The situation is changing rapidly, so we have created frequently asked questions to help address common concerns. As new information becomes available, the FAQ will be updated.
Is Agile Early Learning open?
Yes! We have received advice from the Federal Department of Education Skills and Employment and the Queensland Department of Education – Early Childhood Education and Care, that our centre, including the kindergarten program, will remain open. For our sessional kindergarten, our children will return as scheduled for the beginning of term 2.
How can families contact Agile Early Learning if they are concerned about COVID-19?
We encourage all families to call our centre on our toll free number 1800 290 822 to discuss any concerns they may have, with our dedicated team who will be ready to help.
Do I pay any fees under the new Federal Childcare Relief Package?
No! All childcare services are free during the Childcare Relief Period as delivered by the Federal Government. We will inform you when this changes. While other centres may charge for nappies, sunscreen and food, our centre maintains the complimentary inclusion of these services.
How are you protecting my child at the centre?
In our everyday practice, Agile Early Learning has strict protocols around cleaning to ensure children and staff’s health, safety and wellbeing is a priority. In addition, all our staff have received Infection Control Training for COVID19. Accordingly, during this period, we have increased the frequency of our centre cleaning above and beyond our normal procedures.
Some of the additional safety precautions we are taking (over and above our existing procedures) include:
- All educators and children washing hand as per COVID19 guidelines
- Disinfecting and sanitising high contact areas and hard surfaces regularly throughout the day (e.g. play gyms, tables, hard-backed chairs, keypads, doorknobs, light switches, iPad kiosks, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
- Washing and laundering all play items and toys including washable plush toys using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and drying items completely.
- Ensuring all parents have access to hand washing and hand sanitiser facilities upon entering the centre
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, the centre will also undergo further professional cleaning with high-grade disinfectant products.
How is Agile Early Learning encouraging social distancing for parents, children, and staff?
In line with Federal Government requirements, we’re encouraging the use of social distancing within our centre. Where possible, we are requesting that one parent/guardian enters the centre at a time to collect a child. Also, again where possible, parents are requested to minimize the attendance of siblings within our centres. If you require special assistance with this then please speak with your Centre Director, Colleen on 07 3204 7604.
To support and facilitate social distancing, Agile Early Learning is encouraging the use of technology as an effective means of maintaining open communication with families. Parents/guardians are encouraged to pick up and drop off children as quickly as possible and to limit their opportunities to talk with others. Families and educators may also utilize phone calls and emails to help minimize distancing.
How is Agile Early Learning encouraging social distancing within the learning environments?
To support and facilitate social distancing in our centres:
- Encouraging parents/guardians and children to wash their hands when arriving at the service
- Encouraging hand washing for children at regular intervals throughout the day and proving discussions, demonstrations, and modelling of these behaviors
- The setup and placement of activities to encourage children to participate with their peers in the safest way, for example – learning experiences set at each end of a table
- Progressive snack and meals times to ensure that children are not all eating at once and where possible limiting numbers at a table
- Encouraging the use of a full indoor/outdoor program for the whole session (ratio-dependent)
- Ceasing group gatherings (such as group or story times) to more informal learning opportunities to engage with children individually or in a group of two
- Reducing the amount of sensory activities (such as play dough) within the session to prevent cross-contamination
- Encouraging the use of staggered start/finish times (particularly within sessional kindergarten)
When do I have to self-isolate?
In line with Federal and State government advice as at 19 March 2020, the following quarantine requirements are in place in our centre for children, families and staff. You must self-isolate for 14 days if:
- You are diagnosed with COVID-19.
- You have been in close contact with a person that has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
- You have returned from any overseas country.
My child is not feeling well, but does not have a temperature, what should I do?
If your child is displaying any symptoms of an illness – this includes cold, flu or is unwell with a temperature, you should not bring your child to the centre. The Government has released a symptom tool to help provide clarity between cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms.
What happens if my child is unwell at the centre?
If your child displays cold or flu symptoms, or is unwell with a temperature, whilst at the centre, we will contact you to pick up your child immediately.
