The Australian Government Department of Health has developed a range of resources about COVID-19, including fact sheets, guidelines and resources in other languages. The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs also provides information about COVID-19 in a number of languages.

The Tasmanian Government has produced a range of resources including:

The website raisingchildren.net.au provides support and further information about COVID-19 for families.

Parenting for Lifelong Health provides access to information and resources regarding COVID-19 in over 60 different languages.

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) provides Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information.

Category: Covid 19

Early childhood education and care services are encouraged to share the following links to support families in managing online safety. This includes general online safety information, as well as:

The safety Commissioner and ECA have developed a series of modules as part of the eSafety Early Years Program. For more information see the series of free professional learning modules for online safety advice and tips.

Category: Covid 19

Yes, but only in limited circumstances with the approval of the approved provider.

An approved provider can only approve a FDC educator to educate and care for additional children if exceptional circumstances as defined by r124 are met (and the approval must be in writing).   The COVID-19 pandemic does not meet the definition of exceptional circumstances in the National Regulations. Therefore, an approved provider cannot approve a FDC educator caring for more than 7 children or more than 4 children who are preschool age or under, at any one time, because of the pandemic.  An approved provider can approve a FDC educator to provide care for additional children if the exceptional circumstances requirement is met.

It is important that ratios are maintained where possible to ensure adequate supervision and the health, well-being and safety of children at this time. Providing care for additional children may introduce risks and in some cases may make it difficult to follow health and safety requirements, and recommended risk mitigation strategies.

Category: Covid 19

Many services have put in place strategies to reduce the number of external visitors coming to their services. By suspending visits we are assisting you to manage non-essential visitors to your services. We are looking at different ways we can be flexible and support services in the current environment.

If you have any questions, please contact the ECU on 616 55 425 or 1800 816 057 or via ecu.comment@education.tas.gov.au or call your point of contact authorised officer directly.

Category: Covid 19

Safe Work Australia have developed National COVID-19 safe workplace principles and provided information regarding COVID-19 and physical distancing in Education and Care services, and advice for: Early childhood education and care workers: Minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Safe Work Australia has also released a statement that sets out the enforcement approach that WHS Regulators (excluding Victoria) will take to ensure compliance with Australian WHS laws during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WorkSafe Tasmania provides information on COVID-19 workplace safety and industry resources and COVID Safe Workplace Guidelines advice for businesses on developing a pandemic plan.

The COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework supports businesses and workplaces in Tasmania to continue to operate, or reopen, while protecting Tasmania’s health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Category: Covid 19

Premier Peter Gutwein announced the plan for students to return to learning in schools from the 25th of May 2020 and FAQ’s have been developed to help guide parents during this time. For further information on Education and Care, and schools, and the latest updates on COVID-19 in Tasmania, please see coronavirus.tas.gov.au

Category: Covid 19

If families have stopped their child’s enrolment they will need to contact the Department of Education Skills and Employment and confirm their new enrolment with Services Australia in their Centrelink online account through myGov. On 13 July 2020 Child Care Subsidy will start again as long as families remain eligible.

Category: Covid 19

The Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package payments will be made instead of the usual Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) payments until the 12th July 2020. From the 13th of July, CCS will return along with transition measures to support the sector and families. For more information visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website and Information for Early Childhood Education and Care Services.

The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment website has the latest information sheets about the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package and links to Frequently Asked Questions, including:

Category: Covid 19

For information on the Education and Care Relief Package and providing care for school age children, please contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE).

DESE have advised that children attending care at your service must not be engaged in formal schooling, including home schooling, distance education or online schooling.

Premier Peter Gutwein has announced the plan for students to return to learning in schools. A Fact Sheet and FAQs has been developed to help guide parents.

Category: Covid 19

The Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package payments will be made instead of the usual Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) payments until the 12th July 2020. From the 13th of July, CCS will return along with transition measures to support the sector and families. For more information visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website and Information for Early Childhood Education and Care Services.

You can contact the Child Care Subsidy Helpdesk via email at CCShelpdesk@dese.gov.au via an online form or on 1300 667 276 between 9:00am and 7:00pm (AEST) Monday to Friday.

Category: Covid 19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions on Assessment and Rating agreed to by Education Council, the ECU have postponed Assessment and Rating visits in Tasmania, until further notice. The ECU will inform services when we intend to recommence Assessment and Rating visits.

