Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Parent Information

Last Updated: 17th March 2020

We’ve had normal, fun days here at Sesame Lane so far this week. Amid all the panic buying and reports of countries going into lock-down, we look into the smiling faces of our little ones and realise what’s really important: keeping everyone healthy and safe. As you may be aware, the updates and recommendations from the Australian Government and Health Authorities on dealing with the Coronavirus are now more detailed as the virus has been listed as a pandemic.

It is important at this time to make sure the information you have is from a reliable source. There’s a lot of fake and spam information being shared on social media such as different ways to avoid catching coronavirus and how to prevent yourself from getting sick if you do catch it.

THE MOST RELIABLE INFORMATION IS FROM THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. We ask that you regularly check in with their website to stay informed of the latest releases of information.
Visit the Australian Government Department of Health Website

We have taken the following steps as a precautionary measure and to promote good hygiene during this time:

  • Educators will be serving all food to children at all mealtimes.
  • Children will not be assisting with meal preparations (cutting fruit, mixing etc)
  • All soft furnishing and fabric resources such as cushions, dress ups, fabric dolls and puppets etc have been removed from rooms. Whilst these are laundered the removal of them will further reduce the risk of any infections spreading. Children will of course have access to their normal bedding, mats and linen.
  • Materials such as goop, clay and play-dough will not be offered until further notice. There are many other activities and experiences still available for the children to enjoy.
  • Water play in tubs and vessels won’t occur until further notice.
  • Our cleaners have been issued updated protocols for centre cleaning practices that prioritises human contact areas.
  • We have stocked up on hand sanitiser and disinfectants at our centres.
  • We now have a sanitiser station at the entrance of every centre (please see more details below).
  • To minimise the number of people coming in and out of the centre, we ask that only 1 family member physically comes in to drop off and collect your child.
  • We will not be allowing any non essential visitors to the centre under any circumstances.
  • We have taken the decision to cancel any play groups, incursions or excursions until further notice.

Personal Hygiene

We ask that you wash or sanitise yours and your child’s hands upon arrival and departure from the centre. Hand sanitiser is safe for children under supervision, and families should show their child how to rub it into their hands or assist if required. We will have sanitiser stations set up at the entry to each centre. Please ensure that children are supervised when using the sanitiser as it contains alcohol, which is the best product to ensure the elimination of germs and cross contamination.

We are encouraging children to wash their hands more often and we are using this current experience as a learning opportunity for them.

We will supplement our existing high level of hygiene with additional cleaning of areas of higher frequency of use. As new information comes to light we will continue to review and update our Sesame Lane policies and procedures.

Families and Educators returning from overseas travel
In line with Government advice from the Prime Minister, any person returning from overseas travel must self isolate for a period of 14 days from their return date to ensure that symptoms are not present.

Children, families, visitors and Educators with symptoms of Coronavirus

Any person with the symptoms described by the Department of Health – fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath – will be excluded from the centre. A fever is defined by Staying Healthy in Childcare as a temperature above 38 degrees. In line with our normal policy, children, families and Educators with these symptoms will be excluded as they are unwell. This is based on the best available advice to us. Those excluded from the centre will be able to return with a Doctor’s clearance or when symptoms have stopped completely.


Absences from your child care Centre

Unwell children will be excluded in line with our normal practice and we expect they will be collected as soon as possible. Where services are open, reporting of absences for families whose children can’t attend child care due to COVID- 19 is supported by the existing arrangements. Whether a child is actually ill or not, including where a child does not attend care as part of the family’s own precautionary measure against potential contact with COVID-19, CCS can be paid for up to 42 absence days per child, per financial year. If you intend to keep your child home or are in self isolation, please get a Doctor’s certificate for this period. This will ensure that you don’t exceed the number of days that you can claim CCS.


Notification of absences

You can use the KindyNow app to notify us of any absences. You can logon to the app 24/7. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, you can search for it in the app store or find out more HERE.

Ongoing Communication

Please look out for further communication from us. We will update information provided as required.

We ask that families please:

  • Check emails regularly for updates
  • Ensure that all contact details and medical information is up to date. Please contact us if you need to update any of these details.
  • Check Storypark regularly.

Thank you for following these procedures to keep our community safe and healthy. If you need to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to speak with your child care Service Manager.