Information for services under the Third Step of the roadmap

Third Step of the roadmap – rural and regional Victoria

In line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government announced that from 11.59pm on Wednesday 16 September, rural and regional Victoria would move to the Third Step of the roadmap to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This means that early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in rural and regional Victoria will operate under different rules to those in metropolitan Melbourne.

For more information, visit: Roadmap to reopening ECEC services.

On-site learning

ECEC services are low-risk environments. It's important that children are able to attend their early learning program on-site, if at all possible.

Some families may choose to be at home, but they need to know that attending on-site is available and encouraged for all families (except those with health vulnerabilities).

If you're a kindergarten provider having staffing difficulties for unavoidable reasons (such as staff on medical absence), you should call our dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) phone advice line on 1800 338 663 to discuss your situation.


Following updated advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and DHHS, any kindergarten and early years classes in regional Victoria which are conducted indoors or outdoors as part of an agreed program of early years education can continue to occur. There is no gathering limit to the number of children.

This means that bush kinder can operate, subject to any local restrictions on the use of public parks. Any excursions outside of this normal program are currently not recommended, other than to local parks.

Early childhood centres and services should not visit residential aged care facilities until further notice. This will help minimise the spread of infection to vulnerable Australians.