The NSW Government updated its Public Health Order for the Northern Beaches on 2 January 2021. This Public Order (at the time of writing) does not have an expiry date.
In relation to early childhood education and care services operating within the Northern Beaches local government area, the following would be of note:
- notwithstanding the stay-at-home directive, parents can travel within, into and out of the Northern Beaches local government area for the purposes of their children attending childcare (including picking up or dropping another person at childcare) (see Part 2, Clause 7(2)(b) and Schedule 1, Item 3);
- services' staff can travel for the purposes of work if the person cannot work from the person’s place of residence (see Part 2, Clause 7(2)(b) and Schedule 1, Item 2); and
- gatherings of 2 or more people can occur at early childhood education and care services as they recognised as Essential Gatherings (see Clause 9(3)(a) and Schedule 2, Item 14).
And services were advised on 21 December 2020 that the Federal Department of Education provided the following:
- To assist services and families who have already used 42 absence days, on 21 December 2020 the (Federal) Department made a Local Area Emergency Declaration for child care services in the Northern Beaches Local Government Area (LGA) of Sydney.
- The declaration is currently in force until 10 January 2021.
- The 42 absence days can be used by families for any reason, including a local emergency.
- The declaration also enables Child Care Subsidy to continue to be available as it entitles families to additional absence days if their child has used their 42 absence days.
- Services can currently access absences and waive gap fees, if they are forced to close on public health advice.
- The Federal Government has extended this rule until 31 January 2021.
There is also no change to QR codes, that is QR codes are not mandatory for early childhood education and care services (see the previous article published on 24 November 2020).
Should members of the Australian Childcare Alliance NSW require any further information or clarification, please contact us on 1300 556 330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBLISHED: 6 JANUARY 2021