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School, preschool, OSHC and vacation care operations

(This page was last updated 18 January 2022).

The Department for Education has developed a staged return to school and preschool for the first 2 weeks of 2022.

This plan has been developed in partnership with SA Health and attempts to balance every child’s learning entitlement with safety and risk management concerns.

See the start of term 1, 2022 page for more information. 

Vaccination in education and early childhood settings

The Emergency Management (Education and Early Childhood Settings Vaccination) (COVID-19) Direction 2021 requires that, from 11 December 2021, all persons working in a South Australian Education or Early Childhood setting must:

  • have received at least 1 dose of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved COVID-19 vaccine, by 10 December 2021; and
  • have received, or have evidence of a booking to receive, a second dose of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine within the interval after the first dose recommended by the ATAGI for that COVID-19 vaccine; or
  • have completed a course (being 1 dose or 2 doses in accordance with the schedule recommended by ATAGI) of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised COVID-19 vaccine.

For detailed information see the COVID-19 Vaccination requirements for Education and Early Childhood settings frequently asked questions.

Site operations

The Department for Education provides schools, preschools, children’s centres and OSHC providers with advice to manage the impact of COVID-19.

COVID safe measures mean some school and preschool activities may need to operate differently. The department recognises that there is no one size fits all approach as every school and preschool is different.

Principals and directors are best placed to make local decisions and have the discretion to adjust activities and operations according to the requirements of their school, preschool or children’s centre with support from the department.  

Face masks in schools, preschools and children’s centres

Face masks are:

  • required for all adults (including visitors), except when teaching or interacting with children
  • required for students in years 7 to 12
  • strongly recommended for students in years 3 to 6.

Exemptions will be made for students or staff who have a medical condition, such as problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability, or a mental health condition.

Mask supplies

Supplies of surgical masks have been sent to all public children’s centres, preschools and schools.

Visit SA Health's website for guidance on how to wear a face mask and disposal of face masks.

List of Support Services

Maintaining your wellbeing at this time of uncertainty is very important.

Some useful links include:

Stay informed

More information

Visit www.covid-19.sa.gov.au  for the most up to date information from South Australian government agencies about COVID-19.

You can call the South Australia COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

Follow us on Facebook for latest advice: Department for Education, South Australia Facebook page .

COVID-19 (coronavirus) Team

Emaileducation.covidcoordination [at] sa.gov.au