11 AugELAA CEO update – 11 August 2020

Posted on 11 Aug 2020

Dear members,

I hope you, your families and your sector colleagues are healthy and well, despite the challenges provided by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Amidst the uncertainty created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I’d like to thank the entire early childhood education and care sector for their tireless efforts, patience and commitment to supporting families, children and each other in what continues to be a rapidly changing environment.  Everyone has played a positive role and I wanted to individually acknowledge:

  • parent committees for your ability to step up your volunteer efforts
  • Early Years Managers for coordinating so much activity across multiple sites
  • the Victorian Government for responding so quickly to requests for funding from ELAA
  • the Victorian Department of Education and Training for their supportive efforts and ongoing clarification of policy and funding information
  • other sector peaks for your collaborative advocacy support
  • unions for working in partnership with peaks, employers and staff on workplace relations matters.

There are two other groups of people I would like to acknowledge in more detail.  Firstly, teachers and educators at the front line of service delivery.  The support that you provide families and their children has never been more important and your continued professionalism and capacity to react and adjust to new ways of working has been so impressive.  On behalf of ELAA’s Board and staff, I’d like to say a massive thank you.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge my wonderful team at ELAA.  Together, we have worked really hard to support the sector and each other and I’m really proud of the results we’ve achieved.  Recently, we have:

  • secured ongoing funding for kindergarten services from the Victorian Government for Term 3, as well as additional funding for heightened cleaning services (as opposed to ‘deep’ or ‘infectious’ cleans
  • we also surveyed members about their experiences of ‘deep’ or ‘infectious’ cleans and then made representations to Vic DET about the high costs involved. In response Vic DET will now provide funding of $1,500 for each kindergarten room in the event that it requires a ‘deep’ or ‘infectious’ clean
  • ELAA also recently made Vic DET aware that services have encountered a variety of experiences when required to close due to a positive COVID case. New arrangements are now in place where DHHS will assign a case manager to guide services through the process of closing, contact tracing, deep clean and re-opening
  • worked in partnership with other sector peaks to secure funding to hopefully ensure services funded by the child care subsidy can maintain up to 80% of their revenue
  • released regular member updates and maintained a comprehensive suite of frequently asked questions clarifying detail around policy and funding announcements
  • developed and shared new member resources supporting the sector with practical and relevant tools
  • conducted regular live online forums with high ranking DET representatives and ELAA specialists to help address provider queries through COVID-19.

Between fire, floods and now a pandemic, 2020 is the kind of year that nobody expected.  Despite this, we’ve rallied around one another to do the very best we can to respond.  That response has been tough at times, but we will collectively reach the other side of these challenges stronger and more resilient than ever.  Finally, remember that the response to the pandemic is looking like a marathon and not a sprint – please take the time to look after your physical and mental health long term.

Sincerely,

David Worland

CEO ELAA

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