Goodstart enacts comprehensive plan as head office closes to manage COVID 19
Australia’s largest provider of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, Goodstart Early Learning, was forced to close their head office in Brisbane earlier this week, after an employee tested positive for COVID 19.
Moving more than 300 people to a work from home model, whilst still ensuring that all services around Australia remain supported is no small achievement. The Sector reached out to Goodstart CEO, Julia Davison, to learn more about the preparation and planning which has gone into ensuring a successful transition that meets the health and wellbeing needs of head office staff, while retaining care and support for children, families and educators around the country.
Goodstart began planning for the impacts of COVID-19 in January, Ms Davison said, when it “became clear that our organisation, our people and our families were likely to be facing a very difficult time.”
Touching on the supply shortages which have gripped the Australian market, Ms Davison said the Goodstart procurement team were “working with suppliers to ensure our teams continue to have what they need to offer families a safe and hygienic environment so their children don’t miss out on early learning during this time.”
In terms of protecting the needs of the ECEC workforce, Goodstart is involved with discussions at state and federal levels, alongside others in the ECEC sector, to ensure there are ways to keep the sector viable in the event that the impact of COVID-19 worsens.
“Our sector employs hundreds of thousands of educators in nearly every Australian community and we want to work with Government to ensure we can keep those educators in work and have a strong sector that can support the economy to bounce back,” Ms Davison said.
The ECEC sector is perhaps now more important than ever, she added, noting that Goodstart educators play a vital role in educating and caring for the children of essential services staff such as those working in hospitals, supply chains and other emergency response positions.
“We will work with governments to help ensure these workers can access safe early learning and care for their children while they are working hard caring for Australians impacted by COVID-19” Ms Davison assured.
“After the crisis, the nation’s economy and every single local community will need a strong early learning sector to support families with education and care as workplaces return to normal and we are hoping to hear more from the Federal Government on their plans to secure the nation’s early learning sector” she said in closing.
To remain connected with current developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, as they relate to ECEC, please see here.