December | 2019
In some circumstances, verandahs can be counted as ‘indoor’ space in education and care services. This fact sheet covers issues that approved providers should consider before applying to have a verandah area approved as indoor space.
Information to consider before applying
- The Education Standards Board (ESB) may approve an area of verandah to be included in your calculation of indoor space at a service.
- A verandah that is included when calculating the area of outdoor space cannot be included when calculating the area of indoor space (and vice versa).
- In determining whether a verandah area can be counted as indoor space, the ESB will consider whether the space can be suitably weatherproofed and is appropriate for the safety and wellbeing of children.
- Not all verandahs will be appropriate for indoor play activities on an ongoing basis; therefore applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A site inspection by an authorised officer from the ESB will often be part of assessing suitability.
Physical features of the space
Verandahs must be directly accessible from children’s activity rooms, have a solid roof and floor and contain appropriate drainage to prevent the pooling of water.
Verandah areas must be able to be effectively weatherproofed to provide comfortable conditions for children and staff using the verandah area throughout the year. For example, during cold, wet and windy conditions, it may be necessary for verandah areas to have temporary protection from the elements, such as waterproofing or heaters. However, in warmer conditions, blinds and waterproofing may be unnecessary, but fans, shading or air conditioning may be appropriate.
Heating and cooling may be considered to be provided to verandah areas if it can be effectively referred from adjacent indoor areas. Services may wish to consider insulation, air conditioning or fans within verandah areas to ensure effective temperature control. Materials used to enclose the verandah area must provide effective weatherproofing and should effectively enclose all sides of the verandah area. Materials should also be clear or tinted to allow for adequate vision to other areas. If blinds are used they should be plastic track blinds. Blinds with a woven polyester mesh are not considered to provide suitable weatherproofing, and corded or zipped type blinds are not considered suitable.
Verandahs must be structurally sound and meet Building Code of Australia (BCA) requirements for verandahs to the standard applicable at the time of installation or alteration. Access and egress must also be considered. The ESB may require you to provide evidence from a building practitioner that a verandah is structurally sound, meets BCA requirements and is a safe area for use by children.
There are no minimum space requirements for verandahs. However the:
- area must be suitable for indoor play activities
- position and shape of the verandah area should not affect usability or inhibit effective supervision of children
- area to be counted must be unencumbered space.
Passageways and door thoroughfare areas through verandahs are not countable for capacity purposes and are considered encumbered space.
What is encumbered space?
Floor space that is blocked or filled by objects and, therefore, unusable is considered to be encumbered space. This includes items such as built-in cupboards, sinks, fixed cabinetry, children’s lockers, heaters and door thoroughfare areas.
Considerations for 'declared approved' services
A service that was operating immediately before 1 January 2012, prescribed as a ‘declared approved’ service, which has continued to operate with indoor space calculations from previous children’s services regulations, can apply to the ESB to count a verandah area as indoor space.
However, a recalculation of this space may be required if the service ever wants to:
- carry out renovations involving structural alterations
- reduce the children’s activity area
- increase service capacity.
For more information, see our Renovation fact sheet.
Please note: The information contained in this fact sheet is intended for guidance only and should not be seen as overriding any other standard, code or law.
Education Standards Board
Phone: (08) 8226 0077 or 1800 882 413
Email: educationstandardsboard [at] sa.gov.au
This fact sheet provides guidance for approved providers of education and care services to help them operate in line with the National Quality Framework. We also recommend referring directly to the legislation:
- Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011 (SA), incorporating the Education and Care Services National Law (South Australia)
- Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
- Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Regulations 2011 (SA).