Better ventilation for Victoria’s kindergartens to reduce risk post lockdown
Better ventilation measures will be put in place for funded kindergarten programs in Victoria to reduce the risk posed by COVID-19 as service delivery returns to normal post lockdown.
Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt announced more than $7.5 million worth of grants to improve ventilation in around 1,700 Victorian not-for-profit kindergarten services last week, with each grant worth $4,500.
Eligible services will be sent an email where they simply opt-in for the grant ─ which can be spent on ventilation and air purification enhancements as well as small-scale building works like adding or replacing windows and installing outdoor shade structures to increase learning outside.
Funding became available from Monday 18 October and is open to all Victorian not-for-profit funded sessional and long day care providers offering a funded three or four-year-old kindergarten program.
Many Victorian early childhood education and care services can already create environments with good ventilation through opening windows and doors, and using existing outdoor learning spaces to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. Air purification is also an important measure for spaces where there may be limited ability to increase ventilation, such as kitchens or staff areas, the Minister noted.
The announcement follows the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s directions that vaccination is a requirement of work in an early childhood setting. All workers in early childhood settings must have a first dose by 25 October, with full vaccination required by 29 November unless a medical exemption applies.
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