"Shorter" self-isolation period for NSW's ECEC sector

On 21 December 2021, NSW Health has updated their published advice about the self-isolation period for close contacts of COVID-19 -- No longer is early childhood education and care regarded as a high-risk setting.

This means those early childhood education workers deemed to be close contacts in early childhood education and care will still be required to self-isolate for 7 days, but not for an additional 7 days (ie 14 days in total).

This decision appears to follow the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW's formal request to the NSW Minister for Health (the Hon Brad Hazzard MP) to reduce the number of days for self-isolation, especially when NSW's early childhood education and care sector is the first non-health related sector with the mandatory requirement for full COVID vaccinations on 100% of its workers.

And in the context of severe skilled labour shortages even before COVID, the temporary unavailabilities of our educators and teachers would reduce services' abilities to provide early childhood education and care for children.

PLEASE NOTE: The current NSW Public Health Order for self-isolation states that for unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated individuals, the self-isolation period is not to exceed 14 days (see Clause 8(3)). This is relevant for all children aged 0-5 years old as they currently do not have access to any approved COVID vaccines.

Should members require any further information/clarification, please contact the ACA NSW team on 1300 556 330 or nsw@childcarealliance.org.au.