SCREEN. SAFE. SECURE.

Your Safety is Our Priority.
Updated 03.08.2020. 

In the Covid-19 context, Aurora Early Education is being continuously proactive to protect our children, families, staff and community. Our three step approach is to Screen to make our environments and people Safe and to create Secure long term measures supported by practice. We remember to remain mindful and connected as we navigate challenging times.

It is a balanced approach, proportionate to the current risks as advised by the Department of Education and the Department of Health.


STAGE 4 RESTRICTIONS GUIDANCE

As of Thursday 06.03.2020, Metropolitan Melbourne will be under Stage 4 restrictions. Aurora centers will remain open for permitted workers and disadvantaged and vulnerable families as per government regulations.

Childcare Permit

In order for their children to attend care, one parent must provide Aurora centers with:
● the Permitted Worker Permit (including childcare) for parents working onsite or
● the Access to Childcare and Kinder (Working from Home) form for parents working from
home.

Both of these forms include an attestation that you seek access to childcare and that your child/ren cannot otherwise be cared for during work hours by the Employee or another responsible adult in the household.

We must have on file one form that includes a childcare attestation from a parent. We now do not need a form from both parents, unlike previous advice.

The previous advice that in rare circumstances, an employee does not need a worker permit or a Childcare and Kindergarten Access Permit still stands. This includes law enforcement, emergency services workers or healthcare workers who carry employer-issued photographic identification, which clearly identifies the employer.

The original list of ‘Permitted Workers under Stage 4 Restrictions’ has been supplemented with a new list of “Permitted Work Premises”. This newer list is key to whether or not a person is eligible to access early learning during this time.
This is still the case:
● If a person’s workplace/industry is on the list of Permitted Work Premises and they are working on site, they are eligible to access early learning.

● If a person’s workplace/industry is on the list of Permitted Work Premises and they are working from home and can attest that there is no other adult available to care for theirchild/ren, they are eligible to access early learning.

● If a person’s workplace/industry is not on this permitted list, they are not eligible to access early learning even if they are working from home (in this situation they will not be working on site as the business is required to be closed for onsite work)

However, those workers who do not otherwise meet the criteria to access childcare will be able to do so if your partner is able to provide Aurora with a permit that includes their right to access childcare.

Please follow the Stage 4 restrictions outlined in this link.

As always, families are always welcome to call the office if they have any questions, concerns or need support.

Second Step – coronavirus road to recovery
From September 29th 2020, Metropolitan Melbourne will move into the Second Step of the Coronavirus Road to Recovery. Childcare will be available to all families and we encourage families to set a return to care date.

SCREEN

Aurora is taking several screening measures to ensure that we remain informed and equipped to deal with any information or potential risks.


  • All visitors must sign in and sign out.

  • All visitors to Aurora must fill out health and travel declarations.

  • Families have an obligation to communicate with Aurora if there are any changes to their current health with respect to Covid-19 symptoms, testing and results.

  • Families are obliged to inform Aurora immediately if they are undergoing testing and must follow the isolation recommendations.

  • Families and staff must follow the updated exclusion guidelines as per our Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy and our Coronavirus Management Policy.

  • Screening guidelines are incorporated into our Centre Tour confirmation emails.

  • We have set up a Covid Screening Community which reviews safety information and government advice daily and adapts our policies and procedures in response.

  • All adults entering Aurora will be required to wear masks.

  • Aurora will screen the temperature of anyone (adults and children) entering Aurora’s premises. If an individual’s temperature reads above 37.5℃, the individual may not be permitted to enter Aurora.


We strongly encourage everyone to continuously reflect on their health and who they have been in contact with.

Common symptoms of the Coronavirus include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue

Less common symptoms of the Coronavirus include:

  • Headaches, or body aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Loss of taste or smell a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to Covid-19 follow this link to get information about getting tested. 

We recommend that Australians download the COVIDSafe app which helps the government track people who may have been exposed to the virus. If you are looking for more information on the Coronavirus, call the National Coronavirus helping at 1800 020 080.

Aurora will continue to adapt screening measures to respond to the evolving situation.

SAFE

Aurora is taking every practicable step to ensure that our environments are safe, protected and hygienic.


  • All visitors must santise their hands at the santising stations outside the front door of each centre.

  • All children are guided to wash their hands as soon as they enter their room.

  • Aurora has postponed all excursions and extracurricular activities to reduce the amount of visitors to the centre.

