Managing Covid-19 at Child’s Play ELC
Current Centre Status
All of our centres will remain open for permitted and essential workers. From 23/08/2021, all children attending childcare will need to have a parent with an Authorised Provider and Authorised Worker permit to access childcare services.
The health and safety of our families is our biggest priority. If you have visited any of the exposure sites, have been in contact with someone who has or is displaying symptoms, it is our recommendation that you get tested and stay at home for the duration of the lockdown.
We will work with all of our families to help you get through these unprecedented times again. If we could give one piece of advice, stay positive and keep the communication lines open, so we can get through this together.
How does the permit system work?
While there has been some initial confusion, the system will work similar to last September. An authorised worker will need to apply for an Authorised Provider and Authorised Worker permit which each family will need to show upon dropping their child off at Child’s Play ELC.
You may not need to apply for a permit in rare circumstances where you are a member of law enforcement, emergency services or health care and carry employer-issued photographic identification, which clearly identifies the employer. Upon entry into our services, we may require you to show your ID issued by your employer to confirm.
Who is eligible?
From 11:59 pm on 23 August, authorised workers can access childcare, kindergarten and early education centres if:
- At least one parent/guardian is authorised to work and has a valid authorised worker permit, and is working either at home or on site, and
- they cannot make alternative supervision arrangements.
Other groups that are eligible:
- Parents and carers of vulnerable children can also access childcare, kindergarten and early education centres. This includes medical vulnerability, out of home care, child protection, and Koorie children.
- Children who are socially vulnerable including refugees, children whose first language is not English and families that are a part of the Victorian Kindergarten Inclusion Support Program or the Commonwealth Inclusion Support.
- Any family that is accessing ACCS is also eligible for childcare.
If you are experiencing vulnerability all we need is an email addressing your situation or we may have already collected information from various agencies. The stress of COVID-19 has a huge effect on everyone by providing this information we can help you during these times.
Coming to Child’s Play ELC, what do we need?
In order for your child to attend childcare, we will require extra documentation. We need the most up-to-date information as possible so we can justify why children are attending childcare at this time.
If you are granted authorised worker status we will require:
- Authorised Provider and Authorised Worker permit validated by your employer
- If you are working on site, we will also need an authorised worker scheme template filled in.
- If you are working from home, we will need access to a filled-out childcare scheme.
- If you are an essential worker you may send your children to childcare outside of hours so you can rest and prepare.
What if I won’t be attending childcare, am I eligible for a discount?
That’s ok, let us know and don’t cancel your childcare place as this lockdown phase is only temporary. We will be waiving the gap fee for children that are away from childcare for more than 1 week. Gap fees will be waived for children that are absent more than 1 week from this coming Monday. The gap fee is the difference between the amount that is charged to you and the subsidy that the government pays. Therefore you will not have to worry about the expense of childcare throughout this lockdown. We will endeavour to try to arrange Zoom sessions but please be mindful we will need to give our educators time to plan for this.
What room and educator will my children have?
As there will be less children attending childcare, rooms will be combined and educators may be working in different spaces. We want all of our educators to work throughout this time so we will be looking at sharing shifts.
What are the next steps?
We are asking families to contact us and let us know their situation and if they need childcare throughout this time. From there we will organise staff and rooms to best accommodate our families attending childcare and begin to organise Zoom sessions for later in the week.
We are hoping that by mid-week we can look at some Zoom sessions or interactive learning and connection tools for all of our children to still see their friends and educators throughout this time. Whilst we don’t expect all families to participate, we would like to give families and children this option.
If you have any queries or questions in relation to this please do not hesitate to contact us.
We want all of our children and families to be reunited after this time and are looking forward to welcoming the children back to childcare when it is safe to do so. Please stay safe and be kind to one another!
From March 2020, preventative measures have been put into place at the centres. We will continue to review and update these measures in line with advice from the State Health Department. An overview of the current measures in place are listed below.
- Sanitiser – We have hand-sanitising stations set up in the reception area (next to the iPads) for visitors to use when entering and exiting the centre. Please make use of these as sanitising and handwashing are one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of Covid-19.
- Facemasks – As per Government requirements, facemasks need to be worn whilst outside of your house. Therefore parents MUST wear a face mask at all times when in the building if you do not have a face-covering we will not allow you to enter the service. Children under the age of 12 do not need to wear a face covering.
- Drop-offs – Due to restrictions put in place in July 2021, we please ask that only one parent drops off or picks up their child to help reduce the risk of transmission and keep our communities safe.
- Social Distancing – Additional sign-in stations have been set up so that social-distancing measures can be adhered to by families at drop-off and pick-up times. To limit adult contact in the rooms, where and when required, we will implement procedures such as reception area drop-offs where staff will then escort children to their rooms. We will inform families if and when this measure is put into place.
- Contact Tracing Measures – All visitors are required to check-in via a QR code on our entry doors so we have records of everyone in the centre. We are also limiting the number of visitors to the centres, so during hard lockdowns there will be no centre tours.
- Cleaning Regimes – We have implemented additional hygiene measures including extra cleaning throughout the rooms and wider centre, ensuring good ventilation and air circulation in the rooms and extra hygiene stations at multiple points throughout the centres.
- Incursions – As a precautionary measure, we have cancelled all incursions to the service for the time being; this is to ensure that we can meet the guidelines of social distancing and reduce risk. We hope to introduce these back into the service when the time is right and we feel it is safe to do so. To supplement children missing out on these experiences, we have transformed our multipurpose rooms into sensory environments and libraries.
- Education – We will continue to teach the children about germs, how they are spread and prevention methods (coughing, sneezing, handwashing, social distancing, etc.). We have also provided pamphlets in reception which explain some of this information and could be helpful if you require further information to explain to your child at the moment.
- Meditation – In addition to practical education, we are also providing children with safe spaces to express their feelings towards the lockdown and where we can practice relaxation techniques so that all children continue to feel comfortable coming to childcare during these difficult times.
We have updated relevant policies to ensure they are in line with State Government advice. Find copies linked below.
We once again want to say a big thank you to all of our families. Your understanding and support and willingness to keep us up-to-date with open and honest communication have made us thankful to be a part of this amazing community who really care and support for one another.
Keep updated with our blogs, shared on our website. We often share tips on how to communicate sometimes difficult topics and ideas of activities to try at home.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the management of Covid-19 at Child’s Play further.
Much Love and Respect,
Ian and Sam Johnson
Owners and Directors
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