Schools & early childhood

Group of school children wearing sun protective school uniforms
Image courtesy of Herald Sun

Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. UV exposure during childhood and adolescence has a big impact on future skin cancer risk.

Reducing UV exposure reduces skin cancer risk.  

The SunSmart Schools and Early Childhood Membership Program started in the early 1990s to help raise awareness about skin cancer prevention and sun protection.

We recommend all early childhood services and schools develop and implement a comprehensive, evidence-based sun protection policy to reduce UV exposure and associated risks.

Almost all Victorian early childhood services (97%) and primary schools (90%) have a written sun protection policy. Research shows schools and services with a written sun protection policy have the greatest number of children and staff protecting themselves from the sun.

All Victorian childcare, family day care, preschools and schools are invited to apply for free SunSmart membership. SunSmart membership is associated with significant improvements in the quality of policies and strategies to reduce sun exposure.

School and Community Shade Grants


Round Seven of the Victorian Government’s Shade Grants Program is now open. All Victorian Government schools (including primary, secondary, P–12, special and language schools) and not-for-profit community kindergartens and early education and care services are eligible to apply.

These grants provide funding for new permanent shade, repair or replacement of existing permanent shade, natural shade and sun protective items (e.g. hats, sunscreen) and  have proven to be very popular in the past so the process will be highly competitive.

Schools and services will be required to demonstrate their broader commitment to sun protection practices by submitting a sun protection policy upon completion of the project through the acquittal form.

Please direct all questions and queries to


Application deadlines have been extended. Government school applications close 11:59 pm 10 June 2022. 

Not-for-profit preschools and childcare applications close 11:59 pm 24 June 2022


View our listing of some of our current SunSmart members and why they chose to join.

Join the SunSmart program

We reach over 695,000 Victorian children and their families through the iconic SunSmart membership program.

Renew your SunSmart membership

Renew your membership every three years to stay up to date with your policies and practices.

SunSmart sample policies

A SunSmart policy provides clear, evidence-based guidelines that help to minimise UV exposure and skin cancer risk.

Education resources

View our resources developed to help early childhood services and schools be SunSmart.