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School, preschool, OSHC and vacation care operations during COVID-19 restrictions

(This page was last updated 22 February 2021).

Public schools and preschools are open

Your child should attend school or preschool as normal unless your child:

  • is self-isolating as directed by SA Health
  • is waiting for results of a COVID-19 test
  • has a chronic health condition and is not able to attend school on advice from their medical practitioner
  • is unwell.

Schools will continue to provide support for students who:

  • have a chronic health condition or compromised immune system and are not able to attend school on advice from their medical practitioner
  • live in a household with others that are deemed vulnerable to COVID-19 and are not able to attend school on advice of their medical practitioner.

A medical certificate and permission to share relevant information with the medical practitioner must be provided to the school in these situations.

This will help the school work with families to best support the child to continue their learning.

School, preschool and corporate events and gatherings are allowed under current health advice, so long as measures are in place to ensure it is COVID-19 safe.

Decisions will be based on:

  • SA Health and department advice
  • local circumstances.

We appreciate your understanding during this challenging time.

OSHC, and vacation care COVID-19 advice

This information is for OSHC and vacation care service providers during holiday periods. 

Services should make sure they remain alert for any updates to this information.

Physical distancing and density requirements

The current room density requirements of 1 person per 2sqm does not apply for out of school hours (OSHC) services. However all adults must comply, wherever possible, with the 1.5m physical distancing. See SA Health's what is social or physical distancing?

OSHC services are encouraged to request parents to:

  • maintain 1.5 metres between themselves and other adults
  • minimise their time at the service
  • collect their child outside the service, if safe to do so.

Preventing illness

Personal hygiene and the hygiene standards in our OSHC services are critical to reducing the risk of infection.

All children and staff must be encouraged to:

  • wash their hands regularly, particularly after using the toilet and before eating
  • stay home if they are unwell to avoid spreading infections to others
  • cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue.

Get tested if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if the symptoms are mild.

OSHC or vacation care services operating on Department for Education sites

For more information about suppliers of sanitiser or if you have a critical shortage, please speak to the site leader.

All schools and preschools have been provided with and should now be using a QR code specific to their site. 

All adults, including staff and parents, are expected to COVID-Safe check in when entering classrooms or buildings on site. At this stage it’s not necessary to check in at the school gate to enter school grounds.

Please also provide a paper recording sheet for people without smart phones


Excursions can continue provided that they comply with state directions. Check with the venue you’re visiting to make sure they’re open and accepting OSHC groups.

Services visiting or using a public venue should be clear on their responsibilities and obligations to ensure COVID-19 safe practices. The service is encouraged to ask for a copy of the venue or operator’s COVID-Safe or COVID Management Plan.

Swimming excursions

Swimming lessons or other activities at public swimming pools can continue.

There are caps on the density and number of people per pool, so please check with the pool manager if you’ve booked a large number of children to attend swimming or aquatic activities.

Additional cleaning arrangements

Services should maintain rigorous routine cleaning of hard surfaces, toys and other resources, as well as regular cleaning of the service.  

OSHC and vacation care services operating on Department for Education sites

All schools should enact their normal cleaning protocols during the holidays for admin areas, vacation care and OSHC facilities (whether OSHC third party provider or governing council services).

The department will fund additional cleaning in response to COVID–19 (minimum hours clean between 10.00am to 2.00pm) for admin areas and OSHC facilities if required. Contact your school principal if you have questions about additional holiday cleaning arrangements. 

Protocol for temporary site closure due to COVID-19

If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified in a staff member, student or child attending vacation care or OSHC, the Department for Education will enact its protocols and follow SA Health advice.

Contact will be made with the service and the relevant site contact person. Further instruction will be given by SA Health.

The service should make sure that they have:

  • current email addresses and mobile phone numbers for staff, parents and carers of all children as well as the children’s emergency contact details
  • a site visitor’s log that includes the mobile number of any visitors to the site
  • an accurate attendance record. 

If a service temporarily closes they should:

  • notify the Australian Government via their third party software
  • contact the Education Standards Board to discuss options for maintaining continuity of service for families
  • notify the Education Standards Board through the NQAITS Portal.

For information about the Australian Government Child Care Subsidy when there is a service closure, see COVID-19 information for the early childhood education and care sector.

Fair Work Australia provides information about rights and responsibilities of employers and employees affected by COVID-19.

OSHC and vacation care services operating on Department for Education sites

The protocol for temporary site closure applies to OSHC and vacation care services.

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