The ECU is currently seeking views from a range of stakeholders as we consider how to move forward through the next phase of the recovery process. We will update www.educationandcare.tas.gov.au and send emails to the sector as information changes. If you have any questions, please contact the ECU on 616 55 425 or 1800 816 057 or via ecu.comment@education.tas.gov.au or call your point of contact authorised officer directly.

Category: Covid 19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions on Assessment and Rating agreed to by Education Council, the ECU have postponed Assessment and Rating visits in Tasmania, until further notice. The ECU will inform services when we intend to recommence Assessment and Rating visits.

The ECU is also temporarily suspending monitoring visits to services. At this stage, we will only visit services in person in situations where there is an urgent need for us to do so based on risk. Where we can do our work by calling or emailing providers and services we will, and our staff will be available if you have any questions.

The ECU is currently seeking views from a range of stakeholders as we consider how to move forward through the next phase of the recovery process. We will update www.educationandcare.tas.gov.au and send emails to the sector as information changes. If you have any questions, please contact the ECU on 616 55 425 or 1800 816 057 or via ecu.comment@education.tas.gov.au or call your point of contact authorised officer directly.

Category: Covid 19

We are taking proactive measures and will be flexible in how we interact with providers and services. This includes temporarily suspending Assessment and Rating and monitoring visits to services.

Where we can do our work by calling or emailing providers and services we will, and our staff will be available if you have any questions. However, we may need to visit services to conduct urgent investigations. In any situation where we do need to investigate we will work to ensure the safety of children and educators and our staff by following hygiene protocols and implementing appropriate risk mitigation strategies including physical distancing.

The ECU is currently seeking views from a range of stakeholders as we consider how to move forward through the next phase of the recovery process. We will update www.educationandcare.tas.gov.au and send emails to the sector as information changes. If you have any questions, please contact the ECU on 616 55 425 or 1800 816 057 or via ecu.comment@education.tas.gov.au or call your point of contact authorised officer directly.

Category: Covid 19

Your point of contact authorised officer may be in touch to see how things are going and to listen to your feedback and questions.

The ECU is seeking views from a range of stakeholders as we consider how to move forward through the next phase of the recovery process.  We will update www.educationandcare.tas.gov.au and send emails to the sector as information changes. If you have any questions, please contact the ECU on 616 55 425 or 1800 816 057 or via ecu.comment@education.tas.gov.au or call your point of contact authorised officer directly.

Category: Covid 19

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) have provided an updated statement regarding COVID-19 in children and management of Early Childhood and Learning Centres (ECLC).

The Australian Government Department of Health has developed a Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for schools and early childhood centres, students and parents (fact sheet)

For more information on COVID-19 and Early Education and Care, see Health Direct – FAQs about childcare and school exclusions 

Category: Covid 19

If you have been informed by public health authorities that your child is a close contact of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, even if they don’t have symptoms, they can’t go to school or childcare until public health authorities inform you that it is safe for them to do so. (This includes close contact in the 48 hours before symptoms appeared in the infected person.)

If you unsure whether your child is a close contact, please contact the public health hotline on 1800 671 738

Category: Covid 19

Yes, but in limited circumstances and only with risk mitigation measures in place.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) statement about COVID-19 in children and early childhood and learning centres  issued on 3 April 2020, including its recommended risk mitigation strategies.

Services and FDC educators must ensure they follow advice on www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au, including advice on returning to sport and recreation.

The Roadmap to Recovery outlines the staged approach of lifting restrictions.  In line with Tasmanian Public Health advice, from the 18 May groups of up to 10 can access spaces such as local parks for the purpose of exercise. However, services wishing to undertake excursions must ensure that risk assessments are conducted and consider any additional risks related to COVID-19. All other requirements such as physical distancing and hygiene practices must be followed.

Please note that this information is based on public health advice, which may change at any time. Stay up to date with changes by checking the Tasmanian Government Coronavirus Website and the Australian Government Health Department website regularly.

We note that schools have been told to cancel excursions.

Category: Covid 19

A confirmed case of COVID-19 is a serious incident and as such requires notification to the ECU as soon as practicable within 24 hours. You do not need to notify the ECU if a child, family or staff member is being tested for COVID-19. Only notify if the test results are positive for COVID-19.

ACECQA has developed a handy reference guide to using the NQA IT System for incident notifications for closures and re-opens, and risks to health, safety and wellbeing during COVID-19.

