Council preschools and child care centres continue to operate

By March 24, 2020 COVID-19, News

Orange City Council’s preschools and child care centres are continuing to operate inline the recommendations of state and federal authorities. This is the latest message to be mailed to parents through the Childcare Hubworks system.

This quick note is to keep you in touch, as a valued member of our Children’s Services community, about how we are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and its local implications.

Our services are complying with the recommendations of national and state health authorities about managing the COVID-19 crisis and they are continuing to operate.

It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the places our community gathers are  healthy and safe.

It’s also important to maintain an increased level of hygiene (handwashing, covering coughs/sneezes). Children’s Services staff will also place an increased emphasis on hygiene, including extra disinfection of surfaces.

Parents are asking if Children’s Services will close. All we can say is that we’re continuing to operate in line with the recommendations of state and national health authorities who are overseeing community health throughout this crisis day-to-day. A decision to close would be made by these authorities. We will continue to follow their recommendations.

Vacation Care will still be running. However, Before-and-After-School Care and Vacation Care at Orange Public School and Calare Public School will not operate if the school decides to close. We have had no indication at this point that this will happen.

If a child cannot come into care due to illness and self-isolation, fees will be charged as usual and any absences count towards each child’s 42 allowable absence days which is determined by Child Care Subsidy. We understand there is Additional Child Care Subsidy available for families who are impacted financially because of self-isolation, however families would need to contact Centrelink for information and advice or read the information at this link https://ministers.education.gov.au/tehan/minimising-impact-covid-19-child-care.

At the current time, all of Orange City Council’s early childhood and out of school hours care services are still operating and fully staffed.

This is in-line with the advice being given by NSW Health and the Department of Education. As the COVID-19 situation develops, we will continue to re-assess our own decisions. All children’s services fees will remain as normal, unless circumstances change and our services are advised by NSW Health to close, in which case fees that may have been paid in advance will be held over as a credit on each families account to be used once care resumes.

This is a situation where there will be ongoing developments and questions. All our children’s services are committed to keeping parents informed with up to date information and answering queries about major developments as they emerge.

Here are some useful resources from NSW Health:

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus-resources.aspx

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-schools-and-early-childhood-centres

 

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