On 25 September 2020, the NSW Department of Education distributed a flowchart (or PDF) of what to do in the event of a confirmed case(s) of COVID-19 at your early childhood education and care service(s).
Please also note that Regulation 173(2)(g) may oblige the service to display a notice in relation to the occurrence of an infectious disease. And given this ambiguity, the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW has formally received advice from the NSW Department of Education that:
"The Guide to the NQF (page 457) states that: Prescribed information about anaphylaxis or infectious diseases should be displayed at a family day care residence or venue if applicable to a child who attends that specific family day care residence or venue. It should be displayed at the family day care office if children or parents regularly attend the office. The National Law and Regulations do not prescribe how this information should be displayed. Some information could be permanently displayed as a laminated poster or framed certificate, while other information (such as information which is updated regularly) could be displayed on a whiteboard.
Services use their discretion in determining how much information is displayed, in what format and for how long."
ACA NSW has also previously advised members that assistance with (challenging inquiries from the) media is also available via Mojo Media on (02) 8042 8468 or their CEO Justin Kelly via 0408 215 858 or email@example.com.
From a preventative perspective, the NSW Government has released advice on cleaning and disinfection in the workplace (or PDF) that may be useful to services.
The NSW Government has also clarified on 9 November 2020 (following approaches by ACA NSW) that specialist deep cleaning providers will now NO LONGER be required [by the NSW Department of Health]. This also means that should there be a COVID-19 incident at your service, the NSW Department of Health will no longer be instructing the affected service to temporarily shutdown. Instead, the NSW Government is recommending that they instead follow their Cleaning Guidelines upon a COVID-19 event.
That said, should ACA NSW members still need to use a deep cleaning specialist, ACA NSW still hosts the NSW Government's pre-qualified list of deep-cleaning providers (NB: ACA NSW username and password required for access) even though there is apparently no government requirement to do so. ACA NSW has collated pricing, commercial, compliance and contact information that will assist members to achieve a much higher level of confidence that the deep cleaning will be to the standard required by the NSW Department of Health, not to mention saving time to research which cleaning providers the NSW Government uses who have the qualifications to deep clean.
Should further information/clarification be required, members can contact ACA NSW on 1300 556 330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBLISHED: 28 SEPTEMBER 2020
UPDATED: 9 NOVEMBER 2020