Public Health will give you advice in relation to the steps you need to take at your service. Please see Notifying the ECU for advice on when to contact us.

Category: Covid 19

Please don’t make a payment when you submit your waiver application via National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS) if the reason for your wavier application is COVID-19 related.   If you do make a payment when lodging the waiver application we will refund that fee when a waiver is related to COVID-19, but it may take some time to process a refund.

Category: Covid 19

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) have provided an updated statement regarding COVID-19 in children and management of Early Childhood and Learning Centres (ECLC). AHPPC does not believe that the ‘venue density rule’ of no more than 1 person per 4 square metres is appropriate or practical in Education and Care settings, nor is maintaining 1.5m between children. AHHPC advises adults to continue to undertake physical distancing when interacting with other adults, in areas such as staff rooms and when picking up or dropping off children.

Safe Work Australia has updated its early childhood education advice to clarify the importance of physical distancing between adults. Safe Work Australia advises that services do not need to count or include children in implementing physical distancing measures. Please visit Safe Work Australia’s webpage Early childhood education: Physical distancing for details and recommended physical distancing measures.

Public Health advice explaining gatherings and physical distancing refers to the Gatherings Direction issued by Scott McKeown, Acting Director of Public Health, on 18 May 2020. We note that this direction exempts a school, university, educational institution or childcare facility from meeting the current restrictions on gatherings.

Education and care services should continue to follow the advice of Safe Work Australia, WorkSafe Tasmania and the AHPPC, consider precautionary measures and develop COVID Safety Plans to implement measures to help protect staff and children from COVID-19.

Category: Covid 19

If you are unable to undertake rehearsals at this time, please briefly note the circumstances that prevented you from undertaking rehearsals due to COVID-19 responses. Your note could include your plan to monitor this situation and how you will recommence evacuation and invacuation rehearsals.

Education and care services may wish to consider alternatives, such as completing rehearsals in smaller groups or talking through the procedure with children and documenting this interim arrangement.

Category: Covid 19

Children who are unwell should be sent home or not accepted into the service. If you have any questions please talk to Public Health.

Safe Work Australia have provided information regarding COVID-19 and physical distancing in Education and Care services and advice for: Early childhood education and care workers: Minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19

Public Health advice explaining gatherings and physical distancing refers to the Gatherings Direction issued by Scott McKeown, Acting Director of Public Health, on 18 May 2020. This direction exempts a school, university, educational institution or childcare facility from meeting the current restrictions on gatherings.

On the 25th of May, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) provided updated advice which clarifies and compliments their previous statement, regarding COVID-19 and Education and Care services.

AHPPC does not believe that the ‘venue density rule’ of no more than 1 person per 4 square metres is appropriate or practical in Education and Care settings, nor is maintaining 1.5m between children. AHHPC advises adults to continue to undertake physical distancing when interacting with other adults, in areas such as staff rooms and when picking up or dropping off children.

Category: Covid 19

We recommend referring families to current advice from Public Health regarding schools and child care remaining open.

The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment has produced a poster for services to display to provide information for families and staff to help minimise the spread of COVID-19.

Starting Blocks has information about COVID-19 and education and care, and raisingchildren.net.au provides support and further information about COVID-19 for families.

On 25 May 2020, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) published a statement on early childhood and learning centres, which can be used in accordance with the previous statement from 6 April 2020 COVID-19 in children and early childhood and learning centres.

We recommend that services consider Precautionary Measures and how they manage the risks associated with COVID-19 in their own service.

Category: Covid 19

Education and Care services (including OSHC and Family Day Care) are essential services and will continue to operate during term 2 to provide education and care for children.

Families looking for care can call the national helpline on 1800 291 041 from 9am to 5pm (AEST), Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). More information about the toll free helpline is available on the Starting Blocks and ACECQA websites.

Category: Covid 19

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Tasmania visit https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/

Please follow the links to government agencies and relevant authorities on our Information about Novel Coronavirus and Government support for the education and care sector webpages.

The Australian Government Department of Health provides resources in a number of languages and COVID 19 Infection Control Training (free to complete. New users will need to create an account and register)

Providers can call the DoE Education and Care COVID-19 helpline (toll free) on 1800 816 057 from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (except for public holidays).

For more information on COVID-19 and Early Education and Care, see the AHPPC statements on early childhood and learning centres from May 25 and April 3 and Health Direct – FAQs about childcare and school exclusions 

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) provides Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information.

