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COVIDSafe settings guidance for early childhood education and care

Advice and guidance for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services

The ECEC COVIDSafe Settings Guide is our sector’s source of timely and accurate guidance for services to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission within an ECEC environment. Download the ECEC COVIDSafe Settings Guide (DOCExternal Link )


Rapid antigen test (RAT) screening in ECEC

Staff and children who have symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or a runny nose) are strongly recommended to stay home and test for COVID-19.


COVID-19 vaccination guidance for ECEC and OSHC staff

Staff in early childhood services are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend work on-site.

While no longer mandated, individual services will continue to have the choice to require their staff to be vaccinated. This is a decision that can be made at a local level based on the requirements of each service.


Ensuring adequate ventilation is one of the most effective measures to keep ECEC safe.

Managing COVID-19 cases in ECEC

Where a child or staff member has attended the service while infectious, the following steps are recommended to be taken consistent with approach for other infectious diseases:

Centre-based services

  • Notify a parent or an authorised emergency contact of each child being educated and cared for by the service as soon as practicable; and
  • Post a notice stating that there has been an occurrence of COVID-19 at the premises.

An ECEC provider or nominated supervisor should notify the department through the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS) only if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the service (5 or more cases within a 7-day period) or if the service is to be closed.

Family Day Care (FDC) services

FDC services should take the steps above for centre-based services. In addition if an FDC educator or a person living in the residence has tested positive to COVID-19, it is recommended that the FDC does not operate at that residence for a period of 5 days.

More resources

Reviewed 01 November 2022

Coronavirus Victoria

Coronavirus Hotline

Call the Coronavirus Hotline if you need help to report a rapid antigen test (RAT) or if you have any questions about COVID-19.

The Victorian Coronavirus Hotline diverts to the National Coronavirus Helpline every night between 4pm and 9am.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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