  • We have implemented heightened hygiene practices that will be carried forward into a post Covid period.

  • We clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.

  • We advise only one parent or guardian for delivery and collection of children.

  • We are admitting a maximum of two persons for each Centre Tour.


  • We continue to have robust discussions with our children about the importance of hygiene in the current context.

  • Aurora continues to review and update policies and procedures using information and advice from the government to ensure best practices.

  • Multiple displays throughout the centres are available for families and visitors to reduce risk.

  • Visitors are asked to employ physical distancing measures from other visitors wherever practicable.

  • Centres are maintaining adequate supplies to meet hygiene requirements.

  • Aurora has developed a dedicated webpage to collate information and advice for families.

SECURE

Through our multi-pronged approach, Aurora is taking every effort to ensure that our children, families, staff and community continue to feel secure and connected.


  • Aurora uses the platform of mindfulness to respond to children’s emotional and mental wellbeing during this time of unprecedented change.

  • We continue to stay connected to families through multiple approaches.

  • We are investing time and resources to actively re-orient children and families.


  • We continue to have an open dialogue with families and receive and respond to feedback.

  • Aurora’s management consults with staff and other stakeholders on an ongoing basis to critically reflect.

  • Through our Digital Learning Program we support and engage with children and families to promote a continuum of learning and belonging.

The Victorian Chief Health Officer has said “the available evidence within Australia and globally largely indicates that transmission between children in the school or early childhood environment is low. This growing evidence, coupled with low levels of community transmission in Victoria, means that the risk posed to staff and children attending early childhood services at this current time is very low.”

We assure our community that we are doing everything possible to protect the Aurora Village. We welcome our families and staff to talk to the Aurora office with any concerns. Through mindfulness and connections, we will navigate through these challenging times together!

Childcare Subsidy (CCS)

To support Australians undergoing difficulties during the pandemic, the Australian government announced that parents would no longer have to pay fees for childcare from April 6th 2020 until the 13th of July 2020. From 13th July 2020, free childcare will end and the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will begin again. Services Australia recommends that families follow these five steps to ensure they are ready once CCS resumes. In Victoria, childcare centers will waive the gap fees for parents from 13th July 2020.


Update your family income estimate.

Use your Centrelink online account through myGov, or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app to update your family income estimate.


Check your activity hours

Your activity hours should match hours you’re working, studying or volunteering. This includes income from JobKeeper.


Make sure your child is immunised

To get CCS your child must meet immunisations requirements. If they’re not up to date, your CCS won’t restart again on 13 July 2020.


Check your child’s enrolment 

If your child’s stopped going to child care, their enrolment may have ended.  Talk to the Aurora office if you need to re-enroll your child.


 Confirm your income for 2018-19

If you got CCS for 2018-19 you need to confirm your 2018-19 income by 30 June 2020. If you don’t, your CCS or ACCS won’t restart again.

General Information

It is important for everyone to remain informed and updated about the Coronavirus. Here is some general information and resources that will help you stay informed.

PREVENTION

Ensure that you and your family are doing everything possible to protect yourselves.


  • Practice good hand hygiene: wash your hands frequently and correctly. Follow these steps from the World Health Organisation.

  • Practice good respiratory hygiene; cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when sneezing and coughing.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent transferring germs from your hands into your system.


  • Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and others (who are not members of your household) whenever possible.

  • Stay at home if you are feeling unwell. If you have symptoms of the Coronavirus get tested.

  • Stay updated and follow government advice about restrictions and travel. Follow the Victorian Government Coronavirus advice here.

Talking to Children about Covid-19 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you’re hearing about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) right now. It’s also understandable if your children are feeling anxious, too. Children might find it difficult to understand what they are seeing online or on TV – or hearing from other people – so they can be particularly vulnerable to feelings of anxiety, stress and sadness. But having an open, supportive discussion with your children can help them understand, cope and even make a positive contribution for others.


Have open conversations and give your them information. 

Ensure that you are having mindful age appropriate conversations about Covid with your children.


Talk about and role model hygiene practices.

Ensure you are continuously talking about and role modelling the importance of hygiene.


Work in partnership with your childcare center. 

Work in partnership with your childcare center and educators to ensure your child feels safe and protected.


Practice Mindfulness with your children.

Show your child how they can focus on the present moment, which can help alleviate stress.

USEFUL RESOURCES

Families will find these resources useful to gain more information.