Category: Covid 19

The Australian Government Department of Health has information on Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19.

The ECU’s advice is for you to follow Staying Healthy 5th Edition, and encourage educators to clean frequently touched surfaces with soap alcohol based products and follow your service’s standard hygiene procedures.

It may be necessary to source supplies from different suppliers in this extraordinary time.  Please ensure you update safety data sheets and communicate with families to minimise the risk of any changes you’re required to make.

Category: Covid 19

ACECQA has also provided a collection of resources to assist services in planning and providing their programs to meet the requirements of health advice for COVID-19.

Category: Covid 19

Follow the advice of the Australian Government Department of Health or Tasmanian Public Health and continue to focus on the health, safety and well-being of children.

Resources such as the Guide to the National Quality Framework and Staying Healthy – preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services can assist services.

Consider Precautionary Measures and risk mitigation strategies, such as how to minimise the number of external visitors to the centre.

The Australian Government Department of Health also provides free online – COVID 19 Infection Control Training (New users will need to create an account and register).

The Tasmanian Government has produced resources to assist you including a hand washing procedure, advice on protecting yourself and others and posters to assist you stop the spread of germs and prevent those with symptoms from entering your service.

Category: Covid 19

Public Health advice explaining gatherings and physical distancing refers to the Gatherings Direction issued by Scott McKeown, Acting Director of Public Health, on 18 May 2020. This direction exempts a school, university, educational institution or childcare facility from meeting the current restrictions on gatherings.

On the 25th of May, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) provided updated advice which clarifies and compliments their previous statement, regarding COVID-19 and Education and Care services.

AHPPC does not believe that the ‘venue density rule’ of no more than 1 person per 4 square metres is appropriate or practical in Education and Care settings, nor is maintaining 1.5m between children. AHHPC advises adults to continue to undertake physical distancing when interacting with other adults, in areas such as staff rooms and when picking up or dropping off children.

AHPPC recommends that unwell staff, children and visitors do not attend. Children, staff and parents should use appropriate hand and respiratory hygiene, and centres should use an enhanced cleaning regimen.

Please see the AHPPC website for further details.

Safe Work Australia have developed National COVID-19 safe workplace principles and provided information regarding COVID-19 and physical distancing in Education and Care services, and advice for: Early childhood education and care workers: Minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Category: Covid 19

There is no reason to exclude children with asthma unless you have specific information in relation to that individual child.  For further information and guidance please see Asthma Australia.

Category: Covid 19

If a decision is made to close your school, please talk to Public Health about the specific requirements and implications for your service.

 

 

 

 

Category: Covid 19

Services can choose to amend their hours of operation.  Please notify the ECU via National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS) if there is a change in operation of the service.  Providers should consider how they will manage extended operating hours.

ACECQA has developed a handy reference guide to using the NQA IT System for incident notifications for closures and re-opens, reductions or additions in attendance, and risks to health, safety and wellbeing during COVID-19.

Category: Covid 19

If your service uses a bus to transport children you will need to put strategies in place to support social distancing, adequate supervision, enhanced sanitisation and good hygiene after coming into contact with handles, rails and windows.

Travel on public transport and private vehicles is exempt from restrictions on gatherings, so there can be more than 10 people using a form of transport. Passengers are encouraged to keep physical distancing in mind and choose a seat away from others, where possible.

For further information and guidance please see Public Transport and Transport Cleaning

Category: Covid 19

ACECQA have provided an information sheet to help service leaders build and support your team’s well-being. In addition to the information sheet, ACECQA have developed a series of posters for services and approved providers to support and promote educator well-being. Please see series of posters here.

Be You have created a new resource to help educators look after their own and children’s mental health during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet provides updates and information to support Aboriginal employees working in Tasmania during COVID-19.

Category: Covid 19

A precautionary measure at this point in time is to limit access to the service by non-essential people. However, this is an individual service decision, based on your own risk assessment and risk mitigation strategies, unless Public Health have advised the student should isolate.

ACECQA has released Information about supervised professional experience requirements for final year initial teacher education students (ECTs) in 2020.

Category: Covid 19

We understand that these are challenging times and your service operations may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will consider this in all our regulatory and compliance activities, however, services are expected to continue operating in a way that is compliant with the National Law and National Regulations.

