We may not be able to completely eliminate the risk of employees/parents/children from contracting COVID-19 while carrying out their duties or attending the service however, we urge everyone to take responsibility with the appropriate measures we have in place to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
Outbreaks can occur easily in any area and we all need to practise physical distancing, good hygiene and staying at home when sick to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Our communities need to be aware of and comply with any current physical distancing and hygiene recommendations from the Australian Government.
Current COVID-19 advice;
From 6pm 23rd April 2022, close contacts (defined as a household contact or an individual deemed by NSW Health to be a close contact) will not have to isolate, as long as they have no symptoms and comply with the following guidelines:
• If you have or develop symptoms, you must self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19. If your test result is positive, you must follow the testing positive to COVID-19 and managing COVID-19 safely at home advice. If your test result is negative, stay home until you do not have any symptoms.
• Do not visit aged care, hospitals, disability, and correctional facilities unless a special exemption applies;
• Work or study from home where practicable. You must seek approval from your employer or education facility before returning to work or school/ECEC if you cannot work or study from home. Your employer will undertake a risk assessment before you can return to the workplace or education setting.
• Wear a face mask in indoor settings outside the home if you are over 12 years of age;
• Undertake daily RAT tests before coming into close contact with people outside their household, where practicable;
• Avoid contact with elderly and immunocompromised persons where possible;
• Notify their employer/educational facility that they are a close contact, and that they are not required to isolate as long as they comply with the above.
Close contacts will need to comply with the above guidelines for 7 days from the time a person in their household tested positive for COVID-19.
This applies to all children, educators, staff and visitors who attend your service. For more information refer to NSW Health close contact guidelines.
What if a young child is a household or close contact? What do the new rules mean?
The new rules apply to both children and adults, however, masks are not mandatory for under 12s and RATs are not mandated for anyone including children, however, daily testing is recommended if coming into contact with close contacts outside of their household.
Tests for children should always be done or supervised by an adult. Some kits cannot be used on young children and babies. Please carefully follow any instructions provided with the test kit if using the test on a child or baby. Read the COVID-19 advice for parents, students and children.
Do children need to attend ECEC wearing a mask if they are a household contact?
If you are a household contact over 12 years of age, you must wear a mask when you are in an indoor setting that is not your own home.
In accordance with current NSW Health advice, masks should not be worn by children under 2 years of age. NSW Health advises children 2-12 years are also exempt from the requirement to wear face masks but are encouraged to wear masks indoors where practicable.
Do families need to notify their service if their child is a close or household contact?
Household contacts should notify their educational facility per the updated requirements, ahead of returning to the service. Services are able to implement their own service policies to determine the conditions of accepting a child or staff member who is a household contact, and are encouraged to consider NSW Health advice.
What advice should be provided to families with children who have additional needs and/or immunocompromised conditions?
Services are encouraged to advise families to keep their children home if they are concerned. Household contacts returning to educational facilities is at the discretion of the service per the NSW Health guidelines.
We are asking all adults to:
- avoid touching each other- (hugging, shaking hands, kissing)
- wash your hands thoroughly when you arrive at the service or use hand sanitiser supplied
- regularly wash your hands during the course of the day or regularly use hand sanitiser
We are continuing to;
• provide hand sanitiser at the entrance for your use
• model and implement enhanced handwashing procedures for children and adults
• organise for high touch surfaces in the service to be wiped down and disinfected regularly (e.g. door handles, bathrooms, devices used by adults and children, tables, chairs)
• increase ventilation within rooms and
• use our outdoor learning area as much as possible.
Feeling sick – Stay Home!
Anyone who has potential coronavirus- COVID-19 symptoms, must not attend the Service under any circumstance. We urge anyone who is displaying symptoms or feeling unwell to get tested at a free COVID-19 testing clinic or see their GP. Self-isolation is required after testing until results are returned.
This is a full list of symptoms retrieved from; COVID-19 – Frequently asked questions – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (nsw.gov.au)
• fever (37.5 ° or higher)
• sore throat
• shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
• runny nose
• loss of taste
• loss of smell.
• Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include fatigue, acute blocked nose (congestion), muscle pain, joint pain, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.
• Unexplained chest pain and conjunctivitis have also been reported as symptoms of COVID-19.
Please see this link to locate your nearest testing site COVID-19 clinics – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (nsw.gov.au)
We want to limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible and thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
There is some useful information available at What you need to know about coronavirus (COVID-19) | Australian Government Department of Health
Translating and interpreting services are available on 1800 131 450
Should you require any further information about the health and hygiene measures implemented at our Services, please do not hesitate to chat with your services Nominated Supervisor.
For the Little People:
- The Wiggles have released a Social Distancing Song, click here for the link to the song on YouTube.
- The Wiggles also have a great handwashing song! Listen to it here.
- The Queensland Government have released a book and song related to COVID-19 about a character called Birdie. Click here to view!
- The New South Wales Government have also released a children’s book to help young children to understand what this virus is. You can download it here.
Here is a link to a storybook for young children about going to a COVID-19 testing clinic . It’s available to download in 8 languages Going to a COVID-19 testing clinic — MHCS (nsw.gov.au)
Mental health during the pandemic is becoming a big priority. Be You, a part of Beyond Blue, provides educators with knowledge, resources and strategies for helping children and young people achieve their best possible mental health. Visit the website here for more information and resources.
For over 20 years Emerging Minds has been dedicated to advancing the mental health and emotional wellbeing of Australian infants, children, adolescents and their families. Visit the Emerging Minds website to have a look at their large range of resources!
Keep checking back in with us for updates!