Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs
FAQs Parent Support
What measures are in place to ensure a safe and healthy environment for my child and their educators?
In addition to the below COVID Safe measure, in response to the second wave currently occurring in Victoria, we are undertaking the following:
- Temperature checks on arrival for all children and educators
- Arrival and departure of children occurring at the door
- Only essential visitors will be permitted entry and only after they have had their temperature checked and filled out Visitors Declaration form
- Mask will be worn as directed by the Victorian State Government and the Education department, this does not include educators working directly with children
COVID Safe Measures
We want to firstly reassure you that there currently isn’t an increased risk for babies and children, and we are staying abreast of all recommendations from the Government and Health authorities. The most proactive advice that we can follow from the Federal and State Health
organisation is to ensure good hygiene.
- We have set up hygiene stations at the entrance of our service and have requested everyone who enters and exits to please wash their hands.
- Our team and children are washing their hands frequently and effectively following the handwashing procedure.
- We are continuing to implement indoor and outdoor play and keeping our doors open to encourage the flow of air through the building and the children to access fresh air.
- A wellness check is being undertaken for each child on arrival each day to highlight of any symptoms of illness.
- We are meticulously following our Illness Procedure and ensuring that if any child or educator shows any cold or flu symptoms (e.g. headache, fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose), they are sent home and encouraged they contact their GP immediately.
- We are also reminding families that if their child shows any cold or flu symptoms (e.g. headache, fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose), please keep him/her at home and contact your GP.
- We have postponed experiences in the classroom that could be a source of cross infection such as cooking and waterplay.
- We have increased our daily cleaning tasks and ensure that frequently touched item is being cleaned twice a day.
- All visitors attending our service need to fill out a Visitors Declaration form to ensure we are not admitting anyone at risk.
- We ask all our families and team members to be aware of all updated COVID-19 information on the Australian Government website. This site is being frequently updated and it is important to continue to stay in touch with the latest information.
What does the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package actually mean to families?
The Australian Government’s Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package was extended until 12 July 2020. The Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy recommenced on 13 July 2020, with the introduction of a number of measures to support providers and families through this period. For more information please click on the following link: https://www.dese.gov.au/covid-19/childcare/childcare-faq
What if I want to keep my child at home? Will I run out of allowable absent days?
Until 31 December 2020, CCS can be paid for additional absences for COVID-19 related reasons without the need for medical evidence. Families can only access additional absences where children have already used their initial allowance of 42 absence days per child, per financial year.
Until 31 December 2020, a service may waive a families’ out-of-pocket fees while a service is closed as a result of a public health directive.
Until 31 December 2020, services open and located in an area of Stage 3 or higher – stay at home’ restrictions in Victoria are able to waive families’ out-of-pocket fees where a child is not attending due to COVID-19 and an absence is recorded.
Absences were not counted during the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package period (from 6 April to 12 July 2020) as providers were not required to submit session reports.
Now schools are closing, does that also mean my child’s Journey centre will close?
We have had a number of families reach out to us regarding our Journey Centres and if they’ll remain open, the short answer is YES.
We want to assure families that we are closely following the advice of the Federal Government and Chief Medical Officer. We will open as usual, and unless we receive any direct advice from the Government, we will continue to service the community as normal.
Are there any alternative measures in place during drop-off and pick-up?
To limit the amount of people who come into the service, all families are being asked to drop off and pick up their children at the door. They will be met by an educator in a mask who will take their child’s temperature, using a non-contact thermometer, gather any messages to pass on and the take the child to their classroom.
As part of our increased hygiene practices, we have introduced Pick-up and Drop-off Zones at our centres. This Zone will allow families to remain in the foyer while an educator brings the child to the parent/guardian.
This service is available to all Journey families, however we encourage those who have elderly or vulnerable family members or are from the Health Care industry to utilise the service. We recommend that families who do not fall into the categories above to continue their drop-off and pick-up routines as normal.
As each of our centres vary in design, we recommend you get in touch with your Centre Manager to discuss finer details. To help us in making this offering as smooth as possible, we ask that you please call ahead of your arrival to ensure our educators are prepared to assist you.
In the current climate if you have any questions that are not covered, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the current travel restrictions and what does this mean to me?
The Federal Government has announced that as of 16 March, anyone arriving in Australia from overseas will be forced to self-isolate for 14 days. International cruise ships have been banned from docking in Australia for the next 30 days.
From 10 July 2020, any person travelling from New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory may enter Queensland subject to completing and signing a border declaration and undertaking to present for a COVID-19 test if they develop symptoms.
Any person that has been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot during the past 14 days, including Victoria, must not enter Queensland.
There are strict border controls in place for all arrivals to the Territory, including returning Territorians.
From July 17, all arrivals to the Northern Territory (NT) must:
- fill in a Border Entry Form
- complete 14 days of mandatory, supervised quarantine at your own expense, if you have recently been in a declared COVID-19 hot spot.
People who travelled to the Territory from or through a declared COVID-19 hot spot and arrived before July 17 must stay in self-quarantine until 14 days has concluded. You will be tested and must return a negative result before you are permitted to leave your place of quarantine.
- If you feel unwell, you should not travel. If you have symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should get tested, return home immediately after the test and remain in self-isolation until you receive your test result.
- If you live outside metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, you are able to travel and stay in a holiday home, private residence or tourist accommodation, including caravan parks and camping grounds, located in another non-restricted area.
- Tourist accommodation located outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire with shared and communal facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms will remain open.
- The ski season has commenced and accommodation in ski resorts are open, subject to some restrictions.
- If you live in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, you cannot travel outside these areas for recreation.
If there is a diagnosed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) at my centre, what process will be followed?
If an educator, child or family member is diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19) we will follow the formal advice provided to us by the authorised health departments in the relevant state or territory. We will also ensure that all families and educators are notified as matter of priority and provided with all the relevant information and support.
In the event any of the above happens, it is highly likely that the centre will need to close for a period as advised by the Health Authorities.
Do I still need to give the 4 weeks’ notice if I decide to withdraw my child?
Yes. The terms and conditions for each enrolment remain in place.
What communication can I expect from Journey?
At this time, all families will receive daily updates from us via Storypark and email, so you are completely informed. Our website will also be updated daily to reflect the latest information.
Will the current food shortages impact the menu and what my child eats at Journey?
Our centre cooks/chefs will customise their Wholesome Child menus in accordance to what is readily available. We will continue to provide balanced, nutritious and fresh meals every day to assist with the growth and development of your child.