The current advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer advises that Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services remain safe places for staff and children.

That means ECEC services, including sessional kindergarten, in regional and rural Victoria under Stage 3 restrictions, can continue to operate, with appropriate risk-mitigation measures in place (unless instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services to close).

From Thursday 6 August, ECEC services in metropolitan Melbourne should only remain open to provide education and care for those children whose parents or carers are permitted workers and for vulnerable children.

Operating guidelines for early childhood education and care

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) phone line

    Ask questions regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and education settings by calling 1800 338 663, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. If you need an interpreter, call 131 450 first

  • Early childhood education and service operations

    Information about closures, restrictions, excursions, and meeting educator-to-child ratios

  • Information for services in Stage 4

    Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in metropolitan Melbourne will operate under different rules to those in rural and regional Victoria

  • Permitted worker scheme

    From 11:59pm on 5 August, employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees

  • Administration, funding and support

    Information on kindergarten funding packages, kindergarten inclusion and initial teacher education support, annual confirmation, assessment and rating review processes, and reports and visits

  • Supporting parents, children and vulnerable families

    Advice and resources to support vulnerable children and families, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and refugee backgrounds

  • Learning from home

    Families in metropolitan Melbourne, under Stage 4 restrictions, should move to a learning from home model. Early childhood services will remain open for children of permitted workers and for vulnerable children.

  • Guidance for pre-service teacher placements

    Pre-service teachers are considered equivalent to staff who are delivering or supporting essential services and operations. Student placements can continue during coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Service and provider updates

    Subscribe to receive the next communication to the early childhood sector with updates from the Department

Health advice for early childhood education and care services

Services should consider a variety of strategies to support physical distancing and good hygiene practices to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission within the practical limitations of their environment. The following actions are to be considered, adapted and implemented as necessary according to the education setting and the individual needs of the staff, children and the wider community.

  • Current health advice

    Advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, and the Victorian Chief Health Officer about providing safe environments for children and staff

  • Face coverings

    Everyone over the age of 12 must wear a face covering when they leave their home for one of four permitted reasons. Specific advice is available for early childhood services

  • Temperature screening

    Screening should take place at drop-off time, while the parent or carer is still present, using a non-contact infrared thermometer

  • Managing a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Process to follow if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) at your service, and steps you can take now to prepare.

  • Managing an unwell child or staff member

    Unwell children and staff should stay at home. Process to follow if a staff member or child becomes unwell while at your service

  • First aid and routine care

    First aid requirements for services and detail on routine care

  • Health communication materials

    Advice, information, and downloadable content

  • Wellbeing

    It is important to look out for one another and stay connected