If you are unsure if your service is meeting legislative requirements please contact the Education and Care Unit for advice by phone on 1800 816 057 or via email ecu.comment@education.tas.gov.au or contact your point of contact authorised officer directly.

Services are encouraged to apply for a temporary waiver if they are unable to comply with legislative requirements due to COVID-19.  The Education and Care Unit will always consider the health, safety and well-being of children when considering any waiver application. We have provided guidance on applying for a waiver here: ECU initiatives to help the sector in Tasmania.

Category: Covid 19

Public Health will give you advice in relation to the steps you need to take at your service if a staff member has a confirmed case.

Services can access Public Health advice and refer families to Public Health for up-to-date and correct information.

Please see Notifying the ECU for advice on when to contact us.  We will be taking a supportive approach in these situations so please speak to us or consider if you can operate with reduced enrolments or apply for a waiver due to COVID-19.  You may also wish to look at your options to access Government support for the education and care sector.

Category: Covid 19

We would encourage services to apply for a waiver in this situation. We will expedite and waive the fee for waiver applications in relation to COVID-19. Children’s health, safety and well-being is still the focus, including supervision requirements so please include information about how the service will manage this, in any waiver applications. Please see ECU initiatives to help the sector in Tasmania for more information.

Category: Covid 19

The ECU is aware that approved providers are modifying their approach to monitoring and supporting Family Day Care educators. This may include using technology, or other means. If approved providers are considering the use of technology to conduct risk assessments of educators’ residences please consider: the length of time the educator has been with the service, the period of time since the previous face-to-face visit and the processes in place to successfully conduct the assessment. If the approved provider is confident a virtual visit can be conducted, and support children’s safety, then this approach can be taken.

Category: Covid 19

Families can call the new national toll free helpline on 1800 291 041 from 9am to 5pm (AEST), Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). More information about the toll free helpline is available on the Starting Blocks and ACECQA websites.

Please visit Child Care Finder for details of services including vacancy and fee information.  Services are encouraged by the Australian Government to ensure their information is up-to-date on this site.

You can also visit Find an Approved Education and Care Service (ACECQA) and Find a licenced Child Care Service for details of services.

Category: Covid 19

The Tasmanian Government has developed a resource to help families and educators to talk to children about COVID-19.

We recommend using resources like the links above and:

Category: Covid 19

Approved providers do not need to notify the ECU if there is a state or nationwide closure of all education and care services.

Category: Covid 19

Please see the Worksafe Tasmania website for information on COVID-19 workplace safety and industry resources and advice for businesses on developing a pandemic plan. Please support your staff, educators and families to be familiar with your policies and procedures.

Category: Covid 19

We strongly encourage providers to make every reasonable effort to ensure educators currently providing education and care to children hold current required first aid qualifications.  The ECU has been advised that St Johns continue to offer face-to-face training as of 26 March 2020 and that other providers, including Red Cross, are offering online alternatives.

We recommend approved providers consider rostering educators to ensure at least one educator who holds current first aid qualifications is available at a service at all times.  In a FDC settings, approved providers and FDC services should support FDC educators to achieve and maintain current first aid qualifications.

ACECQA has also provided further information regarding first aid training.

Category: Covid 19

Australian Government Department of Health has released Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19.

The Tasmanian Government has produced a range of resources that promote effective cleaning and hygiene procedures including :

Category: Covid 19

We recommend you contact Fair Work to clarify your obligations and find information about Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws.

Category: Covid 19

It is not the usual procedure to have educators signing children in, but if this is in line with your policies, and you have communicated to families that you are doing this to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of children, this is acceptable practice in the current climate.

Attendance information, such as in and out times, must be accurately recorded for children that attend your service. This can either be stored electronically, or by other means. You must also give families statements of sessions of care provided.

Category: Covid 19

If Public Health say you should close, this direction must be followed. You will also need to notify the ECU. For advice on how to do this please see Notifying the ECU. Please also let us know when you reopen so we are able to support you.

Meeting ratio requirements must remain a high priority to ensure children’s health, safety and well-being. However, if you are having difficulty meeting qualification or ratio requirements, you are encouraged to apply for a waiver and explain the situation is related to COVID-19. For more information see ECU initiatives to help the sector in Tasmania

Category: Covid 19

Supply chain issues are not something we can control.

We suggest services contact suppliers to see if they have priority programs for essential services in place.  It may be necessary to source supplies from different suppliers in this extraordinary time.  Please ensure you update safety data sheets and communicate with families to minimise the risk of any changes you’re required to make.

