YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED: Updated August 2021
OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19 AND PARENT FAQs
As a parent you may have questions regarding our center’s response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the health and safety of your child attending our childcare center.
At all times our priority is keeping our families, our staff, and our community safe, and ensuring the health and wellbeing of those attending our center. We are dedicated to providing a safe and happy environment, where children can continue to receive quality education and care. We have put stringent measures in place to minimize the risks around COVID-19, and we will continue to follow CDC (Center for Disease Control) and local government recommendations to ensure the safety of your child.
If any of your questions are not answered below, please do not hesitate to contact our center director. Alternatively, you can fill out our online contact form here or chat with us below.
What is COVID-19 and what are the symptoms?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. The virus is spread from person to person through close contact, droplets from coughs or sneezes, and contact with surfaces infected by these droplets followed by touching the face or mouth. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include a cough, fever, tiredness, and difficulty breathing (in severe cases). Symptoms can develop between 1 and 14 days after infection. Approximately 80% of people will recover from the virus without the need for special treatment. Elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions are more vulnerable to serious illness.
How can I protect my family from COVID-19?
Practicing good hygiene is vital to protect your family from COVID-19. This includes regular washing of hands using correct handwashing techniques, thoroughly cleaning surfaces and high touch surfaces that may have come in contact with the virus, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue that is immediately discarded or into the crook of your elbow.
Stay at home as much as possible, and avoid unnecessarily leaving the house. Practice good social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet away from other people. Follow all CDC advice and rules as these measures are in place to protect you, your family, and other members of your community.
Should you or your children develop symptoms it is important that you phone your doctor and follow any medical advice that you are given.
What measures and strategies have you put in place to protect my child while they attend the center?
It is our duty of care to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of those attending our center. At all times our priority is keeping our families, staff, and community safe. We are dedicated to providing a safe and happy environment, where children can continue to receive quality education and care. We have put stringent measures in place to minimize the risks around COVID-19. We are following official government health advice at all times to ensure the safety of your child.
Our Hygiene and Cleaning Processes
- Strict cleaning schedules have been put in place at our centers, and these must be completed thoroughly and daily.
- All high touch surfaces around the childcare center are also being cleaned several times a day. These include door handles, walls, doors, trolley handles, benches etc.
- All of our Educators have completed COVID-19 infection control training.
- Our staff are handwashing as often as possible and encouraging our children to do the same.
- We have dedicated hand sanitizer stations set up at our centers.
- Children are no longer self-serving meals at this time. Educators are serving all meals using gloves.
- We carefully observe all children upon arrival to ensure they present well. All adults and children’s temperatures are being taken when they arrive at the center. Anyone presenting with cold and flu like symptoms or a fever is sent home and must have a medical clearance before returning.
- We are screening all adults and children entering the building to ensure they have not been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. If they have we are asking them to self-quarantine for the time frame recommended by the CDC.
Are you taking the children on excursions?
We have ceased all excursions and field trips at this time. We are modifying extra-curricular and playground schedules to ensure groups of children are not mixing.
How will my child be educated about COVID-19 while they are at the center?
We hold our position to assist families with education around COVID-19 very seriously. As such we are placing a great emphasis on documenting and reflecting upon hygiene practices in our curriculum. This includes but is not limited to:
- The use of hand sanitizer stations and hand washing lessons, to teach children about the importance of hand washing and sanitizing regularly.
- Conducting research science experiences with the children regarding germs and how we can avoid them.
- Posters throughout our classrooms and bathrooms reminding children to wash their hands, and to cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow.
- Thorough hygiene discussions within group times.
- Thorough discussions around social distancing measures and why we are doing this.
What happens if my child has an underlying health issue or respiratory disorder?
COVID-19 poses risks to people with underlying conditions, so we do encourage you to keep that in mind when deciding whether you are comfortable with your child attending. If you choose to continue to send your child to our center, we do ask that you engage with our educators to communicate any specific needs your child requires.
What policies and procedures that have been put in place regarding COVID-19 and attending the center?
To ensure the health and wellbeing of our families and staff at our centers, we are strictly following and adhering to health advice and rules around COVID-19 and attending childcare. These measures are extended to all of our staff, the children attending our centers, parents, and any essential visitors attending our centers (e.g. maintenance workers performing essential maintenance work).
These measures include:
- Any person who has COVID-19 may not attend the center until they have been cleared as medically fit and are displaying no symptoms for 72 hours without medication.
- Any person who has returned from overseas or been in contact with somebody from overseas, cannot enter the center until they have completed their isolation period of 14 days and have been declared medically fit and are displaying no symptoms.
- Any person who has been in contact with somebody who is displaying the symptoms of COVID-19 may not enter the center until their 14-day self-isolation period is over and they have been declared medically fit and are displaying no symptoms.
- If your child has been in contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, they cannot attend childcare until the authority tells you it is safe for them to do so.
- If your child has been tested for Covid-19 and is now feeling better they may not return to the center until the test results have been received.
I have been in close contact with someone who is now showing symptoms of COVID-19. Can I still bring my child to childcare?
No. To ensure the health and wellbeing of all the children and staff at our center we advise you to keep your children at home. Follow recommendations from the CDC, monitor any symptoms and practise self-isolation for a minimum of 14 days. Please contact your Center Director and your local doctor to advise them of the situation.
What happens if my child is showing symptoms of COVID-19 at the childcare center or at home?
We carefully observe all children as well as take their temperature upon arrival to ensure they are well. Anyone presenting with cold and flu like symptoms will be separated from the other children and sent home. You must bring in a medical clearance before returning. If your child is showing COVID-19 symptoms at home, we do ask that you keep them at home and seek medical attention. Contact your Center Director to advise of the absentee and update us on the Doctor’s recommendations and medical clearance to return.
What happens if an educator is showing symptoms of COVID-19 at the childcare center or at home?
Any educator or staff member who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 must not attend the center until they have received medical clearance. Should a staff member begin to display signs of COVID-19 while at the center, they must immediately go home and cannot return until they have received medical clearance.
Will I be told if somebody at the center has tested positive to COVID-19?
Yes. We will follow all official Government and Health Department advice in regards to procedures following a positive testing at a childcare center.
How can I stay up to date with information about COVID-19 and the measures that are being put in place at the center at this time?
We are regularly keeping families updated using email, Facebook and online programs specific to each center. All communications about COVID-19 will be emailed to families on a regular basis. If you are currently enrolled at one of our centers, whether you are attending the service or not, please make sure your Center Director has your most recent email address.
Some great resources about COVID-19 for parents include:
UNICEF How to talk to your child about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
UNICEF Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): What parents should know
Some great resources for children about COVID-19 include:
The Wiggles: Social Distancing
Play School – Hello Friends: A COVID-19 Special
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