It is important services consider arrival and departure procedures to minimise opportunities for parents and carers to gather in groups, including in the foyer.
If possible, parents should drop off and pick up children in a safe place on the service's premises instead of entering children’s rooms and play areas.
keep physical distancing and be COVIDSAFE poster from the Australian Government Department of Health’s website. Hang the poster in an obvious place and mark floors at desks and counters to remind adults to keep 1.5 metres apart.
Staggered start and finish times
Services should adopt staggered start and finish times where possible.
While staggered start and finish times occur naturally in some service types, other settings will often have one arrival and pick-up time.
Consider how the arrival and pick-up time could be spread out.
This could mean dividing the group and allocating times, noting that it is not expected that session times are extended to accommodate additional arrival and departure procedures.
Greeting parents and children at the front door in the morning and during pick-up times allows for one-on-one communication with families while practising physical distancing.
It is also an opportunity to consider whether children are showing any signs of being unwell.
Encourage non-contact greetings.
Considerations for teaching and learning environments
Maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres is not practical in early childhood services. Practise physical distancing between all people as much as possible.
Reducing mixing between different age or room groups will minimise the risk of spreading transmission and aid containment if a COVID-19 case is confirmed on-site.
Consider small group play, staggered mealtimes and indoor/outdoor play whenever possible.
Open windows during the day to promote air flow if weather permits.
Consider room setup and activity placement, and limit the number of whole group activities.
Rather than having group times where everyone is sitting on the mat, consider using informal opportunities to engage with small groups of children at a time.
For younger children, consider rotating and cleaning toys more often.
Monitor and avoid children sharing toys that were placed in mouths.
Wherever possible and where you have enough staffing for adequate supervision, consider operating an indoor/outdoor program.
A greater range of activities will encourage children and staff to spread out more broadly.
Minimise where possible mixing educators and children between rooms.
Staff may need to move between rooms for breaks so remind them of the importance of hand hygiene.
Where multiple staff are in a room, remind them to maintain physical distancing from each other as much as practical.
Considerations for offices and staff facilities
As the greatest risk of transmission of COVID-19 in a service is between adults, avoid close proximity between staff where possible, and especially in offices and staff rooms.
Space out workstations as much as possible and limit the number of staff in offices. Where possible, staff should use separate offices.
Remind staff to maintain physical distance from each other as much as possible in the reception, staff room and offices.