Managing a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Closure preparedness

While services are implementing risk mitigation strategies, you should be prepared in the unlikely event a child or staff member has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Below is an outline of the process should this occur, and steps you can take now to prepare:

1. DHHS will notify the service of a confirmed case

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will notify the service of a confirmed case and will advise if the service needs to close or can remain operating.

A dedicated and specialised team has been established in DHHS to provide end-to-end support for services affected by a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) case.

Services will be assigned a case manager to ensure services are supported throughout the process.

The team can be contacted on 1800 338 663 and is open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and 8am to 6pm on weekends.

2. Service will inform families

While services will manage communications with families, the Department has developed some resources to assist services with initial communication, including a template letter for families and FAQs.

Download the communication pack for early childhood services in case of closure (docx - 79.53kb) for advice and messages to respond to your community. Translations into multiple community languages can also be found below.

3. Lodge a notification through the NQAITS

Services are requested to lodge a notification through the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA ITS) or call 1300 307 415.

4. Arrange a deep clean

Services arrange a deep clean. Detailed advice is available below about cleaning and disinfecting after a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19 has been identified at a service. This advice has been developed by the DHHS.

The technical information should be provided to cleaners contracted to clean services.

Download the Cleaning and disinfecting after a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) factsheet (docx - 336.64kb)

5. Update your emergency contact details

Please make sure you have up-to-date emergency contact details in the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA ITS)

These details will be used should the Department or DHHS need to contact the service after hours.

Closures

A majority of early childhood education and care services have operated throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Children who have not been engaged in on-site learning (except those with health concerns) in regional and rural Victoria should be attending kindergarten programs at both sessional and long day care services. Service providers in regional and rural Victoria should be actively encouraging families to return.

Under Stage 4 restrictions, services in metropolitan Melbourne should only remain open for children whose parents or carers are permitted workers and for vulnerable children.

If your service is directed to close as a preventative measure, you'll be advised directly and given detailed advice to support you through this process.

If individual services are closed, they'll be listed at: Emergency closures.

Reporting closure

If your service closes, you're required to report the closure to the regulatory authority.

Actions for services under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law)

All services, including family day care, are required to notify the regulatory authority within 24 hours of any incident that requires the approved provider to close or reduce the number of children attending the service for a period.

You need to lodge a notification through the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA ITS) within 24 hours of closure.

Actions for services operating under the Children's Services Act 1996 (Children's Services Act)

Services must advise the Regulatory Authority of service closure.

Email licensed.childrens.services@edumail.vic.gov.au within 48 hours of closure.

Translations

Below is information in 28 languages to help inform families if a service has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).