What is Agile Early Learning doing in relation to monitoring each child’s temperature while at the service?
Parents/guardians can be assured that if a child is exhibiting behaviour which are out of character (e.g. lethargy, feeling nauseous or irritable, refusing food or fluids) then as a usual and general precaution, educators will take their temperature. If it is determined that the temperature is elevated (above 37.5 degrees) then the family will be notified that the child is to be collected immediately. Please note that these precautions are also in place for our educators. If they become unwell during a session, they will immediately be sent home. Our centre utilises safe practices with regard to taking temperature and a contact free, forehead thermometer is in use.
Will I be notified if there is a diagnosed case at my centre?
Yes, we will immediately inform all families and staff.
What happens if the centre is forced to close?
Due to our exacting standards of social distancing, cleanliness and high levels of sterilisation, it is hoped that our centre will remain open. If however we are forced to close either due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 or due to a directive from the Government the following will occur:
- Agile Early Learning will take the direction of Queensland Heath.
- If required to close, you will be notified by email and SMS of the closure, inclusive of possible timeframes of closure.
- If available at that time, you will be notified of the risk and if self-isolation is required.
- Your enrolment will be preserved, no fees will be charged and when we are declared safe to open it will be business as usual.
During a centre’s closure, we will keep you updated through our communication channels, including when the centre will re-open; and other health and wellbeing measures available to you and your family.
Learning from home activities and experiences will be available to families through our Facebook Page and through KindyHub.
If your centre closes, will I still pay fees?
Absolutely not! As the Federal Government Relief package is free, no parent will be required to pay for fees incurred during the period covered by this relief.
How do I talk to my child about COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
The wonderful team at mindhearts.kids, have created a fabulous short story to help children learn more about COVID19 without the fear and threat. For more information, please follow this link to our Facebook post: Educating Children on COVID19
How can I protect my child and family from COVID-19?
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to practice good hygiene and social distancing. This means:
- Wash hands often with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a paper towel or hand dryer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Throw tissues away immediately and wash your hands.
- Ensure your hand sanitiser is alcohol-based (with over 60 per cent alcohol). Please note that hand sanitiser can be poisonous if ingested, so ensure it is kept out of reach of young children.
- Exercise social distancing (stay more than 1.5 meters from people).
What if I think I have COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain and fatigue. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has created a self-assessment toolto help people at risk or who are concerned.
What happens to my Child Care Subsidy (CCS) if my child is absent?
There will be no Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and no gap payments for parents to make. You are now able to keep your child’s weekly booking with “no out of pocket” expense, even if your child is temporarily not currently attending our centre. This enables you to hold your child’s place until you are ready for them to re-commence care. This applies to all enrolled families, regardless of whether you are eligible for the Childcare Subsidy (CCS) or not.
Are you still having incursions and excursions?
We have proactively minimised contact with external visitors. Therefore, we have cancelled all incursions and excursions until further notice.
Will open days and family days still go ahead?
Due to the rate this virus is spreading, we have taken the precautionary step to cancel or postpone all open days and centre events (picnics, family nights, etc.).
Centre Tours are conducted under strict review and conditions. Only people determined to be of no risk may tour the centre. These parents shall not enter rooms which will remain closed, and tours shall only observe through glass windows and doors.
My family is planning to travel interstate or overseas this year. Do I need to update the centre?
We ask that if you have travel booked for this year that you regularly check Smart Traveller for travel restrictions. Any travel overseas to any country will require 14 days of self-isolation upon return.
If you are planning to travel interstate or overseas this year, we ask that you let your Centre Director or Nominated Supervisor know your destination and dates. You can also email this information to firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I stay updated with COVID-19?
We will continue to keep Agile Early Learning families and staff updated with advice in accordance with national public health guidelines to ensure the health and safety of children and staff in our centres. You can also receive updates via the following:
- Daily updates are available from the Department of Health website.
- Fact sheets are available from the Department of Education website.
- Video resources with information and tips are available from the Department of Health website.
- Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- If you require translating or interpreting services, please call 131 450.