The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation advocating for the future of Australia's children.
We work on behalf of long day care owners and operators to ensure families and their children have an opportunity to access affordable, high quality early learning services throughout Australia.


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ACA advocating that early learning sector should be a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination in Australia

With the estimation that a safe and effective vaccine for Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be available in Australia from early 2021, the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) commenced discussions with the Australian Government in December 2020, to seek their support regarding the prioritisation of the vaccine to specific groups.

 

ACA believes that Australia’s early childhood educators must be included in the list of priority groups for COVID-10 vaccination in Australia.

 

As per the conditions set out by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) which describe the high priority groups, early childhood educators work in a setting with increased risk of exposure through their frequent contact with the children and their families, as well as with high transmission potential, given the difficulty in social distancing with young children.


The Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector has long been recognised by the Department of Health in the Immunisation Handbook, as being one of the sectors on the frontline at high risk of various vaccine-preventable diseases. The handbook recommends that people working in the sector should be up to date with routinely recommended vaccines for adults.

 

Additionally the ECEC sector has been deemed as an essential service, with early childhood educators now classed as essential workers.

 

New research from the Australian National University (ANU) indicates that Australians rank those working in the early learning sector to be in the “top ten” first groups which should receive an effective vaccine once developed, alongside paramedics, those who care for the aged or disabled, registered nurses, nursing support workers, doctors, and primary school teachers.

 

These findings show that Australians think that people who are working on the frontline of healthcare need to be vaccinated first, something which ANU Professor Nicholas Biddle says “makes perfect sense when you consider where most of our second wave of COVID-19 infections have come from and that these are the professionals who are directly dealing with the aftermath of this pandemic on a daily basis.”

 

ACA will keep members informed as any updates on this topic come to hand. 

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