We know that services will experience a decrease in attendance as a result of regional and rural Victoria moving into Stage 3 restrictions and metropolitan Melbourne moving into Stage 4 restrictions.
Services should continue to encourage families to attend on-site, to best support children's learning and development (except those with health vulnerabilities and those in metropolitan Melbourne who are unable to attend onsite under Stage 4 restrictions).
If families have been encouraged to attend but do not do so for an extended period, we encourage you to support learning from home if you have the capacity to do this. We understand that staff may be fully occupied in delivering on-site learning. If you have limited capacity to support learning from home, we encourage you to prioritise vulnerable families.
Vulnerable families includes children:
- in out-of-home care
- deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
- identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service, or mental health, or other health service).
As skilled professionals, you will know how to support learning from home in a way that best meets each families' needs.
The type and frequency of contact with families will depend on each service's individual circumstances and resources.
When planning for children's learning continuity through a learning from home model, early childhood education and care (ECEC) services may consider:
Making contact with families
If you haven't already, contact families who haven't been attending to find out what their plans are. This will provide an opportunity to encourage families (except those with health vulnerabilities) to attend on-site.
For any families who have indicated they will not attend on-site, work out the best way to communicate with them. Take this opportunity to reflect with the family what worked in Term 2 and what might be able to be improved. Communication methods to consider include phone calls, email or text, or through an app.
Services will know the most suitable communication methods for their community. Consider what you learned about the range of resources families have available to them and their comfort level in using certain technologies. Some families may need to be offered support or other tailored solutions.
Forming a partnership
It will be important to have a shared understanding between services and families about what learning from home means and how this might need to be different in Term 3 if staff are fully occupied delivering on-site learning.
Planning your approach
It will be up to each service to decide what is best for their children, families and staff.
Reflect on what worked in Term 2 and what might be able to be improved.
Adapting your existing program
You will already have planned a program and/or focus areas for Term 3 in line with the Victorian Early Learning and Development Framework.
Think about what you can easily adapt for use by families with their children at home. You will be drawing from your existing skills and expertise and applying these in new ways.
Advice is available for ECEC service providers getting started with learning from home.
For further information, contact our dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) phone advice line on 1800 338 663 or email