NSW Health is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Early Childhood Education Centres (ECEC). Many ECECs have been affected by cases of COVID-19 resulting in temporary closure of centres and isolation of both staff and children and their families. People infected with COVID-19 can become very sick.
At this time, NSW Health is strongly urging the community to keep their children at home to reduce the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19 in ECEC across NSW, unless they need to be at an ECEC.
There are important things that ECEC services can do to protect staff and families attending your services:
- Wear a mask in indoor and outdoor areas of the ECEC unless absolutely necessary to remove it.
- COVID-19 is a respiratory virus which is spread from an infected person's mouth or nose when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe heavily. People can catch COVID-19 when the virus gets into their mouth, nose or eyes, which is more likely when people are in close contact (less than 1.5 metres) with an infected person and are not wearing a mask.
- It is especially important to wear a mask when working next to other staff in the ECEC.
- COVID-19 has spread easily between staff in ECEC.
- Masks should also be worn in tea rooms and other shared areas such as toilets.
- Encourage staff breaks to be staggered and to be taken using outdoor spaces where available.
- Parents should wear masks when dropping off or picking up children.
- Get vaccinated now. COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and very good at protecting from COVID-19:
- One dose of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine lowers the risk of being admitted to hospital or to intensive care because of COVID-19 by around 70%. Two doses lowers this risk by around 87%.
- One dose of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine lowers the risk of dying because of COVID-19 by around 70%. Two doses lowers this risk by around 90%.
- Vaccination also lowers the chance of spreading COVID-19 to others if you become infected.
- Vaccination is free and available at NSW Health vaccination clinics, GPs and some community pharmacies. Some clinics offer vaccination without needing to book an appointment. Visit COVID-19 vaccination in NSW for more information.
- Prioritised vaccination appointments for the Pfizer vaccine are available for people aged 16-39 years across the 12 LGAs of concern.
- Childcare workers who live or work in the LGAs of concern must have their first vaccination dose by 30 August
- Practise good hand hygiene and wipe down shared surfaces every time you do something
- Do not attend work if you or someone in your home is unwell. Get tested and do not come back to work until you have a negative test and are well.
- Continue to remind families to not bring children to an ECEC service if they are unwell or if anyone else in their household is unwell
NSW Health values the dedication of Early Childhood Educators in supporting the wellbeing and development of young children and we want to support you to stay safe.