Having early childhood services available for families to attend is important.
As announced by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments, funding is available for childcare and funded kindergarten services to be offered at no cost to Victorian families.
All families should now be encouraged to return to on-site learning and children should be welcomed back to kindergarten programs and accommodated, noting that further consideration must be given to children most at risk of severe illness or unwell. It is recommended that early childhood services work with families to forward plan for the expected increase in attendance.
In the coming weeks the Department will be providing early childhood centres with a short survey on attendance and learning from home, to gain a shared understanding of the challenges and successes for early childhood education and care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and to ensure that services and the Department can learn from the experience.
As attendance has increased in recent weeks, services may have encountered families who feel anxious about bringing their children back to kinder. As detailed in the
health and safety advice, "the available evidence within Australia and globally largely indicates that transmission between children in the early childhood environment is low. This growing evidence, coupled with the low levels of community transmission in Victoria, means that the risk posed to staff and children attending early childhood services at this current time is very low".
Additionally, the advice from the
AHPPC has been updated and there is no longer a recommendation of four-square metres per person, so this should not be a barrier to children attending.
If a staff member has any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, they should seek advice and get tested. Please encourage them to visit the
DHHS website for more information.
Re-establishing on-site attendance for children (personal health circumstances permitting) as soon as possible will support their wellbeing, learning and development, and reduce the risk of disengagement from kindergarten. Services are asked to be particularly mindful of the needs of vulnerable children and families, including families from CALD and refugee backgrounds. We encourage you to continue to connect with families at home, to understand their plans, encourage them to return to on-site learning, and give parents notice about planned changes to the learning from home program.
Learning from home webinars
A series of free professional learning webinars were designed to show best practice methods for supporting children participating in learning from home, as well as build practitioners’ confidence.
You can watch the completed webinars on the
learning from home webpage.
Temporary learning from home item through Schools Readiness Funding
In addition to the resources and professional development already being provided, we are now giving kindergarten providers even more supports by creating a new temporary
Learning from Home menu item on the School Readiness Funding (SRF) menu. The Learning from Home menu item provides kindergarten services funding to help pay for targeted learning from home resources, professional development and additional staffing.
Contact your Early Childhood Improvement Branch if you are receiving SRF and require further information. For enquiries about the grant, please email: