Early childhood education and care COVID-19 update

The following update has been provided by the Victorian Government for early childhood education & care services.


Circuit breaker action is now in place across Victoria until 11.59pm on Wednesday 17 February to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep Victorians safe.


Schools will close and move to remote and flexible learning during circuit breaker action to help reduce movement in the community.


On-site supervision will be provided at schools for vulnerable children and children whose parents are considered essential workers, who cannot work from home and where no other supervision arrangements can be made.


ECEC services remain open 

During this time, Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services, including kindergartens, are permitted to remain open for all children. This allows parents/carers to work, while ensuring continuity of education and care for young children.


ECEC staff are not required to wear face masks while educating or caring, but those who wish to do so, can. Staff must wear face masks in indoor areas of the service when not educating or caring.  


Visitors to ECEC services must wear face masks at all times – this includes parents and carers.

Permits are not required for staff, parents/carers and children who need to travel more than 5km to attend their ECEC service or school.


ECEC staff are considered essential workers. They do not require a permit or documentation for their children to attend on-site at their school. The directions for the on-site supervision of school students also apply to Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services. 


Operations  

Please continue to follow operational advice in relation to cleaning, hand hygiene and air ventilation.


During this period:

  • services should limit visitors to those essential for operations
  • visitors, including parents/carers must physically distance, with 1.5m between adults
  • visitor density limits of one person per two square metres should be applied to any spaces being accessed by visitors
  • services should not be going on excursions.

 

Staying COVIDSafe

With COVIDSafe plans in place, ECEC services remain safe places for staff and children.


It is crucial that everyone remains vigilant. If you’re unwell, get tested immediately and stay at home until you receive a negative test result.


Symptoms include fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or loss or change in sense of smell or taste. 


Please continue to follow operational advice in relation to cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, physical distancing of 1.5 metres between adults and air ventilation.


Everyone aged 12 years and over must wear a fitted face mask indoors and outdoors, except when at their home or there is a lawful reason not to. A fitted face mask should cover your nose and mouth. ECEC staff do not need to wear a mask while educating or caring for children, but can choose to do so.


Visitors should be limited to those essential for operations. New density limits of one person per four square metres now apply.


To support contact tracing, ECEC services need to keep a record of the name, phone number, date and time of visitors who attend their service for more than 15 minutes. Electronic record keeping is strongly encouraged. The Victorian Government has developed a QR Code Service which is free to use and can assist with record keeping requirements.


Mental health and wellbeing

Your mental health and wellbeing is important. Support and resources are available to support you through this challenging time.

Additional information

  • COVID-19 webpages for ECEC will be updated with the latest information
  • The Department of Education and Training COVID-19 helpline is available weekdays from 8:30am to 5pm on 1800 338 663. If you need an interpreter, call 131 450 first. 


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