Important information – COVID-19

As per government advice, our service – Fitzroy Early Learning Centre was, on March 18 2020, deemed an ‘essential service’ and will therefore remain open until otherwise directed by the relevant health/education authorities that we are governed by.

In the meantime, while we remain in operation and work through this unprecedented, ever-evolving time together, the health and safety of our children, families and staff is paramount. As such the additional precautionary health and safety measures we’ve implemented are as follows:

  • Hand Santiser located at each entrance, at reception and in the parent lounge to allow staff, parents and children to sanitise their hands on entry to the service.
  • Mandatory temperature checks on entry to Fitzroy ELC – this includes for staff, parents, children and visitors. These temperatures are recorded and parents/staff/visitors must sign to indicate that they have read and agree to the centre’s COVID-19 Health Declaration.
  • Monitoring all staff/children/parents for visible signs of illness – if someone appears to be unwell, they will be turned away and asked to return when feeling better with a doctor’s clearance for the safety of all others at the service.
  • Increased cleaning/sanitation of high contact areas and surfaces.
  • Requesting that where possible, parents/guardians only have one family member pick up or drop off their child to reduce foot traffic inside the service each day and that this is done in no longer than 10 minutes.
  • Both Children & Staff that have been away due to illness require a doctor’s clearance to return to the service.

Regarding Masks/Face Coverings that are mandatory as of Thursday 23 July, in Early Childhood Education and Care services, including kindergartens, it is not mandatory for teachers and educators to wear a face covering while working with children, but those who wish to do so, can.

In general, staff are required to wear face coverings when not working with children in other areas of the service (for example, in reception areas, staff rooms and foyers, when providing first aid or taking temperatures), and in travelling to and from Fitzroy ELC.

In general, parents will be required to wear face coverings at drop-off and pick-up times. Children aged under 12 are not required to wear a face covering. Face coverings should never be placed on children aged under two due to choking and strangulation risks.

Visit the DHHS Website for more advice & information about face coverings

Return of the Childcare Subsidy System – 13 July 2020

On 13 July 2020, the Childcare Subsidy System was reinstated, following the end of the ECEC Relief Package on Sunday 12 July. This means that Government is once again subsidising the care of CCS enrolled families, and families are paying their co-contribution/gap fees again.

Families who have had their hours of activity reduced as a result of COVID-19, will be able to advise Centrelink they meet the requirements to access 100 hours of subsidised child care, per child, per fortnight, for up to 12 weeks. Families can update their details via the myGov.

Families that have experienced a reduction in income/loss of employment during the COVID-19 Pandemic (that were already receiving Childcare Subsidy) may be eligible to have their entire cost of care subsidised by applying for Additional Childcare Subsidy (ACCS) Temporary Financial Hardship to assist them during this time. A claim for ACCS based on Temporary Financial Hardship can be made via the myGov App.

What is the childcare absence policy in response to COVID-19?

Families as of the 13 July that are receiving CCS have a full allocation of 42 absences available to them (in line with the new CCS FY). Absences during the ECEC Relief Package period were not counted.

Until 31 December 2020, CCS can be paid for additional absences for COVID-19 related reasons without the need for medical evidence. Families can only access additional absences where children have already used their initial allowance of 42 absence days per child, per financial year.

Useful Links

Restrictions in Victoria

Department of Health – COVID-19 Facts & Current Status in Australia

COVID-19 Testing Sites

How to stay safe and well

Coronavirus Hotline – 1800 675 398