The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic effect on the childcare and early education sector, the processes and the regulations we follow as a collective industry have been updated to fit the protocols surrounding how we deal with COVID-19 in the safest way possible. There are still government guidelines in place within the sector that assist in providing the safest care services and education possible.
Your centre should take appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of the children and staff within the learning environment. Each of our centres will keep up to date with the latest information issued by the state and federal governments surrounding COVID19 procedures. At Discovery Childcare and Education, we understand the health and safety of your child is important to you and as such we keep it as a high priority within our centres. Within each centre, we continue to have the following in place to ensure your child’s health and safety:
- Rapid Antigen Tests are available at the reception.
- Sanitizer available in each centre’s entry area.
- We ask that parents keep time spent in communal areas as limited as possible.
- If your child is appearing unwell or has any relevant symptoms we ask that you remain away from the centre until symptoms subside.
- If you, your child or someone in the family have been unwell or has any relevant symptoms we ask you to take the relevant precautions and get tested before returning, if you are concerned about the risk of fever or infection ensure you measure your child’s temperature and book a visit with your regular medical practitioner for advice.
- Children and educators are encouraged to practice good hygiene with regular hand washing and if mandated by the Australian Government, educators will exercise physical distancing and use of a face mask.
- Any parents, children or families that have tested a positive result for COVID-19 will not be allowed to attend care until they have a medical certificate clearing them to do so. If a family member has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19 we ask that you keep your child at home until you are confident they are no longer a close contact.
- We strongly advise and request that any child who presents with symptoms of COVID-19, including a sore throat, fever, or any other symptoms, will not be allowed to attend childcare until they have tested negative or have a medical certificate clearing them to do so.
- Each of our childcare centres will have a plan in place should an educator or child test positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. This plan will include self-isolation measures, contact details for further information, and adherence to the Australian Government guidelines on what steps to take.
- If your child is absent due to COVID-19 measures or illness you will not be required to pay for any bookings that have been cancelled.
Discovery Childcare and Education centres are maintaining the “COVID-19 cleaning” procedures and management plan which protects against the spread of infection in the learning environment. This includes regular cleaning and sanitisation of high-traffic and high-touch areas as well as communal spaces within the centres. Ensuring we have a clean and hygienic environment assists us in preventing the spread of not only COVID-19 but other contagious illnesses that may be present in the wider community.
Do You Have Concerns About Your Child’s Health and Well-being During the Pandemic?
COVID-19 was, and still can be for some, a very overwhelming thought not only for the children but for families, carers, and educators. To ensure the well-being of our families and their children’s education and well-being, Discovery Childcare and Education has developed early childhood education programs for both at-home and in-house learning.
Discovery’s “Hygiene By Doing” program incorporates a mix of lesson plans designed by the Victorian Government and our own lesson plans designed by our teachers. This is a mix of theory-based learning and practical hands-on learning including important social stories about keeping our distance and the spread of germs through to science experiments to explain contact tracing. By doing this we are able to ensure that children are engaging in learning-rich experiences in a fun and worthwhile way.
Supporting Child’s Emotional Well-being
When looking to support your child and their understanding of COVID-19 there are a range of resources available for free download from the Better Health website: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/soapy-hero
These are simple and easy for the children to understand, as explaining why they can’t see their friends and loved ones is particularly hard, but it is important for them to understand or feel that they have an answer for the changes that are occurring. Some tips from some of our families who were more isolated than others during the pandemic:
- Outdoor time – this will not only help child’s mental well being but it has been proven that fresh air and air circulation can assist in preventing the spread of infection.
- Play games with your children and have family nights.
- Help your child get in contact with friends via video call platforms such as Skype, and Zoom.
- Reach out to your Discovery Childcare and Education teachers. They will be able to send educational games and activities to help your child while they are in their isolation period.
- Look up the local museums in the area, many will have online free events that you can register for.
- Keep active! Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, keeping active is not only a good distraction but good for your child mentally and physically.
One of the most important things to remember is to support your child’s emotional well being as best as you can – there are a lot of changes happening which can be challenging for a small child to comprehend, let alone feel safe.
Above all, Discovery Childcare and Education put children first; the health and safety of the communities we build in any of our centres is our top priority. We will continue to keep our hygiene practices at this standard.
As a childcare provider, we know that early childhood education and care services are crucial to ensuring that children receive the best possible care and support. Our teachers and carers are committed to providing a safe and stimulating learning environment for all of our children while keeping parents informed of their child’s progress.