Early Childhood Education and Care News
March 9, 2021
Welcome, this week how early education services can prevent gastro and how to respond in the event of an outbreak. Also, three strategies for addressing the staff retention crisis in early education.
Gastro: The prevention strategies you need to know about
South Australian early childhood centres have seen a spike in cases of viral gastroenteritis (viral diarrhoea) – there were at least 17 outbreaks in December compared with just four in November.

The alarming surge has promoted a SA Health alert for families to keep affected children at home and for centres to practice good hand hygiene.

The Government of South Australia's SA Health website has provided the following tips for dealing with gastroenteritis:
Staff retention crisis: 3 things that need to change
Finding – and keeping – quality early educators has long been a challenge in Australian child care. The pandemic has only exacerbated the situation; staff are departing the industry in droves, leaving child care centres across Australia facing serious staff shortages.

"Many child care workers across Australia left when parents started pulling their children out of childcare due to the pandemic, especially casuals not eligible for JobKeeper. And when the federal government introduced its temporary free childcare package, centres struggled to get the staff back," said Jen Jackson, Program Director at the Centre for Policy Development and Associate Professor of Education at Victoria University's Mitchell Institute, in an article she recently wrote for The Conversation.
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