The views and opinions expressed in this article and video are those of the authors. Please use the World Health Organisation or Department of Health to stay up to date on the COVID-19 pandemic. Please also note that with the changing nature of this situation, some of what was communicated may only be relevant during the time it was stated.


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Any updates on eligibility for the Job keeper payment? 

This is our official position right now. Lets watch our CEO’s recorded statement from last Friday. 

 What I can add is this: 

 If, agency casuals are eligible, then it will come down to meeting the criteria of a long term casual. This is (and I am quoting the JobKeeper legislation directly): 

(5)  An individual is a long term casual employee of an entity at a time if: 

                     (a)  at that time, the individual was a casual employee of the entity; and 

                     (b)  the individual had been employed by the entity on a regular and systematic basis during the period of 12 months that ended at that time. 

 There are then unanswered questions as to what constitutes ‘regular and systematic basis’ as well as the 12 month period. 


How can we protect ourselves if we have to work with the one who has brought with COVID-19 without any sign?

Do the COVID –19 training that is being provided, follow the governments advise on prevention. 


Work availability

At the moment there are roles available in more regional locations. For example, I am working on a role an hour from Byron Bay. People will need to be more flexible when looking for work. When more temp and perm roles become available the centres will have more choice. Therefore, you need to ensure you are doing everything in your power by being more flexible and reliable when the work does become available. We are in regular contact with our clients and will keep you up to date when works start becoming available more frequently. 


Update on re-opening of schools

This is an early childhood specific webinar but I will answer this one as the situation is similar for kindergartens and OSHC services.  

Schools are currently open in most states. However, not all children are attending. Recently the NSW department of education has announced a planned scaled approach to have all children returned to school by term 3. At this point, as long as the COVID-19 situation improves we anticipate schools will be back with the majority of children by term 3. 

Long daycare which normally makes up around 70% of the early childhood work is in a similar but slightly different situation. – I will explain the new funding model. 


I want to work with ANZUK for at least 4 days. What do I need to do?  And what are the conditions?

At this stage, unfortunately, we don’t have 4 days a week available. Ensure all your documents and availability is up to date for when work does become available.


I cannot imagine myself coming back to work, as I feel lazy and tired from sitting. how I come to work for 7 or 8 hours?

If you are feeling Lazy and tired? My advice would be to try and keep busy still, have a routine. Go on a walk in the morning, do exercise in your home or outside in the park. Keep healthy maybe even cook some new healthy foods etc. Once work becomes available, I would hope this will help you and you won’t feel lazy. There will be more educators and less work, therefore you will need to ensure you go above and beyond when going out for work. This will encourage the service to re-book you for future work. 


What is the current occupancy rate at kindergartens in Melbourne?

It is dependent on the service, so not every kindergarten is the same. Most are open for essential children, but the majority of their children are doing at home learning via activity packs and video correspondence from their teachers and educators. 


When will the permanent job market pick up and what will it look like when it does happen? 

It’s difficult to say when the job market is likely to pick up. A lot of that depends on factors out with any of our control. Some people will go back to their current employers once occupancy picks up while those looking for a job or out of a job I imagine when it does happen it will look very different to the job market we have just left at least in the initial stages. Before it was us putting one or two candidates forward for two or three jobs and seeing what best for the candidate. I believe it may have gone 360 where it will be 3 or 4 candidates going forward for one job so its really important that candidates are flexible, that they have prepared for the interview to give themselves the best chance as competition will be high in those initial months.  I imagine the casual job market will bounce back first as services may not want to take the financial risks of hiring somebody straight away. Therefore, being flexible, accepting shifts will give you a great opportunity to be the first in the door to impress so the roles potentially don’t get advertised.


For casual educators, would there be any chance to get a shift in a short period of time from now?

It is impossible to tell, we have never experienced a situation like this before so it is very difficult to predict what is coming next. I would say it is unlikely there will be shifts available in the immediate future. It is not impossible, and we have seen a couple of sparse bookings come through here and there, and there has been slow increases week on week, so we are heading in the right direction. But again, it is nowhere near enough to create regular work for casual educators during this time.  


My CPR is overdue on 24/04, my school class is not available yet, what should I do?

Similarly, I did have a long daycare that we work with enquiring about first aid courses. I did a little bit of research and there are still some courses running for the HLTAID004. I am happy to look into just the CPR update for you though, but I do believe if you could get the full course, it is likely you will be able to get the 001 as well. If it isn’t possible,we may also be able to talk to our services, some may be flexible on the requirements for CPR during this period. However, that is completely up to the discretion of the service.   


Update on Job Keeper. How do I notify you if I have a new job?

If you are working casually via another agency or another employer you just need to speak to your consultant and let them know when you are not available. However, everyone in the early childhood space is in the same situation. Agencies are a service business and by registering with more agencies the service you receive is likely to be lower and won’t necessarily mean more work for you. Also, while anzuk consultants are still working, many consultants from other agencies are not because the companies have chosen to stand them down to save money while there is no revenue.  


What should I do if I am not eligible for job seeker payment? 

This is a difficult one to answer as I don’t know everyone’s individuals’ circumstances. It could be that this is from a student or working holidaymaker. What I would suggest is that potentially it may be time to look at other options. For example, there are jobs helping supermarkets. And potentially nannying could be an option. It may not be ideal, but we are not in an ideal time. I’m, not from Australian so I can certainly sympathise. I think the main thing is to be flexible, take whatever work you can. I know when I first arrived, I was washing dishes in a restaurant as that’s all I could find. A few of my friends have gone out to do their farm work and now would be a great time to do that and get your second year. When I did mine Melbourne was rocking and I was on a farm with no phone signal so at least if you try and get some farm work now you can kill two birds with the one stone. Get your second year Visa and also not be missing out on social functions with your friends here as none of that will be happening.


First day at first job, what are casual staffs responsibilities and duties

Even during this period, your responsibilities and duties as an educator remain the same. To support the permanent staff within the service, try to arrive at least 15 minutes early, ask about fire safety plans, any children that may have allergies or anaphylaxis etc. You must still be actively supervising and engaging with children as normal, and preforming the roles asked of you by the permanent staff members. 


When can I get back to work?

If we already have your reference’s, and other documents and you are set up on our system as soon as work becomes available, we can send you out to work. It is hard to predict when more work will become available, but we will keep you up to date and are in regular contact with our clients.  


OSHC work availability

Like any other area at the moment, the work is very scarce in OSHC services. Most are either not running or have extremely reduced numbers and therefore do not require agency support. Like work in kindergartens and long daycares though, this work will pick up again in the future, we just have to be patient and we will call you for those shifts as soon as they become available again.


What would be the likelihood of OSHC and Holiday Program work becoming more available in the next 3-6 months? 

OSHC and Holiday program work is largely dependent on schools being open. Therefore my answer previously around schools getting back to normal is most relevant. 


Do casual relief teachers have to sign in “Ready 2 work” from the next week?

Signing in to Ready 2 Work is not a mandatory requirement for educators. The reason we use that tool is for times like the current though. So we do prioritize educators for shifts that have used that tool, because it shows us that they are awake and using their phones, and actively looking for a shift today. We call those educators, because we are more likely to fill the shift ASAP, rather than calling 5 or so people before someone answers.


e-learning & up-skilling

 There are a number of options for eLearning. Please keep an eye on the anzuk events and PD page of our website as we have been running free courses each week. We have a planned launch of an LMS (Learning Management System) on Friday. So pending any technical issues, this will expand this also. On top of this, many training organizations and Tafes are running free or very low-cost training.