ACT Government mandates COVID-19 vaccination for ECEC professionals
The ACT Government will require full vaccination against COVID-19 for certain staff working across early childhood settings, ACT primary schools, out of school hours care and specialist and flexible education settings no later than 29 November 2021.
This direction will cover staff including teachers, early childhood educators, learning and support staff, administrative staff (including building services and general services staff), canteen workers and cleaners who are in direct contact with children, as well as allied health professionals who regularly attend relevant schools. Students on placement at certain education settings will also be included in the requirement.
Under the Chief Health Officer direction, first-dose vaccination will be required by no later than 1 November 2021 and second dose by no later than 29 November 2021.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said that the decision to require vaccination is supported by the best advice on how to support the return of face-to-face learning for children who are not yet eligible for a vaccination.
“We already know through staff surveys and the total population vaccination rates that we have exceptionally high levels of vaccination in these settings,” Chief Minister Barr said.
“However, given that children under the age of 12 will be unvaccinated as school starts to return – the strong advice is that all possible measures need to be taken to surround these children with vaccinated people.”
Consultation with staff and union representatives in relation to the implementation of the public health direction will begin shortly, ACT Minister for Education and Youth Affairs and Minister for Early Childhood Development Yvette Berry said.
“The Chief Health Officer has guided us through this pandemic, and it’s important that we keep following the expert health advice about how to reduce risk for those who can’t be vaccinated yet,” she added.
Further information, including the other COVID-safe measures being put in place in ACT schools, can be found on the ACT Education Directorate website.