Council’s eight kindergartens will reopen for term 2 next week with some modifications due to the current coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Four year old kindergarten sessions will resume on Thursday 16 April and will be free for the term following the announcement of a Victorian Government support package for the sector.
The funding will support kindergarten programs and jobs and will ensure that children can continue to access education opportunities, especially the children of essential workers and those who are vulnerable.
Term 2 will begin with two pupil-free days, as a planned pupil-free day in May has been moved forward to Tuesday 14 April and an additional pupil-free day has been scheduled for Wednesday 15 April. Staff will use these days to plan a new kindergarten program for the term and exploring models for delivering remote learning.
Chief Executive Officer, Margot Stork said all kindergartens would reopen, however it was understood some parents may choose to keep children at home.
“We’d like to assure parents that we will hold the places for any registered child whether the child attends kindergarten in term 2 or not,” Ms Stork said.
As well as four year old sessions (15 hours per week), Council provides three year old kindergarten programs (2.5 hours per week). Due to a drop in attendance last term, and the likelihood attendance numbers will be low this term, Council will not run three year old kindergarten programs in term 2.
“Families of registered three year old children who would like their children to attend kindergarten should contact the Early Years unit to discuss their needs,” Ms Stork said. “We may be able to accommodate some of these children within our four year old kindergarten programs in term 2.”
There will be no students on placements, parent helpers, excursions, incursions, face-to-face meetings with parents or parent committee meetings until further notice. Parents should contact staff members via phone during term 2 should they wish to discuss their child’s progress.