New COVID-19 restrictions for early learning services

On Tuesday 25th May the Victorian Government announced new COVIDSafe measures for Greater Melbourne to help keep Victorians safe.

The Department of Education has now updated the operating guidelines for Victorian early learning services and provided a template letter for service providers to send to their families about the new restrictions.

The following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the following face mask requirements now apply to early childhood education and care services:

If you are in metropolitan Melbourne:

  • Service staff and any visiting children aged 12 or older must carry a face mask at all times and wear a face mask indoors when at a service, including when attending an Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) program, unless a lawful exception applies.

  • Teachers, educators and education support staff are not required to wear face masks while educating or caring for children, but those who wish to do so, can.

  • Children under 12 years of age are not required to wear face masks when attending an early childhood service, or an OSHSC program.

  • Face masks are mandatory for all early childhood education and care staff on public transport and when in taxis or ride share vehicles. This includes travelling to and from your service on public transport or in a vehicle with others not from your household.

  • Visitors and parents and carers must also observe face mask requirements.

If you are in regional Victoria:

  • Individuals aged 12 years and over (inclusive of staff, and visitors) must always carry a face mask – unless a lawful exception applies.

  • Face masks are mandatory for people aged 12 years and older on public transport and when in taxis or ride share vehicles or touring vehicles. This includes travelling to and from your service on public transport.

  • Face mask requirements travel with staff and parents/carers who live in Metropolitan Melbourne if they attend a service or go on an excursion in regional Victoria. Staff and parents/carers who live in regional Victoria but attend a service or an excursion in Metropolitan Melbourne will also need to comply with face mask requirements for Metropolitan Melbourne.

Other education and care activities can continue with existing COVIDSafe restrictions in place. There are no changes to existing density rules.

Services must continue to follow the COVIDSafe advice, reinforcing key behaviours such as staying home when unwell and supporting regular hand hygiene.

These restrictions can change rapidly so ACA Victoria is encouraging service providers to keep an eye out for future Departmental updates. 

For full details of the restrictions for the community, visit