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Family and Children's Services Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated - 18 February 2021

Early Childhood Education and Care

Attendance:


All staff, families and essential visitors must answer these questions on arrival to a Council Early Years Service:

  • Are you unwell with any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) including;
    1. Sore throat
    2. Cough
    3. Difficulty breathing
    4. Runny or stuffy nose
    5. Fever
    6. Shortness of breath
    7. Muscle soreness
    8. Nausea
    9. Vomiting or diarrhea
    10. Loss or change to sense of smell or taste
    11. Headache
  • Do you have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees?
  • Have you, or a person in your household, been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for the result?
  • Have you been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) and have not yet been given clearance from self-isolation?
  • Have you had known contact in the past 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • Have you travelled to a location, including a listed exposure site that requires you to self-isolate?

If a person(s) answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions, access to the service must be declined and the person(s) should be directed to contact their medical professional.

  • If you or your child are displaying any of the above symptoms, however mild, you should get tested. Please seek advice from a healthcare professional. Remember you must self-isolate while awaiting results of a COVID test. If your child has been tested, they should not attend the service until they receive their result.
  • If your child/ren become unwell during the day you will be required to collect them immediately.
  • In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19, all families will be notified.
  • Anyone (including children) who is required to isolate or is in quarantine MUST NOT attend the service.
  • Parents of children with complex medical needs should seek medical advice from the child’s medical practitioner to support risk
  • assessment and informed decision making regarding the suitability of continuing education and care at this time.

Delivery & collection of children:

  • Arrivals and departures should be limited to ONE PERSON ONLY.
  • Time dropping off or picking up children MUST NOT exceed 15 minutes.
  • A face mask MUST be worn by all authorised persons dropping off or collecting a child.
  • Try to MAINTAIN DISTANCE of 1.5m at all times.
  • You may need to wait to enter the service. Please ALLOW EXTRA TIME when dropping off/picking up.
  • All families and children are to use hand sanitiser or wash hands on arrival and departure to the service.Children will also undertake hand hygiene practices at regular intervals throughout the day including, but not limited to, before and after eating.

Health screening:


Staff will not ask families health questions. There is a poster for all families to read and staff will need check that each family has read it and complies.

Immunisation:

  • All parents, children and essential visitors should, wherever possible, have received an influenza (flu) vaccination. Council is running flu immunisation sessions. Appointments can be made online now via Council’s website.

I have kept my child at home as they have been unwell, when can they return to the service?


Following a period of sickness, a medical certificate is not required for a child to return to the service, however, children should not return until they no longer have any of the symptoms referred to above or until they have completed any mandatory quarantine period.
If your child is unwell for any reason and you will be keeping them home please call the service to let staff know.

Enhanced hygiene & cleaning:

  • Cloth hand towels have been removed and paper towel will be used to dry hands.
  • High touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis and more often as needed.
  • Extra cleaning schedules will be in place to wash toys.
  • Soft furnishings will be laundered more frequently. If they can’t be washed, they will be removed.
  • Daily professional cleaning includes extra disinfecting during the pandemic.
  • Children will continue to be educated on good hand washing and cough and sneeze practices.
  • All staff will carry a face mask:
    1. Staff are not required to wear a mask when working with children, but;
    2. Wearing of masks are expected at all other times (within staff rooms, offices, corridors, talking with families etc.) and when venue density limits/physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Please note: All Knox Council services adhere to National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) early years cleaning guidelines.

Returning to the service:


Following a period of sickness, a medical certificate is not required for the child to return to the service, however, children should not return until they no longer have any of the symptoms referred to above or until they have completed any mandatory quarantine period.

What if my child becomes unwell whilst at the service?


If your child becomes unwell during the day, you will be notified and required to collect them immediately.

My child has complex medical needs, should they return to kindergarten and/or childcare?


Parents of children with complex medical needs should seek medical advice from the child’s medical practitioner to support risk assessment and informed decision making regarding the suitability of continuing to attend kindergarten and/or childcare at this time.

What cleaning is currently being undertaken in early years services?

  • All Council services adhere to National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) early years cleaning guidelines.
  • Cloth hand towels have been removed and paper towel is used to dry hands.
  • High touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis and more often as needed.
  • Extra cleaning schedules are in place to wash toys.
  • Soft furnishings are laundered more frequently. If they can’t be washed, they are removed.
  • Daily professional cleaning includes extra disinfecting.
  • Children will continue to be educated on good hand washing and cough and sneeze practices, as well as undertake hand hygiene practices at regular intervals throughout the day including, but not limited to, before and after eating.

What happens if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the service my child attends?


In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19, all families who attend the service will be notified and will be required to follow all directions given by DHHS. The service will follow public health advice regarding any required cleaning or closure and families will remain informed.

My question hasn’t been answered here


If you have further questions regarding early years services that have not been answered here, please contact early.years@knox.vic.gov.au
We may update these FAQs periodically to include common questions or as more information becomes available.

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