Category: Covid 19

Fair Work has a section on its website about Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws that includes advice on enforceable government directions.

Category: Covid 19

If your service needs financial assistance you may be eligible for a range of support programs. Please see Government support for the education and care sector  or call the DoE Education and Care COVID-19 helpline (toll free) on 1800 816 057 from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (except for public holidays) for further information.

The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment website has the latest information sheets about the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package and links to Frequently Asked Questions, including

 

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has confirmed a new ruling that clarifies eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment for most early childhood education and care (ECEC) services receiving the ECEC Relief Package.

 

Category: Covid 19

Please follow the advice of the Australian Government Department of Health and Tasmanian Public Health.

Safe Work Australia has provided advice for: Early childhood education and care workers: Minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19

The Tasmanian Government has produced resources to assist you including a hand washing procedure and advice on protecting yourself and others

Category: Covid 19

We are considering how we can have some flexibility with how we regulate but still remain focused on the safety and well-being of children. Advice from Public health informs our decision-making. We are all looking at ways of doing things differently, including how we support services while reducing face-to-face contact.

Category: Covid 19

For concerns about contact or symptoms please visit the Tasmanian Public Health website or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

For general information about coronavirus, including the national response, Please visit the Australian Government Department of Health website or call the National Coronavirus Information Line on 1800 020 080 (24 hours, 7 days). If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

For more information see the Health Direct Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker and FAQs about childcare and school exclusions 

Category: Covid 19

If a child or staff member at your service is diagnosed with COVID-19 you are required to report any risk or incident of infectious disease to:

If your service is closed due to COVID-19, it is essential to report this to your regulatory authority and to update the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA IT System) within 24 hours.

The NQA IT System portal has been updated to enable you to nominate ‘COVID-19’ as the reason for your service’s emergency closure. Guidance on the steps involved is available on the NQA IT System portal and ACECQA website.

Category: Covid 19

The Australian Government Department of Health or Tasmanian Public Health will advise you of the need for a partial, or full closure. At this point in time there has not been any decision to close education and care or child care services in Tasmania.

Category: Covid 19

The Australian and Tasmanian governments are focussing on supporting business and services and making sure the sector is strong and able to support families as we come out the other side of this situation. Please see Government support for the education and care sector for further information.

Category: Covid 19

Families can access information on www.educationandcare.tas.gov.au.  At this point in time the ECU is not contacting families directly.  We note that providers and services are best placed to inform families of the responses and strategies they are implementing to ensure safe, quality care for children in this changing environment.  We will continue to  provide updates and make sure that information from a range of sources is available for you to share with families, or you can refer families to the websites or phone lines linked on www.educationandcare.tas.gov.au.

Category: Covid 19

Under these exceptional circumstances the ECU will waive the fee for a waiver and we will inform services when waiver fees recommence. We have provided guidance on applying for a waiver here: ECU initiatives to help the sector in Tasmania.

Category: Covid 19

The service must still provide support to FDC educators during COVID-19 and restrictions apply. This might mean conducting visits through mediums such as skype or over the phone.  However, there may be some situations where a face-to-face visit may be necessary.

Category: Covid 19

Please consider how your service going to ensure due diligence in recruiting educators. The scheme cannot exceed its approved number of educators. The service will also need to ensure educators are adequately supported and monitored during this period.

Category: Covid 19

If anyone in the home is subject to self-isolation / quarantine restrictions then the FDC educator should not be operating.

Category: Covid 19

At this point we can’t speculate on possible future announcements.  We will update www.educationandcare.tas.gov.au and send emails to the sector if our information changes.

Category: Covid 19

Parents can call the Public Health information line at any time.  The general guidance is to exclude children, staff, parents and guardians from services if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19, have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or are at high risk due to underlying health conditions. However, it is really important that services follow the advice from Public Health and refer families to Public Health for the most up to date and correct information.

Please see Notifying the ECU for advice on when to contact us.

Category: Covid 19

The Australian Government Department of Health has information on  Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19 

All the public health advice has been wash your hands with soap and water. It’s important to talk to your families regarding allergies to different soaps and cleaning products. If you have any questions, public health can advise.

Category: Covid 19

Public Health can provide advice in this situation. Please see Notifying the ECU for advice on when you need to notify us.

