COVID-19: Childcare Centre Support
IMPORTANT: Updated Information
Information impacting childcare is being updated on a frequent basis. You can track the latest information here- COVID-19 Childcare Updates.
Clear, consistent communication of a high frequency will help you and your parents through this unprecedented time.
1. Update your health and hygiene policy and re-share with parents
Add any updates you feel are necessary with the recent COVID-19 developments. For example:
- “We’ve now implemented contact-free sign-ins with a QR code”
- “We’ve recently implemented contact-free parent engagement with no options to receive in-person hard copy portfolios.”
- “We’ve recently implemented contact-free enrolments only.
Sharing this with parents at this time will help alleviate parent stress around the virus and their child being safe at childcare.
2. Consistently log and send health and hygiene-related observations to parents (think washing hands, learning how to cough properly etc)
Think about if you were a parent with your child in childcare during this period. Imagine how positive you’d feel with regular observations of your child (multiple per day every day) of them learning about things like:
- Washing hands.
- Sanitising hands/utensils.
- Learning coughing etiquette.
- Learning about how older members of the community are more susceptible to colds and flus.
- Learning how to maintain this routine when you go home and why it’s important.
3. Create a specific risk management plan around minimising the risk of spreading infection.
Your risk management plan specifically for minimising the risk of spreading infection will further help parents feel less stressed about how safe their child is in your care.
4. Create and log a “Health and Hygiene” planning cycle alongside your regular planning cycle until COVID is over.
Your existing planning cycle should continue on. But you should also consider running a specific health and hygiene planning cycle alongside it. Plan out your intentional teaching activities around health and hygiene, document evidence of your intentional teaching around health and hygiene, reflect back on the week of health and hygiene learning and provide an opportunity for parents to provide feedback.
Just think of your regular planning cycle but specifically for health and hygiene.
5. Provide at-home learning options for parents
Platforms like Xplor Playground offer the option of Live Learning and engagement options with parents. Here are some things you can do to increase engagement:
- Create short videos that you can post. Some example includes:
a. Video introductions and check-ins. Regular communication with parents is what’s going to make this work. Do a video observation introducing today’s themes, learning, and milestones. Do a video observation around lunch checking in and encouraging further examples of how you would complete the tasks if the children were in the centre with you.
b. Do another video observation closing out the day and encouraging parents to check in with you for questions or help.
c. Outline milestones for their child in bite-sized chunks.If you don’t make the at-home learning as easy as possible for your parents, you run the risk of them putting it in the “too hard basket” (which can be devastating for the child). Therefore, create the plan for the parents, include the milestones they can check off with their child in bite-sized chunks and generally categorise everything so they aren’t overwhelmed with information and all they have to do is complete a simple task.
- Include “Themed Tasks” for hitting milestones with examples of how you’d do it in the centre
- Encourage parents to take their own photos of their child completing the milestone and securely send it back to you (think “at-home observations”). In Xplor these are known as “moments”.
- Take these moments and then put together documentation reflecting back on this time of change for parents which will make a great portfolio when we get out the other side. Parents will definitely want records of how they worked together with your childcare centre to continue their child’s critical development.
- Services which offer at-home or live learning options can highlight this on their free Space profile.
As always, document everything. Don’t wait for ACECQA to come out with new rules around children’s’ health and safety and Educational program and practice as a reactive measure to COVID-19. Stay ahead of the curve and act now.
- Visit the COVID-19: Childcare Resources for latest news updates, understanding your responsibilities are to parents & children during the COVID-19 pandemic, when you should close your service, and how to get financial advice & assistance, and other key childcare-related information.
- Please visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment Frequently Asked Questions for more information for providers and services and Coronavirus (COVID-19) for the latest education and training sector fact sheets.
- The CCS Helpdesk is available to assist with information for services to help them manage the impacts on their business. Please email the CCS Helpdesk on firstname.lastname@example.org, send in your query via an online form or call 1300 667 276 between 9.00 am — 5.00 pm (AEDST), Monday to Friday.
Please make sure that if you are a child care provider or service you have subscribed to receive communications from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.