Information and advice on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Update #4 - 1 April 2020

The Catholic Education Department advised yesterday afternoon that this Friday, 3 April 2020, will be the final day of school for Term 1. School holidays will now commence from Monday 6 April 2020 to allow teachers to complete professional learning to better enable them to deliver online learning.

All charges for all before and after school care bookings that were previously booked between 6 and 9 April will be removed and a credit will be applied to your account. 

 

April Vacation Care - Mother Teresa

Kids Biz Vacation Care will be operating for the extended school holiday period at Mother Teresa School from Monday 6 April 2020. 

Special arrangements for April Vacation Care are: 

  • New Vacation Care Dates - 6 to 24 April 2020 (3 weeks excluding public holidays); 

  • Opening hours 7:30am-6:00pm; 

  • Full Day 7:30am – 6:00pm and Half Day bookings 7:30am – 12:30pm bookings are available. If you need afternoon half day care please contact us at admin@kidsbizoshc.com.au for assistance. 

  • Daily fee for the exceptional circumstance of the upcoming April vacation care period is $65.00 for a full day and $35.00 for a half day, prior to any CCS entitlements and extended payment due dates and maximum flexibility will be offered.

Bookings for this program can be made through your online My Family Lounge account or My Family Lounge mobile app by booking into the MTS Vacation Care Rolls. 

 

April Vacation Care - Holy Trinity

Kids Biz Vacation Care will be operating at Holy Trinity Primary School next week from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 April 2020 (closed Good Friday public holiday).  

Special arrangements for April Vacation Care are: 

  • Dates – Monday 6 to Thursday 9 April 2020 (Further options to provide care for the full vacation care period at Holy Trinity are being explored); 

    Opening hours 7:30am-6:00pm; 

  • Full Day 7:30am – 6:00pm and Half Day bookings 7:30am – 12:30pm bookings are available. If you need afternoon half day care please contact us at admin@kidsbizoshc.com.au for assistance. 

  • Daily fee for the exceptional circumstance of the upcoming April vacation care period is $65.00 for a full day and $35.00 for a half day, prior to any CCS entitlements and extended payment due dates and maximum flexibility will be offered.

 

Bookings for this program can be made through your online My Family Lounge account or My Family Lounge mobile app by booking into the HT Vacation Care roll.

 

Option to suspend before and after school care bookings 

To secure your before and after school care days going forward you can now choose to reactivate but suspend your Term 1 booking. To provide certainty for families, we are now also offering the option to suspend your booking for 8 weeks or until school resumes as normal. This ensures your place and that you will not be charged for any care during your suspension period. If you would like to suspend a current booking, or prefer to have a previously cancelled booking suspended instead, please let us know via email to admin@kidsbizoshc.com.au. Please state you wish to suspend your booking or as previous booking (days booked prior to 30 March 2020). 

 

Suspending your booking will provide you with certainty that your children can return, as previously booked, as soon as the program returns to normal. You will not be charged for bookings within the suspension period. 

 

We apologise for any confusion associated with the previous information regarding cancellations of bookings. The current situation is continually changing, and Kids Biz is adapting as best we can to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the Mother Teresa school community. 

 

If you require any assistance booking for next week, would like to suspend your booking, or have any queries please contact us at admin@kidsbizoshc.com.au or on 0439 927 053. 

We are here to support you in this difficult time so please contact us whenever you need to, and we will work through any problems.  Thank you all again for your ongoing support with Kids Biz, we are proud to be a part of the Mother Teresa and Holy Trinity School communities and will provide assistance wherever we can. 

Update #3 - 24 March 2020

We would like to confirm that Kids Biz OSHC will remain open for the rest of term 1. This is in line with the decision made yesterday afternoon, by the Catholic Education Office, that Catholic schools will remain open until the end of term 1 2020. 

 

What additional processes are in place at Kids Biz OSHC? 

We would like to provide reassurance that Kids Biz is enforcing additional measures at the service including: 

  • additional hygiene practices; 

  • additional cleaning; 

  • social distancing; and 

  • revised activities.  

