Victorian Government COVID-19 vaccine mandates lifted for Early Childhood Education & Care (ECEC)

Over the weekend the Victorian Government announced changes to COVIDSafe settings which take effect from 11.59pm Friday 24 June.

Changes to COVID-19 mandatory vaccination requirements for early childhood staff
Staff in early childhood services are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend work onsite.

However employers will still be able to set their own workplace conditions. While no longer mandated, individual services will have the choice to require their staff to be vaccinated.

This is a decision that can be made at a local level based on the specific requirements of each service.

If employers are considering continuing a mandatory vaccination policy, ACA Victoria recommends they seek legal advice regarding the circumstances at their service that have lead them to this decision in the absence of government mandates.

Some service providers may have permanent staff on their books who are not COVID-19 vaccinated and still technically employed at their service. It is important that they seek legal advice on the way forward, should they decide to continue their own mandatory vaccination policy.

ACA Victoria members can contact our free Workplace Relations Helpline on 1300 817 787.

Staff vaccination records
Services can retain existing information held on their staff’s vaccination status. The Department of Education and Training (DET) will provide further guidance on the collection of new information on staff vaccination status in the coming days.

Transport of children by positive cases
A further change to the pandemic orders from 11.59pm Friday 24 June, will allow COVID-19 positive parents or carers to leave self-isolation to transport their non-infectious children via private vehicle to, or from, an early childhood service if other arrangements cannot be made.

The parent or carer must travel directly to and from the service only. They must remain in the vehicle at all times, unless it is reasonably necessary to leave the vehicle to deliver the child to, from and into the service safely. They must wear a face covering at all times while transporting and delivering the child.

The DET COVID-19 protocols webpage for early learning service providers is expected to be updated within the next few days.