It was welcome news when the Premier announced that early childhood centres would open earlier than expected for all Victorian children as part of the state’s roadmap out of lockdown.
Re-opening early childhood services as early as possible, with the appropriate safety and risk mitigation measures, was important for everyone in the community. To be able to reconnect and re-engage with children and families face-to-face at the start of November gave members that sense of normalcy we have all been craving.
The Department of Education (DET), in consultation with the AEU, has developed some valuable resources for the sector, including:
- Advice about safely managing ECEC services during COVID-19
- COVID-safe plan for cleaning in early childhood settings [PDF]
- Outbreak management communications kit.
Links to this information can be found on the AEU website at aeuvic.asn.au/coronavirus-advice-and-information-aeu-members
Ventilation and air quality
The Victorian government is also providing funding of up to $4,500 to support projects to improve ventilation and air quality in early childhood settings. Funding is available now to services that meet the eligibility criteria. More information can be found at schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/Pages/Kinder-Ventilation-Support.aspx
During another disrupted year, you have continued to deliver the highest quality education and care for children and their families. As a sector, we are renowned for always putting the needs of children and families first. But, as this pandemic goes on, it is important that you take the time to look after yourselves too.
For some, this will mean a gratitude journal, going for a walk or reading a book. For others, it will be playing your favourite music, baking or gardening. Whatever your version looks like, I implore you to prioritise taking some time out for self-care.
With only a few weeks of term left, continue to strengthen the relationships you have built with the children and families at your centre. Enjoy all of those key teaching moments and critically reflect on the challenges and successes of 2021. Then, enjoy a well-earned break so that you can return reinvigorated and ready to educate and care for your next cohort of children.