On this page you will find information relating to the steps and measures that G8 Education is taking to support all children, families and teams within our centres. 

The health and safety of our children, families, team members, and communities remain our highest priority, which is why we are introducing a COVID-19 vaccination policy to reduce the risk of COVID-19. 

While young children are currently unable to be vaccinated, it is globally recognized that one of the most effective ways to protect them from the risk of contracting COVID-19 is to vaccinate the adults around them. By reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission in centres and support offices, we are better able to remain open and continue to provide early learning and care services to support our children, families and team members. 

By 31 January 2022, all G8 Education team members, suppliers and contractors attending our centres and support offices, will be required to be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical exemption. The majority of our team members are already vaccinated against COVID-19 due to state vaccination mandates in the early learning and care sector (in VIC, NSW, ACT, WA, NT and now SA). This policy brings consistency across our network to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

 

COVID-19 Health and Safety Management Plan in Centres

All G8 Education centres across Australia continue to undertake safety measures to protect the health and safety of team members, children, families and the wider community, and reduce the risk of infection. Our COVID-19 Health and Safety Management Plan in centre has been informed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee high-level advice for the Early Childhood Education and Care sector. 

We will continue to comply with all public health directives and legislation to protect the health and safety and reduce the risk of COVID-19 for everyone that attends our centres and support offices.  

To further reduce the risk of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of children, families, team members and our communities, we are also: 

  • enhancing ventilation measures across our network 
  • incorporating additional outdoor learning and play in our daily curriculum 
  • adjusting our team rosters and minimizing the use of shared team member spaces  
  • adjusting our centre experiences for families to reduce their time and contact in centres. 

We are committed to consulting and supporting our team members and families, and continually responding to the evolving landscape to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

 

 

State-Based Advice

We will continue to keep everyone updated as necessary, however the current COVID-19 situation is ever-changing and can vary significantly state-by-state. As such, if you have specific questions relating to individual situations, or any state based requirements around face coverings, or exposure sites please contact the relevant state or territory public health agency.

State or Territory Phone Hotline Website
Australian Capital Territory 02 5124 9213 www.covid19.act.gov.au
New South Wales 1300 066 055 www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
Queensland 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) www.covid19.qld.gov.au
Victoria 1300 651 160 www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au
South Australia 1300 232 272 www.covid-19.sa.gov.au
Western Australia local public health unit www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus
 

Safety Measures

G8 Education continues to evaluate and enhance the measures we are taking to protect children in our care, families and team members. In light of the current state-based management of the COVID-19 situation, we have evolved our safety measures to reflect the relevant risk levels. We continue to abide by all relevant Government requirements.

In the event of escalated risk, we will introduce increased safety measures, including Health and Wellness Checks for families, children and team members entering our centres. We will endeavour to communicate any changes that may impact families in our centres as soon as the information is available from Government and Health Authorities.

Centre Entry Process

As part of our continued dedication to the safety of our team members, children, and families, and in response to State and Territory Government recommendations and requirements, G8 Education has chosen to implement the State and Territory Government QR Code check-in apps in all our centres.

These apps allow for faster contact tracing and improve the quality of support we provide to children and team members in our centres. Please remember to sign in on both Xplor and the QR code during drop off and pick up so we can support public health officers with any contact tracing in the event of an escalation.

Families and Visitors Code of Conduct

The ever changing and evolving COVID-19 situation is challenging families and team members alike. We are working hard to ensure that all our families are not adversely impacted by the requirements of the Public Health Direction that our centres become subject to. We ask all families and visitors to our centres for their patience and understanding while we navigate this situation together. Please refer to our Families and Visitors Code of Conduct for more information.

Government-mandated Centre Closure

In the event a positive case is identified in centre and closure is required, G8 Education will communicate with team members and families via email, Xplor and SMS.

If any of our centres are ordered by Health Authorities to close as a result of a confirmed COVID-19 case, families will not be charged fees while the centre is closed and undergoes professional decontamination. We will stay in contact and keep families informed regarding when we are permitted to re-open.

Health and hygiene

Based on the advice from authorities, there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your families from COVID-19 and other illnesses. We continue to promote and practice these measures at all centres.

New enrolments, tours, and orientations

Where possible, we continue to welcome families at our centres to cater to your full requirements and establish our close connections with families.

The ability for centres to conduct tours, stay and plays and enrol new families will be subject to any state-based risk ratings and public health orders in place at any time. We will keep families update of any changes that may arise from a COVID-19 escalation or subsequent retraction period and work closely with families to ensure their enrolment journey experiences as little disruption as possible.

