Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ’s

What measures are in place to ensure a safe and healthy environment for my child and their educators?

We want to firstly reassure you that there currently isn’t an increased risk for babies and children, and we are staying abreast of all recommendations from the Government and Health authorities. The most proactive advice that we can follow from the Federal and State Health organisation is to ensure good hygiene.

  • We have set up hygiene stations at the entrance of our service and have requested everyone who enters and exits to please wash their hands.
  • Our team and children are washing their hands frequently and effectively following the handwashing procedure.
  • We are continuing to implement indoor and outdoor play and keeping our doors open to encourage the flow of air through the building and the children to access fresh air.
  • We are meticulously following our Illness Procedure and ensuring that if any child or educator shows any cold or flu symptoms (e.g. headache, fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose), they are sent home and encouraged they contact their GP immediately.
  • We are also reminding families that if their child shows any cold or flu symptoms (e.g. headache, fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose), please keep him/her at home and contact your GP.
  • We ask all our families and team members to be aware of all updated COVID-19 information on the Australian Government website. This site is being frequently updated and it is important to continue to stay in touch with the latest information.

What happens if we reach our 42 day absences with the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and can I access additional absences?

The short answer is yes families can now access additional absences. Originally the CCS allows up to 42 absences for each child per financial year. As we’re nearing the end of the financial year, we understand that some children may be approaching the end of their 42 allowable days.

Families can now access additional absences without the need for evidence in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This will ensure families have ample absence days for the COVID-19 event and for other regular reasons. We still require families to email the centre to notify the Centre Manager of your child’s absence however we no longer require a medical certificate for additional absences.

If your child is going to be absent, please remember to advise your Centre Manager. The most convenient approach is through the KindyNow App. To download the KindyNow App, go to https://bit.ly/2xB2JqW. If you require assistance to use the app, please reach out to your Centre Manager.

Now schools are closing, does that also mean my child’s Journey centre will close?

Over the past few days there have been a number of announcements from Australian State Governments declaring schools within their States will commence holidays early or be closed via Student Free days. We have had a number of families reach out to us regarding our Journey Centres and if they’ll remain open, the short answer is YES.

We want to assure families that we are closely following the advice of the Federal Government and Chief Medical Officer. We will open as usual, and unless we receive any direct advice from the Government, we will continue to service the community as normal.

Does the Government provide any financial assistance with childcare fees?

We understand that there may be Journey families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

We have been encouraged by the Department of Education to make our families aware of financial support (ACCS) available for childcare fees up to 13 weeks. Should you be (or foresee) experiencing financial hardship, we encourage you to apply for this funding through your Centrelink account on MyGov or by clicking here.

What are the current travel restrictions and what does this mean to me?

The Federal Government has announced that as of 16 March, anyone arriving in Australia from overseas will be forced to self-isolate for 14 days.  International cruise ships have been banned from docking in Australia for the next 30 days.

If you begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or a respiratory illness during your period of self-quarantine you should seek immediate medical attention.  If you experience any other symptom during your period of self-quarantine you should also seek immediate medical attention.

If there is a diagnosed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) at my centre, what process will be followed?

If an educator, child or family member is diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19) we will follow the formal advice provided to us by the authorised health departments in the relevant state or territory. We will also ensure that all families and educators are notified as matter of priority and provided with all the relevant information and support.

In the event any of the above happens, it is highly likely that the centre will need to close for a period as advised by the Health Authorities.

Do I need to pay fees?

The government considers childcare an essential service and we will endeavour to stay open for as long as possible. Whilst this occurs it will be business as usual however, we also appreciate that these are not ‘usual’ times so some unique scenarios need to be addressed and as a result the following rules will apply:

  • If a family withdraws their child/ren because they are required to do so according to a Health Authority directive, then they will be offered the public holiday credit rate on the daily fee.  CCS will still be available. The place for the child/ren will be held at the centre.
  • If a family decide not to send their child/ren as a precautionary measure, without being required to do so by a Health Authority, then full fees will apply.  CCS will still be available. The place for the child/ren will be held at the centre.
  • If the centre is directed by relevant government bodies to close for any period, then the family will not be charged.
  • If the family withdraw their child/ren for any reason, the four-week notice period will be applied as per the terms and conditions. The place for the child/ren will not be held.

Please remember families receiving the Child Care Subsidy can use up to 42 absence days per child, per financial year, for any reason without requiring supporting evidence — which would cover those in self-isolation.

When the 42 days have been used, additional absences are available due to being ill from COVID-19 or self-isolation.

Do I still need to give the 4 weeks’ notice if I decide to withdraw my child?

Yes.

The terms and conditions for each enrolment remain in place.

What communication can I expect from Journey?

At this time, all families will receive daily updates from us via Storypark and email, so you are completely informed. Our website will also be updated daily to reflect the latest information.

Will the current food shortages impact the menu and what my child eats at Journey?

Our centre cooks/chefs will customise their Wholesome Child menus in accordance to what is readily available. We will continue to provide balanced, nutritious and fresh meals every day to assist with the growth and development of your child.

If I have any further questions about my specific situation, who can I discuss this with?

We have a specific email available to all families should they have any further questions about their specific situation health@journey.edu.au

Everyone should also regularly refer to the Federal Government Department of Health Website at www.health.gov.au

Does the Government provide any financial assistance with childcare fees?

We understand that there may be Journey families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

We have been encouraged by the Department of Education to make our families aware of financial support available for childcare fees up to 13 weeks. Should you be (or foresee) experiencing financial hardship, we encourage you to apply for this funding through your Centrelink account on MyGov or by clicking here.

Are there any alternative measures in place during drop-off and pick-up? 

As part of our increased hygiene practices, we have introduced Pick-up and Drop-off Zones at our centres. This Zone will allow families to remain in the foyer while an educator brings the child to the parent/guardian.

This service is available to all Journey families, however we encourage those who have elderly or vulnerable family members or are from the Health Care industry to utilise the service. We recommend that families who do not fall into the categories above to continue their drop-off and pick-up routines as normal.

As each of our centres vary in design, we recommend you get in touch with your Centre Manager to discuss finer details. To help us in making this offering as smooth as possible, we ask that you please call ahead of your arrival to ensure our educators are prepared to assist you.

In the current climate if you have any questions that are not covered, please contact us at health@journey.edu.au.

Daily communications to existing families

23 March 2020 – Journey Family Update
20 March 2020 – Journey Family Update
19 March 2020 – Journey Family Update
18 March 2020 – Journey Family Update
17 March 2020 – Journey Family Update