11 January 2022
Good morning all,
JANUARY ADVICE #1: Returning to our centres after the holiday break
Welcome back! I hope you were all able to enjoy a restful holiday break.
As our government encourages us to learn to live with COVID, and in light of the increasing incidence of COVID in our local community, it is timely to provide you with an update on how we can work together to reduce the risk of COVID exposures in our Early Childhood Education Centres.
We are monitoring the situation closely, staying abreast of government and health advice, and continually adapting our systems so we are ready to respond quickly to reports of any exposure (be it a staff member, parent/carer or child). The success of us being able to do this depends on each of us sharing the responsibility for doing what we can to manage these risks.
From a staff perspective, all staff will wear face masks indoors and wash or sanitise hands regularly throughout the day in all our centres. We also have strict protocols in place for staff to follow if they are unwell, are a close contact or test positive to COVID.
Please also note that we too are struggling with supply chain issues and our food services may be under threat as well, however we will work around any issues as much as possible and keep you informed of any changes.
Here’s how you as a parent/carer can play your part in helping us keep children and staff safe at our centres:
- provide us with early information about any exposure you’ve had (close contact or with positive cases) that may increase your COVID risk (and ours)
- Do not attend our services if you are unwell or have any signs or symptoms of COVID (no matter how small) – this is a key source of transmission which can be avoided
- keep children who are unwell at home – the Commonwealth Government, through CCS, has offered extra allowable absences to cover staying away if unwell at this stage
- Continue to QR code on to the site
- Wear a mask, and hand sanitise on entry
- Please drop off and pick up your child from the front door as unfortunately, due to Dept of Education recommendations, we need to limit the exposure of others to a minimum
- Keep the drop off and pick-ups short, where possible
- Arrange an appointment if you need to speak with an Educator for longer than a few minutes so that a room that allows physical spacing can be organised.
In the event of a positive case, all these things will be of great help in our risk management processes and may help us minimise the disruption to the children’s routines.
If anyone in your immediate family tests positive for COVID please let us know as soon as possible.
Always follow NSW Health advice. The following NSW Health fact sheets may be helpful, depending on your situation:
What happens if there is a positive case in one of our services?
NSW Health will notify the service if there is a positive COVID-19 case who has been infectious while attending any of our services and they will in turn notify parents and carers. Privacy laws mean we are not able to provide information about the person concerned.
The service will implement a risk assessment of contacts in the 48 hours prior to the test result, and those individuals who are deemed high risk and moderate risk will be contacted and given information from NSW Health. The action taken in relation to the operation of the service will depend on how many people the person has been in contact with. In some cases, this may mean that the service may need to be made temporarily non-operational. Some staff and children may be asked to self-isolate as a precaution while contact tracing is undertaken.
If this occurs, we will share centre updates with you in our usual way. However, if there is something relating specifically to your child/children we will phone to speak with you personally.
Remember, if you are unwell, or if any adults in your household are unwell, please do not bring your children to our Early Childhood Education setting as you may be, unknowingly, spreading COVID to the service staff and to other children.
Together, we must all, conscientiously, maintain the practices we know to reduce the risk of COVID transmission (ie face masks, hand hygiene, physical spacing and vaccination) in our community.
Thanks for your support and understanding during this challenging time.
Executive Manager Early Education