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COVID-19 frequently asked questions

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Early childhood education and care is crucial to continuing the education of our children, and to enable Queenslanders to continue to work and support the broader community.

Note: The information contained in this page is current as at date of publication.

Term 2 advice for parents and carers

How can I help my child settle back in to kindy or childcare?

Many children will find it hard returning to early childhood education and care after a long absence. The StartingBlocks website has the following suggestions on how you can settle in your child:

  • if possible, start with shorter or fewer days then gradually increase time spent at the service
  • find a preferred staff member or child you can leave your little one with at drop off time
  • spend some time with your child doing their favourite activity before you leave
  • talk to eduators about what comforts your child and discuss how you manage activities or times of the day they find unsettling. For example, does your child have a toy or blanket that helps them to settle?
  • show your child you feel secure about leaving them at the service and that you trust the staff. Say ‘goodbye’ confidently, and reassure them that you will be back later. While it may be tempting to leave while they are engaged happily in play, it can be distressing for your child to realise you have left without saying goodbye
  • you should feel that you can contact the service at any time to check how your child is settling. The staff should provide you with sensitive, honest feedback.

Can my child physically attend community kindergarten?

Yes. All children who are enrolled in a community kindergarten can physically attend.

Are outside school hours care (OSHC) services open?

OSHC services continue to operate before and after school care where there is demand. This includes on-site OSHC or other services off site that cater for school age children, such as long day care or family day care. Parents are encouraged to contact their local OSHC provider to confirm arrangements.

Are parents able to go on to school grounds to drop off and pick up their children from OSHC?

Parents should ask their OSHC service about how they should drop off and pick up their children.

In state school settings, physical distancing protocols continue to apply to all adults. Schools are limiting the number of non-essential adults entering school sites and the amount of adult to adult contact in and around schools. This may mean different arrangements for drop-off and pick-up, including for the OSHC service.

Individual schools and OSHC services will make the appropriate arrangements for their community. Parents can help by not gathering inside or outside schools and adopting new ways of interacting with others in and around the school.

Are long day care services that offer a kindergarten program continuing to offer the program?

Yes. Long day care services that already offer a kindergarten program will continue to deliver an education program to children who attend the service.

Are all early childhood education and care services open?

Most early childhood and outside school hours care services are open. A small number of services have temporarily closed at their discretion or on advice from Queensland Health.

While we strongly encourage you to contact your service directly, the Department of Education emergency closed facilities website also provides information about service closures.

The list is based on the closures that approved providers of kindergarten, long day care and outside school hours care services have notified the department of. Parents and carers using family day care are encouraged to contact their child's educator for details regarding closures.

Can I send my child to early childhood education and care services?

Early childhood education and care services continue to operate unless advised otherwise by health authorities. Under the new Australian Government system, services are required to prioritise placements for essential workers, vulnerable children and existing enrolments.

Please refer to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website or contact your service for further information.

Can my child attend family day care?

Family day care continues to operate unless advised otherwise by health authorities.

Is it safe for my child to attend early childhood services?

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advised on 3 April 2020 that early childhood education and care services are essential services, and should continue to operate with appropriate risk mitigation strategies.

Read the APHHC statement for its recommendations to services for safe operation.

On 25 May AHPPC clarified that the ‘venue density rule’ of no more than 1 person per 4 square metres is not appropriate or practical in services, 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. Read more about the clarification to physical distancing in the AHPPC Statement of 25 May 2020.

In accordance with the previous statement, 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. For the latest advice, visit the Australian Government's guide for protecting others and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

How can I support my child’s learning and development when we are at home?

We know keeping your child engaged in learning is important to you. You can download a range of resources and ideas from our earlylearning@home page to help you with fun learning experiences for your child.

Where can I get more information on the impacts of COVID-19 on early childhood services?

For any early childhood education and care COVID-19 related enquiries, please phone 1800 454 639 or email ECEC.COVID19@qed.qld.gov.au.

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Last updated 03 August 2020