This includes variations in programmed activities, spread out eating areas, and frequent cleaning. All processes are being regularly reviewed, and further strategies will be implemented as required. 

 

What do I do if my child will not be attending? 

Due to the unprecedented circumstances there will be a variation to our usual cancellation policy, which will allow permanent bookings to be cancelled when at least 24 hours’ notice is provided, effective Monday 30 March 2020. Please let us know as soon as possible if your child will not be attending and you wish to cancel your permanent booking. 

 

Please note that the variation in the cancellation policy is effective from next week due to the arrangements that have already been put in place for the current week, including food orders, staffing arrangements, and programmed activities. If you have already contacted us to cancel care please confirm with us via email if you would like this to take effect from Monday 30 March 2020.  

 
The current advice from the Prime Minister is that children should continue to attend school where possible. There are currently no forced shutdowns of schools, and the Pupil Free days currently apply to Public Schools only.  

 

Every child is entitled to 42 days of absence with the CCS entitlement still being paid by government. Further absences after 42 days can also have the CCS entitlement applied with a medical certificate for the child or a member of their family. If the service is required to close temporarily no fees will be charged for the days the service is not open. 

 

If you are choosing to keep your child at home for the remainder of term 1, or they will not be attending as they are unwell, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can plan the program and social distancing measures accordingly. Absences can be notified through the My Family Lounge mobile app, text message, or email. 

 

We will continue to work with families to meet care needs and you will be able to recommence cancelled permanent bookings as your needs change.  

 

Casual Bookings 

Commencing Monday 30 March 2020, until the end of term 1, all casual bookings will be charged at the reduced permanent place rate. We will continue to make casual bookings available wherever possible and these can also be cancelled where at least 24 hours’ notice is provided.  

 

Vacation Care 

At this stage Kids Biz is continuing to take bookings for the April Vacation Care program and will continue to do so unless we are advised that the service is required to close. Please be aware that Vacation Care is still three weeks away, and advice is rapidly changing. We will keep you updated if the service is required to close, and no fees would be charged in this situation. 

 

Mental Health Support 

The Coronavirus pandemic may result in additional stress and feelings of unease amongst both children and adults. We recommend this PDF for talking to your children about Coronavirus. Our educators will also continue to support children with any stress they may be experiencing at this point in time. Beyond Blue also has some useful information to support mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

 

Information and advice on the Coronavirus is available from the Australian Department of HealthACT Health, and NSW Health.  

 

Additional Child Care Subsidy (Temporary Financial Hardship) 

If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the impacts of COVID-19 you may be eligible for the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Temporary Financial Hardship), which can assist with the cost of childcare. For more information, including how to apply, please see https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/additional-child-care-subsidy. Services Australia also has additional support and resources available to assist, which can be viewed at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19.   

 

What happens if Kids Biz is required to close?  

Kids Biz are working very closely with your school and the advice as of 23 March 2020 is that schools are not required to close at this time, however Kids Biz is preparing for the possibility of a required closure. If this occurs Kids Biz will provide further information via email. No fees will be charged if the service is required to close, and fees paid in advance can either be credited towards future bookings or refunded.   

Summary 

  • Kids Biz OSHC is open for the remainder of term 1 

  • From 30 March 2020, permanent places can be cancelled with 24 hours’ notice 

  • From 30 March 2020, casual bookings will be charged at the reduced permanent rate 

  • April vacation care will be available at this stage 

  • Additional subsidies are available for care 

Update #2 - 18 March 2020 - Menu changes due to delivery cancellations and bulk purchase limits

Increased consumer demand for essential items has resulted in restrictions on bulk purchases and cancellations of food delivery services from the major supermarkets. As you can imagine, feeding up to 165 children each day requires us to make regular bulk purchases, typically using the Coles Delivery service. We have spoken directly with Coles and Woolworths, who are unfortunately unable to make exceptions on the current restrictions for OSHC services. Because of this, Kids Biz OSHC is unable to guarantee that our usual menu will be available from Monday 23 March.

