Newsletter 2021 – Term 3 – 10 August

covid update

What a week it has been.  Snap lockdown and then out of snap lockdown for regional Victoria.

Current restrictions take effect across regional Victoria from 11:59pm on Monday, 9 August 2021.

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, including kindergartens, are permitted to remain open with appropriate risk mitigation measures in place (unless instructed by the Victorian Department of Health to close). All services must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place.

The five reasons to leave home will be removed in regional Victoria and there will be no limit on the distance regional Victorians can travel from home. People in regional Victoria will only be able to travel to metropolitan Melbourne for a permitted reason and they must follow the metropolitan Melbourne restrictions once there.

This means that some of the COVIDSafe Settings for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in regional Victoria, including Outside School Hours Care (OSHC), will differ to those for services in metropolitan Melbourne. 

Click below for a detailed outline of the relevant changes in relation to the latest announcements and reiterates the current settings for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services.

Exclusion of unwell children

Please keep your child home if they are displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

If your child is displaying any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, they should get tested. Seek advice from a healthcare professional who can advise on next steps. You can phone the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 for help and advice.

If a child has been tested for COVID-19 and returns a negative test, they are still to be excluded while symptoms are present.

ALERT – UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS

We have recently been notified about some nasty viruses being diagnosed in our community, in particular RSV and human metapneumovirus.  Both upper respiratory tract viruses are quite infectious, but fairly common in the under 5 age group or in the elderly.  Please click below for further information.

step into school forum

In 2020, the SWH School Readiness Allied Health Team in partnership with local DET staff, delivered the Step up to School forum to families of children starting school the following year. The forum involved education about the transition to school delivered by the SWH School Readiness Team (Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers), a Kindergarten Teacher, Foundation Teacher, Pre-School Field Officer and Kindergarten Improvement Advisors. The forum was accessed by well over 150 families across 5 local government areas and the recording has been subsequently watched a further 150 times.

With such widespread interest and positive feedback, the SWH School Readiness Allied Health Team and local DET staff are pleased to announce the Step up to School Forum 2021 will be held on Monday the 23rd of August at 4pm and again at 7pm via Zoom.

This forum is for families, caregivers, educators and other relevant people in the lives of children who will be starting school in 2022.

To register to attend, please click here.

how reading to kids links to literacy

As we know, early literacy is not about teaching young children how to read, but about helping them develop the skills they will need to become successful communicators, which in turn provides them with the skills they will need to start reading

To read the full article, click here

IMPORTANT DATES

15 AugustENROLMENTS CLOSE
23 AugustStep into School Forum
1 SeptemberEarly Childhood Educators Day
17 SeptemberEnd of Term 3

2022 key enrolment dates

Monday, 3 July 2023Enrolments open
Monday, 31 July 2023Enrolments close
Commencing 21 AugustFirst round offers sent to families
By Friday 8 SeptemberFirst round offers to be completed
16 October onwardsSecond round and subsequent 2024 kindergarten offers
30 October 2023All 2024 kindergarten programs to be finalised

NEW POLICES

The following policies have recently been updated.

  • Epilepsy
  • Social media

A copy of these policies are available at your kindergarten or can be emailed on request by emailing [email protected].

The Kinder Tick helps Victorian families find a funded kindergarten program for their children.

When you see the Kinder Tick, you can be confident:

  • the program will be led by a qualified teacher
  • children will benefit from play-based learning
  • the kindergarten program is funded and approved by the Victorian Government
  • the program complies with government guidelines and the National Quality Framework.

This is the same in both long day care and sessional or “standalone” kindergarten services.

No matter where your child attends a kindergarten program, they’ll be learning through play with an early childhood teacher. Research shows that play-based learning is the best way to help young children learn, develop well and prepare to thrive at school.

enrol your child in kinder today - it's free

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children can access 15 hours of free kindergarten each week for the two years prior to school. To be eligible, a child must turn three or four by 30 April in the year they start a kindergarten program.

At kindergarten, children will make new friends, enjoy fun activities, and get ready for school in a safe and supportive environment.

Children will:

  • learn through play, art, music and dance
  • learn to express themselves in a safe, inclusive and caring environment
  • build the skills and confidence to prepare them for school.

Kindergarten teachers will always consider opportunities to incorporate the local natural environment, with a growing number of services offering a bush kinder program. In addition to supporting children’s development, a focus on the environment provides an opportunity to connect with Country and learn about animals, nature, and Aboriginal culture and history.

Kindergarten programs have a qualified teacher and work hard to create culturally safe places for Aboriginal children and families, such as including Aboriginal perspectives in the learning curriculum and environment.

For more information, call the Department of Education and Training on 1800 338 663 (or call

131 450 first to get an interpreter) or visit www.education.vic.gov.au/koorie-kids-shine

Please note, After School Care is for school-aged children only.