Skip to content

COVID-19 latest information

Two young children enjoying playing on the trampoline with their dad.

Testimonial: "It's so important for us to have the right information to look after the health and wellbeing of our family." - Parent

COVID-19 latest information

Updated 21/09/20

We’ve put together the following information to help you and your family get the support you need during COVID-19.

On this page:

Speaking up for children and families

ACD is speaking up for the needs of children with disability and their families during COVID-19.

We are continuing to speak up for:

  • Extra financial help for carers
  • Training and resources to support infection control at schools and for disability services
  • Students with disability at mainstream schools to be prioritised in the return to on-site learning

For the latest updates, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

Top

Support for children with disability and families

Care and respite

Under the current restrictions, these options are allowed in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria: 

1. In-home care from a relative or friend

A relative or friend can come to your home to help care for your child with disability.

2. Respite care by a relative or friend

Children with disability can go to a relative or friend for respite care, including staying overnight. This needs to be a pre-existing arrangement.

3. Taking your child for a drive to help support complex behaviour

You can leave home and take your child for a drive to escape harm, including harm to themselves. It’s important to use common sense and remember that this should only be done to escape harm and to help support complex behaviour. If you do take your child for a drive, do not stop anywhere unless essential.

Care and compassionate grounds

The options of in-home care, respite and going for a drive to support complex behaviour are all permitted under care and compassionate grounds – providing care and support to a person because of disability. 

Under care and compassionate grounds you can travel during the curfew and travel more than 5km, including between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

You do not need a permit. You do not have to carry evidence of your child’s disability, but you may feel more confident if you have a letter from a GP, therapist or a copy of your child’s NDIS Plan.

For more information

Victorian Government information about travel restrictions and care giving

Victorian Government information about care and compassionate reasons for leaving home

Top

Child care and kinder

In metropolitan Melbourne:

  • From 28 September child care is open
  • From 5 October (first week of Term 4) sessional kinder back to on-site learning

If you are a permitted worker, working from home or outside of the home, and there is no one else available to care for your children, your child can attend child care or kinder. You need to complete an Access to Childcare Permit.

Children experiencing vulnerability, which may include children eligible for the Kindergarten Inclusion Support Scheme (KISS) funding or Commonwealth Inclusion Support, can apply directly to their early childhood service to attend.

Top

School

School holiday programs

Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) holiday programs are open!

In metropolitan Melbourne they are open for children whose parents are permitted workers working outside the home, vulnerable children and children with disability whose families are experiencing severe stress. In Regional Victoria they are open to any child with a disability.

Speak with the OSHC program at your child’s school to find out more.

Term 4

In metropolitan Melbourne:

  • From 5 October (first week of Term 4) remote and flexible learning for all students
  • From 12 October (second week of Term 4) all Prep, Grade 1, Grade 2, Year 11 and 12 students and Special Schools return to on-site learning
  • Students in Grades 3 to 10 at mainstream schools will continue with remote learning
  • On-site attendance is available for students of permitted workers and vulnerable students, which includes students with disability whose families are experiencing severe stress

In regional Victoria:

  • From 5 October (first week of Term 4) all students return to on-site learning

For more information

Students should have modified learning tasks and personalised support if they are at home or at school.

How we can help you

Our Support Line is also able to help you to advocate for your child. To speak with our Support Line email acdsupport@acd.org.au with the best day and time we can call you back.

Top

NDIS

During COVID-19, the NDIA has made changes to how NDIS Plans can be used. Think about what services would best support your child and family. This might include:

  • Having Support Workers come to your home
  • Using telehealth for therapy appointments
  • Purchasing a device or fitness equipment for your child

For all the options read our fact sheets on:

Support Workers

Support Workers who provide support that ensures health, safety and wellbeing are an essential service. Support Workers will need to carry a worker permit. This will be provided by your service provider or online matching service.

Support Workers can:

  • Provide support in your home, including during the curfew
  • Assist with exercise (no more than one hour, within 5km of your home)
  • Support your child’s disability-related needs while they are learning from home
  • Travel more than 5km to work

Costs of PPE

NDIS providers in Victoria who deliver essential daily living supports can now directly claim the costs of PPE from the NDIA. Providers can claim $1.70 per hour of support delivered in the Activities of Daily Life Support Category to cover the cost of PPE.

How to change your child’s Plan

Speak with your Support Co-ordinator, Local Area Co-ordinator or Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Co-ordinator.

If your local contact is not aware of what changes can be made, contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and select Option 5 for the special COVID-19 Planners. The NDIS Contact Centre is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday.

Our Support Line is also able to help you advocate for your child. To speak with our Support Line, email acdsupport@acd.org.au with the best day and time we can call you back.

For more information

The NDIA has released a COVID-19 information pack for Victorian families and carers of school aged NDIS participants.

NDIS Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and support

You can also find NDIS information and resources on the Every Australian Counts website.

Top

Protecting your child and family

  • Check the current restriction levels in Victoria
  • COVID-19 testing is free and available across Victoria – if you or your child have any symptoms, get tested. In-home testing is now available for people with disability who cannot get to a testing site. Call the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 and select option 9 to see if you are eligible for this service. If you need a translator, call the hotline and press zero when prompted
  • The Royal Children’s Hospital has COVID-19 health information in English and community languages
  • All Victorians aged 12 and over must wear a face covering when they leave home but there are some exceptions for people with disability
  • You may be able to buy masks and PPE using the Core budget in your child’s NDIS Plan
  • When you have Support Workers or relatives assisting with care in your home, everyone except children under 12 should wear a face covering. Here is the latest PPE advice for Disability Support Workers. Wash and sanitise hands regularly, wipe down high-touch points, stay 1.5m apart where possible and let each other know if you are feeling unwell, have had close contact with a COVID case or if you test positive for COVID-19

Top

Taking care of yourself

If you start to feel overwhelmed, talking about it early can help. Support is available over the phone and online:

Parentline 13 22 89
LifeLine 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
1800Respect 1800 737 732
safe steps Family Violence Response Centre 1800 015 188

Top

Easy English and social stories

Top

Read more about our information and resources.