 

Children at before school care will continue to be offered cereal, toast and oats each morning, however we will be unable to offer our usual extended range of breakfast foods. Fruit and vegetables will continue to be available each afternoon, however we cannot guarantee that the same quantity as usual will be available. We also cannot guarantee that sandwiches and our feature foods will be available.

 

This week Kids Biz is completing a stocktake of any food supplies at the service and will incorporate any remaining supplies into the upcoming menu. Educators will also be provided with additional time to visit a supermarket during their shift to purchase food items, adhering to the purchase limits imposed by the supermarkets.

 

Kids Biz will endeavour to provide suitable food each day, however please note that it may be smaller amounts than usual. Please also note that meals offered may not be as balanced as our usual menu, as food purchased will be dependent on the quantities available.

 

Please pack extra food for your child if you think they may be hungry throughout the afternoon.

 

We thank you for your understanding during this difficult time, and we hope that these adjustments to our menu will assist the supermarkets in ensuring that there is food available for all shoppers.

Update #1 - 16 March 2020 

Information regarding the current outbreak of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) is rapidly changing, and Kids Biz is working closely with the school and monitoring Government advice and recommendations to minimise the risk to children, families and educators at our services. We will continue to keep you up to date on any changes to the current situation as it relates to your care arrangements. 

 

What measures are in place at Kids Biz to minimise the spread of the virus? 

Any person returning from overseas will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and will be unable to attend Kids Biz services during this time. This includes both children and educators. 

 

Kids Biz management are actively monitoring advice from the Australian Department of Health, ACT HealthNSW Health and the ACT Education Directorate about the pandemic. Kids Biz is also receiving regular advice on how to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak from the Australian Department of Health and the ACT Education Directorate via the Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) team.

At the service hygiene practices are being re-enforced with educators and children. All educators wash their hands upon arrival at the service and regularly during the afternoon. Children have been reminded of the correct handwashing procedure and best practice for sneezing and coughing and are required to wash their hands frequently. Soap is available for children, educators, and families at the service to use. 

 

Kids Biz is currently waiting on delivery of hand sanitiser, which will also be made available to all children, educators, and families. Frequent touch points including iPads, door handles and walkie talkies are regularly wiped with anti-bacterial wipes. 

 

Children or staff members experiencing flu-like symptoms must not attend Kids Biz until they have recovered.

 

What happens if Kids Biz is required to close? 

Kids Biz are working very closely with your school and the advice as of 16 March 2020 is that schools are not required to close at this time, however Kids Biz is preparing for the possibility of a required closure. If this occurs Kids Biz will provide further information via email. No fees will be charged if the service is required to close, and fees paid in advance can either be credited towards future bookings or refunded. 

 

If Kids Biz remains open and you choose not to send your child, usual fees will apply. CCS can be claimed for up to 42 absences per financial year. Further absences can also have CCS applied where you have a medical certificate for your child after the 42 absences have been used.

 

Vacation Care Program 

At this stage Kids Biz is continuing to take bookings for the April Vacation Care program, and will continue to do so unless we are advised by the Government that the service is required to close. We will keep all families updated on any changes. 

 

In accordance with ACT Education Directorate advice, the excursions planned for the April School Holidays will not be going ahead. Instead, extended sports sessions and on-site activities will be offered. Further information on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) can also be found on the Department of Health website: https://www.health.gov.au/ and the ACT Health Directorate website: https://health.act.gov.au/

 

As developments continue, we will update you on any actions we take. As always, we are here to help. Please contact us if you have any queries. 

Update #5 - 3 April 2020

Child Care Relief Package

On 2 April the Australian Government announced additional support for the Child Care sector throguh the new Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. Weekly payments will be made directly to Child Care Services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy from 6 April 2020 to 28 June 2020, and families will not be charged fees during this time.

Care will be prioritised for children of essential workers and vulnerable children. We are pleased that this will allow us to continue supporting our valued Kids Biz families throughout the Coronavirus crisis.

If children are absent from care during this period this will not be counted towards your 62 allowable absences for the year.