Managing Covid-19 at Child’s Play ELC
UPDATE 10th January 2022
Given the evolving situation and increasing rate of infection with the new COVID variant, we would like to provide an update to our COVID policies at Child’s Play ELC.
Our centres will continue to run as normal as we are considered an essential service however we will continue to be vigilant with our COVID policy as the health and safety of our families is our biggest priority.
During this time there will be lots of changes and we will update you via the OWNA app and our Facebook pages of these changes.
A quick message from Sam and Ian
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been strictly following the advice and guidelines laid out by the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Education and Training.We thank all of our families for their understanding, support and cooperation. We are so grateful to be a part of this amazing community who really care and support one another.
What we need from our families during this time
During this time we are asking our families to be hypervigilant, as we want everyone to remain as safe and as healthy as possible. If your child is displaying any flu-like symptoms, runny nose, cough, fever etc, please keep them at home and monitor symptoms. We understand a runny nose is not necessarily a symptom of COVID but spreading it around could mean more children sent home or required to isolate. If your child develops symptoms while at Child’s Play ELC, they will be isolated and we will request that you pick your child up immediately.
We also ask that families please notify us when they are awaiting test results or are being tested so we can continue to be on top of the evolving situation. If a person who has attended the centre does return a positive RAT test or PCR test in your household, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible so we can identify close contacts.
To accommodate for any absences that may occur during this time we have added 10 additional absence days to this financial year to bring the total number of allowable absences to 52.
Preventative measures will continue.
(UPDATED January 2022) 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 some of the most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Face Masks – As per Government requirements, face masks need to be worn in all indoor settings. Therefore parents MUST wear a face mask at all times when in the building. In 2022 we are implementing a NO MASK NO ENTRY rule. If you do not have a face mask we will not allow you to enter the service and instead, we ask that you drop your child off outside your service and one of the management team will take them down to the rooms.
- Temperature checks – We will be reintroducing temperature checks for ALL children attending Child’s Play. They will be administered in your child’s room by the room staff using our in-ear thermometers and each child will have their own thermometer cap. We find these give a far more accurate reading compared to the infrared forehead thermometers. Any child with a temperature will be required to be collected immediately, and monitored at home.
- Staff – All staff at Child’s Play ELCs, including volunteers and contractors are fully vaccinated and are required to be by the Department of Education. There are no exceptional circumstances or provisions which enable Child’s Play to employ non-vaccinated staff.We will try to maintain staff consistency and our child to educator ratio (4 to 1) as much as possible during this time, however staffing may change frequently in response to staff members being sick, having COVID or requiring to isolate. We ask that you please be considerate to all staff taking care of your children during this time.
- Drop-offs – We continue to ask that only one parent drops off or picks up their child to help reduce the risk of transmission and keep our communities safe. We also recommend that you limit your time spent in the centre and interacting with children and educators to 2 minutes. If there is a message you need to pass on to an educator we ask that you use the OWNA app to communicate with them.
- Social Distancing – We will be maintaining a 1.5 distance between families. To assist with this measure additional sign-in stations have been set up so that social distancing can be adhered to by families at drop-off and pick-up times.
- Check In – We ask that all visitors check in to the service using the QR code and check in their child using the mobile app during this time to limit the amount of high contact areas within our services. All of our centres will keep up to date records of staff, visitors and child attendance should we need to notify families as being close or casual contacts.
- Cleaning Regimes – In 2022 we have introduced new cleaning checklists which staff will execute every two hours in our centres. They include new hygiene stations and surface cleaning of all high touch zones as well as cleaning and disinfecting your child’s room. To accompany these measures we have also added additional ventilation to our services and will attempt to have a full day indoor-outdoor for all rooms in our centre to limit gatherings, if weather permits.Where possible we will also not be combining rooms at this time to limit transmission should there be a positive case. This may change if we face staffing shortages. Other hygiene measures such as handwashing and hand sanitising will remain in place as well.
- 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 and Sensory Spaces – 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.
- Sick Children Policy
- Infectious Disease Policy
- Immunisation Policy
- Illness, Incident, Accident and Trauma Policy
- Handwashing Policy
- COVID-19 Management Policy
FAQ: 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.
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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