While we are all enjoying a return to some normalcy after two years of disrupted learning, health and safety continues to be front of mind for the union as staff and children return to early childhood settings.
The Back to Early Childhood Plan provides many safety measures and resources to support you and your colleagues as you welcome children and families back into your settings. Find more at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/back-to-early-childhood-education-care.
The ECEC COVIDSafe Settings Guide is the best place to access timely and up-to-date health and safety advice to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission within an early childhood environment. Find it at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/covidsafe-settings-guidance-early-childhood-education-and-care.
After continued advocacy from the AEU, we welcome the extension of the use of rapid antigen tests (RATs) until the end of Term 1 as a screening tool to protect staff, children and families across kindergartens and early childhood services. We also welcome the additional $3.8 million in grants to support ventilation improvements for early childhood settings in time for the start of winter. As of Friday 18 February, QR code check-in requirements were no longer required for early childhood education and care services.
As you manage the changes in the EC space, the AEU will continue to consult with members and advocate on your behalf to ensure your workplace is a safe one. Reach out to our Member Support Centre or the OH&S organiser if you have any specific queries regarding health and safety issues. We are looking at running an online meeting for EC members late in Term 1 or early Term 2 to discuss OH&S issues in the sector.