Gap Fee Discounts and Waivers for G8 Education Families

Commonwealth Minister for Education and Youth announced measures that will allow Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) providers located in Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspots, with restrictions that go for more than seven days, to waive Gap fees for COVID-19 related absences. Click here to review the announcement.

We are pleased to advise that G8 Education will also further support our families through COVID-19 lockdowns during 2021 by adopting the following approach:

  • During the first seven days of restrictions in a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot – G8 Education will voluntarily offer a 35% discount (Lockdown Discount) on the full fee payable for COVID-19 related absences, provided families maintain their enrolment following the end of the restriction period; and
  • If the restriction period extends beyond seven days – G8 Education will waive fees in full, from the eighth day onwards, for families whose children are not attending child care for COVID-19 related reasons, also provided families maintain their enrolment following the end of the restriction period.
  • If the restriction period mandates that a state or territory government order only allows access to child care services in particular circumstances. Such circumstances could include:
    • Children who are vulnerable or disadvantaged
    • Children whose parents cannot work from home
    • Children of essential workers

G8 Education will waive fees in full from the start of the restriction period for families whose children are not attending or are not able to attend child care, also provided families maintain their enrolment following the end of the restriction period.

 

Additional Allowable Absences and Financial Support

The Commonwealth Minister for Education and Youth announced measures that will allow families impacted by current lockdowns greater flexibility in child care allowable absences. Click here to review the announcement.

All families enrolled in any of our centres that are located in a Commonwealth Government declared COVID-19 hotspot can access additional allowable absences if the declaration extends for seven days or more. Families will not have to use their 42 days of allowable absences during these lockdowns that reset at the beginning of each financial year.

This means that families will still have allowable absence days available to them after a lockdown has concluded. This also ensures that families can maintain their enrolments with their centres without it impacting their child care subsidy (CCS).

Families will also be able to monitor if their local government area is impacted by a government mandated lockdown via the Australian Government website. In addition we will keep families updated on any local government area lockdowns affecting our centres.

Our ultimate purpose is to ensure all our families have all the tools and information at their disposal to feel confident in their children’s continued journey in early childhood education.

Families are encouraged to contact their Centre Manager with help regarding the Additional Child Care Subsidy, our Flexible Hours program and much more to determine how to make the subsidy work best for them.

Families can also click here to check out our guide to the Child Care Subsidy which runs through many of the above points.

Zoono being used in centres

G8 Education has secured the supply of Zoono products – Zoono Hand Sanitiser and Zoono Microbe Shield – for all of our centres.

Zoono products have been extensively tested and proven to kill a wide range of pathogens to provide the highest level of protection. They are also dermatologically tested to be safe on sensitive skin.

Dermatologically tested and ultra-gentle, with no harmful chemicals, Zoono products last all day on skin and up to 28 days on surfaces while fighting bacteria and fungi. Zoono Hand Sanitiser also keeps killing 99.9% of germs for up to 24 hours, even after normal activity and hand washing.

Test results show that Zoono’s Z-71 Microbe Shield (the same Zoono technology used in Zoono Hand Sanitiser) is > 99.99% effective against feline coronavirus (the recognised surrogate for COVID-19).

More information about Zoono and its effectiveness is available here: https://zoono.com/pages/corona-virus

All centres provide ‘general’ hand sanitiser as an alternative option for families.

How to talk to children about COVID-19

It is understandable that this unprecedented situation has created anxiety among families, especially among young children. It is important they get all the support they need – both at our centres and at home.

Our educators are trained to guide and support children through difficult situations. There are several online guides about how you can talk to your children about COVID-19. Here is one from the global children’s agency, UNICEF.
https://www.unicef.org.au/blog/resources/march-2020/how-to-talk-to-your-children-about-coronavirus

The Australian Government’s youth mental health initiative, headspace, has also produced a guide for older children.
https://headspace.org.au/young-people/how-to-cope-with-stress-related-to-covid-19/

 

Support for domestic violence and abuse

COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation that may cause additional stress for many families, with more time spent in the home. In some circumstances, this can unfortunately result in an increase in domestic violence incidents and abuse in the home.

If you, or someone you know, needs help, please contact the following helplines, who will assist in getting you in touch with the correct resources and additional support for leaving the abusive environment.

1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732

24-hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Lifeline has a national number who can help put you in contact with a crisis service in your state. Anyone across Australia experiencing a personal crisis can call.

Kids Help Line – 1800 551 800

Free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25 in Australia.