This resource outlines the steps for early childhood education and care and school-age care services in SA.
In the event that a child or staff member has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should be aware of the process to follow if your service is affected.
From SA Health
SA Health will notify your service of a confirmed case and will advise if it needs to close or can remain operational.
From a family or staff member
Immediately contact SA Health to determine confirmation and if your centre needs to close or can remain operational.
In either case, SA Health will advise the period of closure to allow your service to be cleaned and to undertake contact tracing. SA Health will also advise when it is safe to re-open.
2. Service informs families
If there is a confirmed case at the service, you will need to inform staff and families. You should prepare for this by ensuring you have current email addresses and mobile phone numbers for parents and carers of all children enrolled and staff who are employed at the service, readily available. You should also check their emergency contact details are correct.
Letter/email template to families, carers and staff are available for you to use if needed:
3. Service lodges a notification
A notification should be lodged for any of the following reasons relating to COVID-19:
- There is a risk to health, safety and well-being (I01).
- Your service is required to reduce numbers (I01).
- Your service is required to close temporarily (I01).
For long day care, preschools, OSHC and family day care:
- A notification should be made through the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA ITS) within 24 hours of a confirmed case and service closure. Refer to the quick reference guide for more information on how to lodge a notification.
For residual services (occasional, in-home and mobile care):
- Services must advise the Education Standards Board by email to educationstandardsboard [at] sa.gov.au () within 24 hours of a confirmed case and service closure.
4. Service arranges a deep clean
You will need to arrange for a deep clean of your service. There are a number of cleaning companies available in South Australia that offer this service. Detailed advice is available about cleaning and disinfecting after a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified at a service. This technical information should be provided to cleaners contracted to undertake the deep clean. Refer to 'Cleaning to prevent the spread of COVID-19' on the Safe Work Australia website for more information.
5. Service keeps families informed
It is essential to maintain regular contact with families to ensure they understand the process. Liaise with SA Health as required for additional information or guidance.
Ensure you have up-to-date emergency contact details in the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQA ITS) so your service can be contacted after hours if required.
Most early childhood education and care services have continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
If your service is directed to close as a preventative measure, you will be advised by SA Health and given detailed advice to support you through this process.
If individual services are closed due to COVID-19, they will be listed on the ACECQA website under ‘Service and temporary closure information’.
If your service’s scheduled reopening date changes, please email the Compliance & Investigations team at the Education Standards Board at esb.complianceinvestigation [at] sa.gov.au ().
Current South Australian Department for Education preschool and school temporary closures are detailed on it’s website under ‘List of school and preschool temporary closures and reopenings – COVID-19’ .
You may wish to also visit the South Australian Department for Education website for additional information relating to COVID-19.
If you require any further advice, please contact the Education Standards Board on 1800 882 413.