Category: Covid 19

Education and care service providers and educators are encouraged to pursue all available options to complete first aid refresher training, including completing only the theoretical aspects of the training, if necessary.

The Education and Care unit would consider a temporary waiver relating to the requirements for CPR refresher training, supported by evidence of having actively sought training opportunities and/or completed the theoretical aspects of the training. The approved provider should also demonstrate what measures would be put in place to ensure children’s safety during the period the waiver has been applied for. We have provided guidance on applying for a waiver here: ECU initiatives to help the sector in Tasmania.

ACECQA has also provided further information regarding first aid training.

Category: Covid 19

To provide care for children you are required to be registered as a provider, service or family day care educator under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 or licensed under the Child Care Act 2001. 

If you are considering providing care for children in your own home or in a child’s family home or other premises please contact us if you need guidance about what you need to do to provide care legally. 

We note there are risks associated with the provision of unlicensed or unregistered care and can answer your questions if you are unsure whether you are able to care for or babysit children.

Category: Covid 19

There are a number of organisations and resources available to help support families, Educators and staff in your service depending on their needs.

Keeping Yourself Safe,  This Way UpBeyond Blue or www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au include lots of practical information including links of where you can go to get help including mental health support advice.

Be You has created a practical resource specifically for educators to deal with the mental health effects of COVID-19.

The Australian Government Department of Health has also developed a range of trusted online and phone supports for those feeling anxious or stressed. Please see Head to Health.

ACECQA have provided an information sheet to help service leaders build and support your team’s wellbeing.

NACCHO the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation has information and resources to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families during COVID-19. Call 02 6246 9300

Lifeline is staffed by trained volunteer telephone counsellors who are ready to take calls 24/7. Call 13 11 14

The Suicide Callback Service provides free, professional 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people who are affected by suicide. Call 1300 659 467

Carers Australia provides counselling, emotional and psychological support services for carers and their families. Call 1800 242 636

Mensline Australia supports Australian men and boys dealing with family and relationship difficulties. 24/7 telephone and online support. Call 1300 789 978

1800 RESPECT provides counselling and support service for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. Call 1800 737 732.

Relationships Australia offers relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. Call 1300 364 277

Open Arms is a 24/7 counselling and support service for veterans and their families. Call 1800 011 046

Butterfly Foundation offers information, counselling and treatment referral for people with eating disorders. Call 1800 334 673

QLife provides Australia-wide anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral services.

PANDA offers counselling, support, and referrals for people affected by anxiety and depression during and after pregnancy. Call 1300 726 306

SANE Australia provides phone, online counselling, and peer support for people living with complex mental health issues and the people who care about them. Call 1800 187 263

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement and offers support for family, friends and communities coping with grief and loss. Call 1800 642 066

Category: Covid 19

Family Day Care services are advised to take a common sense approach to manage risk in their work environment, this may include working from home. The ECU recommends that services consider the accessibility of the approved provider, Nominated Supervisor or Family Day Care Co-ordinators, particularly their availability by phone, to ensure they are able to attend the residence of a Family Day Care educator in case of an emergency. The approved provider also needs to consider that in the event that an authorised officer needs to attend the principal office, for the purpose of monitoring or investigating compliance, that this can be arranged.

Category: Covid 19

As part of the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief package, services are required to provide care for children of essential workers, vulnerable and disadvantaged children and children with existing enrolments. However, services are not required to accept new enrolments or increase sessions where parents request it, this is a business decision.

For more information about the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package, please refer to the Department of Education, Skills, Employment and Training.

Category: Covid 19

In recognition of the unique nature of care that is provided by Family Day Care services, a specific Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package – Information for Family Day Care information sheet is available to address specific Family Day Care issues. This includes what support is available and information about the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package and the JobKeeper Payment.

Category: Covid 19

Yes, all Child Care Subsidy (CCS) eligibility requirements will continue in place, and all approved providers and services must continue to comply with Family Assistance Law and National Law requirements. This includes the requirement under the Child Care Subsidy for children to meet the Childhood Schedule on the Department of Health’s National Immunisation Program Schedule.

Category: Covid 19

The Australian Government has developed a contact app to support health responses to Covid-19 called COVIDSafe. This public health initiative is voluntary and your privacy is strictly protected.

To access frequently asked questions for the COVIDSafe coronavirus contact app, please go to  https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covidsafe-app-faqs

Category: Covid 19

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Updated 5 June 2020