As per the ACT Government’s COVID-19 Pathway forward for return to on-campus learning, Communities at Work’s Early Education and Care Centres as well as our Out of School Hours Care Services, are resuming full operations from Monday, October 25, 2021.
We are excited to welcome back all children and look forward to continuing to support families through our services. The health and wellbeing of children, staff and families is a key priority for the organisation.
Our focus will be on operating COVID-safe services, and we are undertaking a variety of health and safety measures, including frequent cleaning, physical distancing measures for adults, mask-wearing for educators and families, and increased hygiene practices in service.
Our dedicated and passionate educators will help all children settle back into service, and do their best in supporting families to ease any concerns and anxieties, as we understand that transition back into service after the lockdown may be a difficult time for some families and children.
Moreover, we are extremely proud that the vaccination rates against COVID-19 across our organisation including the Children’s Services staff continue to rise, ensuring further protection of our staff, families, children, and the broader community. This is supported by our recent announcement that Communities at Work is requiring all our employees, contractors and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by end of November 2021.
We also welcome the announcement by the ACT Government (13 October 2021), requiring COVID-19 vaccination for staff working across early childhood settings, ACT primary schools, Out Of School Hours Care, and specialist and flexible education settings that came shortly after our own decision regarding the vaccination requirement.
Gap Fee Waiver for families keeping their children at home
In the ACT, services can make a business decision to waiver the gap fee for families who keep their children at home while there are restrictions to access from the ACT Government. Communities at Work has therefore made the decision to continue to waive the gap fee for absences as follows:
Early learning services gap fees will be waivered until 25 October 2021. Families using early learning services in the ACT can continue to access additional allowable absences until 25 October 2021. This includes Centre Based Day Care, Family Day Care and In-Home Care. From 25 October 2021 usual fees and conditions apply, including gap fees and allowable absences.
Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) gap fees will be waivered until 1 November 2021. Families using OSHC services in the ACT can continue to access additional allowable absences until 1 November 2021. This is to coincide with when the ACT Government allows all primary school-aged children to return to face-to-face teaching. From 1 November 2021 usual fees and conditions apply, including gap fees and allowable absences.
We hope that this decision of waiving gap fees will help families to keep their children enrolled without having to pay for a service they are not using.
Please note that the Gap fee waiver may not be applicable for Family Day Care and In-Home Care families – these families should speak to their educator.
For any questions or concerns, please contact us via the Get in Touch form.