The Victorian Government has announced new restrictions introduced from 1pm on Saturday 21 August 2021 to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Due to recent transmission in young people and the recent addition of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services as exposure sites, the Victorian Government has advised that all ECEC services across Victoria will be closed except to children whose parents/carers are Authorised Workers and for vulnerable children.
Based on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, ECEC services in Victoria – including kindergarten, long day care and family day care – are now permitted to remain open for children in the following categories only:
- A child in a two parent/carer family or a one parent/carer family may access ECEC (excluding outside hours school care) where one parent is an authorised worker (working on site or from home) and there is no appropriate alternative care available.
Children experiencing vulnerability, including those:
in out-of-home care
deemed vulnerable by a government agency, funded family or family violence service, and assessed as requiring education and care outside the family home; or
identified by a childcare or early childhood service as vulnerable, including but not limited to referrals from a government agency, or funded family or family violence service, homeless or youth justice service or mental health or other health service.
Visit Authorised provider and authorised worker permit for more information.
In some circumstances a parent/carer does not need an Authorised Worker Permit. This includes law enforcement, emergency services or health care workers who carry employer-issued photographic identification. For more information view the permit exemptions list.
For staff – This permit is required to be carried by authorised workers and authorised higher education students (including VET and university students) who are leaving the home for authorised work or study. The person may carry a print out or an electronic copy of this permit.
The use of the Victorian Government’s Services Victoria QR Codes for electronic record keeping is mandatory at services. This is in order to enable the effective contact tracing of any COVID-19 cases. Staff and visitors to the service must ensure they sign in using the QR code on display.
People aged 12 and over must wear a fitted face mask when in public indoor and outdoor spaces unless there is a lawful reason not to. Face masks must be carried at all times.
ECEC staff are not required to wear face masks while educating or caring, but those who wish to do so, can. Staff must wear face masks in indoor and outdoor areas of the service, when not educating or caring for children.
Visitors to ECEC services must wear face masks at all times – this includes parents and carers and dropping off or collecting children.
Visitor are limited to those essential for kindergarten operations.
Visitors required to support service operations, such as service management staff, health and wellbeing professionals (including Preschool Field Officers), authorised officers, and regional kindergarten improvement advisors, can visit. This includes regulatory activity such as assessment and rating of services.
Visitors must comply with face mask requirements and check-in using the Service Victoria app and QR codes. It is recommended that visitors keep at least 1.5 metres distance from others whenever possible and maintain good hand hygiene.
Meetings and professional development
Meetings and professional development should be held online or deferred. This includes coaching and mentoring.
Face-to-face health and safety training, such as for first aid, anaphylaxis and infection control is permitted because it is essential to operations.
EXCURSIONS AND INCURSIONS
Services must not be going on excursions except for visiting a nearby park as part of their educational program. Outdoor playgrounds are closed.
Bush kinders are permitted to continue operating, for eligible children only.
Incursions are not permitted.
ORIENTATION AND TRANSITIONS
Orientation and transition arrangements are not permitted across Victoria.
Photography sessions with an external visitor are not permitted.
SINGING AND MUSIC
Organised group singing activities and playing wind and brass instruments should be postponed across Victoria.