CECA would like to reassure you that the Education Directorate continues to work closely with ACT Health, other states and territories and the Commonwealth Government to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
At the moment it is safe for children to be in education and care services in the ACT, including out of school hours care. The ACT Government is recommending, based on health advice that education and care services remain open for the foreseeable future.
For the latest information on the Australian Government’s Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package to support early childhood education and care services in response to COVID-19, please visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. 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 email@example.com, send in your query via an online form or call 1300 667 276 between 9.00 am - 5.00 pm (AEDST), Monday to Friday.
You should get tested if you develop a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath:
- within 14 days of overseas travel
- you have been identified as a contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19
- if you’re a healthcare worker with direct patient contact – even if you have not recently travelled or had contact with someone who has COVID-19
Visit the ACT Health website for further information and guidance.
COVID-19 spreads from person to person, usually during close contact. This means practising good hygiene is the best defence against the spread of the virus. Please see the attached Social Distancing Fact Sheet for advice. The visual resources below may be useful:
Education and care services should implement social distancing where practicable. Over time, this may mean some changes in the way activities are offered, for example managing risks by reducing the size of groups, maintaining contact with families by phone and use of technology.
Education and care services can access factsheets to support daily practice that can assist with social distancing practice.
COVID-19 has the potential to disrupt the operations of educational facilities including education and care services and schools.
CECA is working to provide advice and support were possible to education and care services who maybe experiencing operational difficulties. Wherever possible education and care services need to meet their legislative requirements under the National Quality Framework.
If education and care services are experiencing operational difficulties, they should contact CECA on (02) 6207 1114 or email CECA@act.gov.au. This will enable the most effective arrangements to be put in place to meet the context of the setting. However, CECA will consider issuing waivers and amendments to conditions on approvals to assist education and care services to maintain operations.
CECA will be taking into consideration that education and care services may experience challenges in securing supplies such as food and hygiene products. Services should adapt their program and operations whilst prioritising the health, wellbeing and safety of children. Wherever possible education and care services should be proactive and plan for localised solutions. For example, providers have contacted suppliers to put in place arrangements where supplies are not restricted due to education and care being an essential service for the community.
If the spread of COVID-19 escalates, CECA will provide updated advice about seeking waivers.
Education and care services should remain operational unless advice is received from the ACT Health Directorate.
Any closures will be based on a case by case basis, including assessing any risks to the health, and welfare of staff and children. Only approved providers can make the decision to close a children’s service or be directed by ACT Health or CECA to do so.
If an approved provider closes an education and care service because of a confirmed COVID-19 case on the premises, or as a precaution, they must meet their infectious diseases and reporting responsibilities. Regulation 88 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations requires providers and services to:
- Ensure that reasonable steps are taken to prevent the spread of the infectious disease at the service.
- In an event of an infectious disease at a service the approved provider must ensure that a parent or an authorised emergency contact of each child being educated and cared for is notified of the occurrence as soon as practicable.
- Follow directions from ACT Health Directorate regarding cleaning of the premises.
Any infectious disease should be notifiable to Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) and the ACT Health Directorate’s Communicable Disease Control Unit on (02) 5124 9213.
Providers and services should submit a notification to CECA using the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS) to meet notification requirements in addition to contacting CECA by on
(02) 6207 1114 or email CECA@act.gov.au
The evolving circumstances of COVID-19 in our community reinforces that all individuals should use credible and consistent sources of information to make decisions. Individuals should keep up to date with current information from:
- ACT Health Directorate
- The Australian Government Department of Health
- ACT Education Directorate
- Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority
- The Australian Government Department of Education Skills and Employment (this includes information about Child Care Subsidy support for providers specific to COVID-19.
For general information on COVID-19 call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For advice regarding the operation of your service please contact CECA on (02) 6207 1114