responsibility. By being role models ourselves and leading the way with our own sun safety, we can inspire our children to be SunSmart when they step outside.

Check out our SunSmart DVD- What will they remember you for?

Education CancerCouncil-0399

  • Sun protection is incorporated regularly into learning programs. Children understand why sun safety is important and learn how to take effective sun protection actionsg. hat wearing, accessing daily UV levels
  • SunSmart App daily UV times are promoted to guide staff, parents and children behaviour.

Click here for our latest resources and newsletters!

Information and Policy Availability

  • Sun protection policy, procedures, requirements and updates are made available to staff, families and visitors.
  • Sun protection information and resources are accessible and communicated regularly to families.

All parents/families are informed of the sun protection policy including appropriate hat, clothing and sunscreen requirements on enrolling their child in the service.


  • Management and staff regularly monitor and review how effectively they implement their sun protection policy.

Sun protection policies must be updated and submitted to Cancer Council NSW every three years to maintain current SunSmart status. 

 Is it time for your service to renew your SunSmart membership? Click here to find out how.

For more SunSmart resources for childcare services click here.