COVID safe guidelines at our early learning centres

As Victoria emerges from the ongoing lockdowns there has been an increase in COVID-19 exposures within our communities. We want to remind families that the safety and wellbeing of each individual within our centres is paramount at all times, which is why we have strict protocols and measures in place throughout our centres. Our commitment to safety and hygiene remains vigilant which is why we promise to adhere to the Y Covid safe commitments at all times, see below.

  • To assist us in keeping children in our centres COVID-Safe we ask that:
  • All adults who attend our sites must check in using the Service Victoria QR code.
  • All adults must wear a mask at all times at drop-off and pick-up.
  • Access to families will be restricted to no indoor access or the centres foyer/entrance only, with staff collecting and dropping off children within these spaces.
  • Notify our staff if anyone in your family has been unwell or recently tested.
  • Maintain physical distancing, keep at least 1.5 metres away from others.
  • Practice good hygiene of handwashing for at least 20 seconds and sanitising when entering and exiting any locations.
  • If you, your child, or a family member develops symptoms of a fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell or taste, you should get tested at a coronavirus (COVID-19) testing facility and stay home.

The Y COVID safe commitments

YMCA Victoria agrees to operate following all required Government guidelines for sectors and workplaces. Under current Government requirements we adhere to the following conditions:

  • Rules and Awareness

    All staff, volunteers, visitors and patrons will be required to adhere to the following rules to ensure our communities safety at every YMCA facility

    • check in to via the Government QR code for contract tracing
    • Children attendance recorded in QikKids
    • if required by current government guideline will be required to wear a mask, unless they have a lawful exception.
    • follow all current social distancing requirements within the facility and during programs.
    • ensure good hygiene practices are abided by throughout the facility and during programs.
    • comply with the government vaccination directions when attending facilities and programs.
  • Signage and instructions

    Throughout each Facility you will find signage and instructions on how staff and customers can be COVIDSafe.

    Government QR Code signage throughout all facilities
    Hygiene signage and floor, seat and bench decals have been installed to assist with distancing as well as venue density signage to be posted at entry and throughout facility. 

  • Covid-19 Vaccinations

    All facilities will comply with COVID-19 Vaccination requirements as directed by their government authority.

    The Y will provide staff opportunity to attend vaccination appointments and access vaccination information. 

  • Training for staff
    All staff have completed the Department of Health COVID-safe training, as well as additional training provided by YMCA Victoria to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge to keep you safe. We have also provided additional training for specific roles to ensure all programs operate safely with venue density requirements in place.
  • Increased hygiene and cleaning

    You will notice we have hand sanitiser stations at entry/exit, in high touch point areas and areas of high traffic, with the expectation that everyone (staff and visitors) regularly sanitises their hands.

    The entire centre is cleaned regularly and in line with current requirements high touch points, such as doors, toilets and equipment, will be cleaned at minimum twice a day.

    Staff will also be wiping down equipment regularly and antibacterial wipes will be available for visitors to use before and after using equipment.

  • Venue density requirements

    Shared spaces and publicly accessible areas

    • Venue density as per state government requirements in shared space (i.e. reception, staff room etc.) – Excludes children in a Early Learning setting
    • Hygiene and venue density signage to be posted at entry and through out facility
    • Hand sanitiser stations at in high touch point areas and areas of high traffic
    • Touch points (i.e including toilets, door handles and handrails) are cleaned at least twice on any given day as per Government required, including recording of touchpoint cleaning (E-Water provided)
    • Facility clean at the end of each day (i.e. Work surfaces to be cleaned by contracted cleaners)
    • Space seating to enhance social distancing as required
  • Process for a confirmed case
    If a centre is notified of a positive case during service, children will need to be retrieved as soon as possible and the centre may need to be closed overnight for a comprehensive clean. If closed, the closure may be extended if we receive notice of further confirmed cases who have attended the centre in recent days.

    You will be contacted via email if your child has attended on the day on an exposure. Our teams will work to identify anyone who may have been in close contact with the confirmed case. Once this review is complete, we will make direct contact with families who have been identified as a potential primary close contacts via a phone call and email.

    During these instances we assure you that YMCA Victoria completes all reporting actions required by the Department of Health (DH), the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the local public health unit (LPHU). We will remain in contact with these organisations throughout this period.
  • Payments throughout closures/isolation

    Payments for closure periods:

    If our centre is closed due to a COVID-19 exposure there will not be any charges passed on to families for the period of our centre closure or for the duration of your child having to isolate. In order for the YMCA to continue to collect Child Care Subsidy payments during this time, your permanent bookings will remain in place, but the gap fee amount will be waived.

    Payments due to isolation:

     As children under 12 years are not yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they will need to complete 14 days of isolation if identified as a Primary Close Contact (PCC). Children identified as PCC’s will not be able to return to the centre until they have completed their 14 days isolation.

    The YMCA is able to waive the gap fee if a child is unable to attend care because:

    • They, or a member of their immediate household, must isolate due to COVID-19. In this situation, families must provide evidence that they are required to isolate (such as an SMS or app notification) to the centre for the gap fee waiver to apply
    • The centre, or room at the service, is closed on advice from the state government due to COVID-19
    • The state has restricted access to child care in a region due to COVID-19. This applies from the first day the restrictions are in force.

As information, recommendations and restrictions about the Covid-19 pandemic is changing rapidly this document will be adjusted when possible and necessary. However, due the changes occurring quickly, it is possible for measures listed to be outdated. Therefore, please be aware that these measures were accurate as of November 10, 2021.

The YMCA is also aware that guidelines for children, especially in an education setting can differ to guidelines for the rest of the community. Therefore, some measures in YMCA Victoria facilities listed in this document deemed to be unnecessary for children may be altered or removed to reflect this.

Please be aware that the YMCA Victoria endeavours to keep up to date with all measures recommended by the government and relevant health authorities