Information for services under the First Step of the roadmap

First Step of the roadmap - metropolitan Melbourne

In line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, metropolitan Melbourne is currently under the First Step of the roadmap

This means that early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in metropolitan Melbourne will operate under different rules to those in rural and regional Victoria, which is under the Third Step.

Under the First Step, ECEC services in metropolitan Melbourne are required to:

  • remain open to children of permitted workers, whose children cannot be cared for by the employee or another responsible adult at the employee’s residence, and for vulnerable children. This includes Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)
  • issue a Permitted Worker Permit (docx - 69.27kb) (including childcare if necessary) to any staff who are required to work on-site at their service
  • co-sign an Access to On-Site Childcare/Kindergarten permit (docx - 62.2kb) for any of their employees whose children cannot be cared for by the employee or another responsible adult at the employee’s residence. There is a new form available for a permitted worker who lives in metropolitan Melbourne and attends a work premises outside of the restricted area to access onsite childcare or kindergarten services.

OSHC programs can continue to operate for children who are required to attend school because their parents are both on-site permitted workers, the child is vulnerable or has a disability, and the family is experiencing severe stress.

All other families in metropolitan Melbourne should continue learning from home to support the continuation of their child’s learning and development.

The Victorian Chief Health Officer has advised that ECEC remain safe places for staff and children who are eligible to attend – but these restrictions are a critical measure to reduce the movement of students and families across the state. 

For more information about the roadmap to reopening visit: Roadmap to reopening early childhood education and care services.

Vulnerable children

Until Sunday 27 September, ECEC services in metropolitan Melbourne should only remain open to provide education and care for those children whose parents or carers are permitted workers and for vulnerable children.

A vulnerable child or young person in a childcare or early childhood service means a child or young person who:

  • resides in the care of the State or in out-of-home care; or
  • is deemed vulnerable by a government agency, funded family or family violence service, and is assessed as requiring education and care outside of family home; or
  • identified by a childcare or early childhood service as vulnerable, (including via a referral from a government agency, or funding family or family violence service, homeless or youth justice service or mental health or other health service).

WorkSafe requirements

There are new requirements for businesses, with certain services and industries able to remain operational with a COVIDSafe Plan, as required by law.

Visit WorkSafe for more information or phone our dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) phone advice line. This is available during business hours on 1800 338 663.

Permitted workers (ECEC staff)

ECEC services must issue a worker permit to any staff they require onsite.

All employees must carry their Permitted Worker Permit, or have an electronic version available on their device, when travelling to and from their work.

There are significant penalties for employers and employees. Penalties of up to $19,826 (for individuals) and $99,132 (for businesses) will apply for breaches of the scheme requirements.

In line with the need to reduce the number of people moving around the community, services are requested to ensure that staff who can work from home do.

Visit permitted workers scheme for more information. You can also access the permitted worker template.

A full list of the permitted work sites under Stage 4 restrictions is also available.

Childcare and kindergarten access form

Until Sunday 27 September, only children of permitted workers and vulnerable children will be able to access childcare and kindergarten.

For the purposes of childcare and kindergarten, a permitted worker can also include someone working from home.

If there's another carer in the household, permitted workers can still access onsite childcare if the other parent/carer cannot supervise the child or children. This could be for a number of reasons – for example, their partner or co-parent:

  • has a medical condition, or chronic illness which prevents them from caring for the child
  • has a disability
  • is completing full time study and must attend on-site
  • works from home, but in a role that means they cannot supervise the child or children - resulting in the permitted worker not being able to do their job.

A permitted worker in a single-parent household may access childcare and kindergarten.

Both carers do not have to be permitted workers to access childcare, but Victorians are encouraged to only access childcare and kinder services if they have to.

To confirm they are a permitted worker, a parent or career needs to carry and display one of the following documents:

Information is also available on our Worker Permit Scheme web page.

On-site learning

Until Sunday 27 September, ECEC services in metropolitan Melbourne should only remain open to provide education and care for those children whose parents or carers are permitted workers, and for vulnerable children.

For children who are not attending services on-site, providers should make reasonable efforts to engage with families and support learning from home, in line with the families' individual circumstances and resources.