COVID 19 POLICIES + PROCEDURE
03.01.22 


The health and safety of our children,  families and team is our highest priority and we are committed to reducing the risks and impact of Covid-19 where-ever possible.  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 who attends Hope Island Montessori.

 

To further reduce the risk of COVID-19, we are also: 

 

  • altering our arrival and departure processes

  • enhancing ventilation measures 

  • incorporating additional outdoor learning and play in our daily curriculum 

  • adjusting our Children’s House events and tours  to reduce contact time 

  • revising our daily cleaning and hygiene practices


We will continue to consult our team members and families to reduce the risk of COVID-19.


Arrival and Departure Procedures
  • One parent to attend the Children’s House for drop off and collection

  • Remain outside the gate or reception entrance at all times

  • Temperature checks for children and adults on arrival

  • Practice social distancing

  • Use hand sanitiser provided

  • Educators to wear masks while supporting hand-over 

  • Parents required to wear masks during hand-over

 

Centre Entry Process

As part of our continued dedication to the safety of our team members, children, and families, we have chosen to implement the State Government QR Code check-in system to allow for faster contact tracing for individuals.   

 

 Hygiene Practices for staff and children
  • Frequent, strict hand washing procedures

  • Use of sanitiser for staff

  • Ongoing hygiene lessons for children - nose blowing, tissue disposal, hand washing

  • Additional hygiene measures in common areas and when preparing/serving food

  • Removal and cleaning of any item that has come in to contact with a child’s mouth

  • Use of masks in common areas and where-ever possible within the classroom environment 


Cleaning Processes
  • Full daily sanitisation of learning and play materials and equipment 

  • Frequent cleaning and sanitising of high touch areas such as doors/handles/light switches/iPads/phones/keyboards


Routine + Environment
  • Increased outdoor learning and play experiences each day

  • Addition of air purifiers to classrooms

  • Opening of windows and doors when possible

  • Sleeping and dining in the outdoor environment when possible

 


Sick Children

Our illness policy has been well considered and is designed to protect the wellbeing of children, staff, families of Hope Island Montessori and the wider community in accordance with best practice guidelines.   During the COVID-19 period, additional precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all children and staff.

 

Where a child displays symptoms such as a cough or runny nose or any other symptom associated with COVID-19 as listed below, or at the discretion of the Lead Educator, Director or Approved Provider, a detailed medical clearance identifying the illness and confirming that there is no risk of transmission to others is required before being able to return to care.

 

Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)     

 

  • Fever    

  • Shortness of breath

  • Cough  

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Headache

  • Diarrhoea          

  • Fatigue      

  • Nausea         

  • Loss of smell/taste 


Other symptoms people may experience include muscle or joint pain, and loss of appetite.

 

Medical Clearance Forms can be found here .

 

Should a child display signs of illness whilst at the centre, they must be immediately isolated from other staff and children. If ratio permits, the child will remain with one caregiver in the staff room or alternatively, with the Director or nominated supervisor in the reception area.

 

Families must be contacted as soon as the symptom is observed and collection must occur within 30 minutes. Children cannot attend care within 48 hours from the first symptom and must obtain  a medical clearance from a licensed doctor to return.

 

We understand that children often recover from being unwell but can have lingering coughs or  runny noses for some time after which are not contagious.  Once a medial clearance has been obtained, children may return to care.

At any time, irrespective of a Medical Clearance, the Approved Provider, Director or any other person nominated to act on their behalf may still refuse to allow a child who is demonstrating signs of illness to attend the centre, as per the School + Early Childhood Service Exclusion Direction outlined below.

 

School and Early Childhood Service Exclusion Direction

The Qld Minister for Health and Qld Minister for Ambulance Services has put in place a Direction called the “School and Early Childhood Service Exclusion Direction”. This Direction applies in school and early childhood services, and came into effect as of 29 March 2020, and will remain in place until the end of the declared public health emergency for COVID 19.

The Direction applies to children attending schools and approved early childhood services, and if an educator or staff member suspects a child in their care is unwell with a contagious illness, they must notify the parent or guardian.

 

If a staff member reasonably suspects that a child in our care is unwell and decides that because of the reasonable suspicion the child must go home, we must notify the parent or guardian. We will isolate the child as far as possible until they are able to be collected, whilst still ensuring their safety and wellbeing, and we will also maintain effective supervision of all children in care.

 

The child’s parents/guardians are required to collect the child as soon as possible, and the  child cannot return to the early childhood service until:

 

  • if the child had, or was suspected of having a contagious condition, the prescribed period for the contagious condition has ended as per the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Staying Healthy in Child Care, or
  • when the child is no longer exhibiting symptoms of illness.

 

Under this new Direction, there is no requirement that we obtain a medical opinion to exclude a child who we believe is unwell. More information can be found here.

 

If your child is absent on any of their booked days please contact the centre as soon as possible to advise the reason surrounding the absence, we will then be able to offer the appropriate support for each child to return to care.

 

Close Contact or Confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis

In accordance with the Qld Health directive as at 31 December, 2021:

If you have been told or you find out that you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you must get tested and quarantine for 7 days.   This Direction applies to any child living in the same premises of a family member deemed a close contact.   Children diagnosed with Covid-19 are unable to attend the centre for a minimum of seven days and must undergo Covid-19 testing prior to returning to care.   

 

Please see Qld Health Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 2)  for further information.   

 

Should your child or a family member be deemed a close contact or are diagnosed with Covid-19, the Director must be informed in writing within 24 hours. 

 
Vaccine Requirements 

In line with the current Qld Health Directive, our staff are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by 23 January 2022.  The majority of our team members are already fully vaccinated, or in a very small number of instances, have an exemption for vaccination.  In the case of critical staff shortages where a staff member who is not vaccinated against Covid 19 is required to work,  they will be tested for Covid 19 prior to the start of each shift.  This is is accordance with the mandate guidelines. 

 

Government-mandated Centre Closure

In the event a positive case is identified in the Children’s House and we are require to close, we will communicate with team members and families via email and SMS.

If the Children’s House is ordered  to close as a result of a confirmed COVID-19 case, fees will not be charged 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.

 

New enrolments, tours, and orientations

Where possible, we continue to welcome families into the Children’s House and to maintain close connections with families.  In accordance with public health orders, we may need to postpone or restrict new enrolments, tours and orientation visits. We will keep families updated of any changes that may arise from a COVID-19 escalation and will work closely with families to ensure their transition process occurs with as little disruption as possible. 


Families and Visitors Code of Conduct

This management of Covid-19 within an Early Education setting places a high level of demand on both administrative and teaching staff. We are striving to meet the needs of all members of our Community and we ask for patience and understanding during this time.