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First day of school: COVID-safe rules for parents updated

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First day of school
Parents of Kindergarten students will be able to share the first-day milestone with their children under COVID guidelines released today

First day of school COVID guidelines have been updated, and we’re thrilled to announce that parents will be allowed to enter the schoolyard to say ‘goodbye’ to their kindergarten child on that special first day.


The first day of school for kindy kids is a milestone day, and thanks to COVID restrictions, many of us worried whether we’d even be allowed to wave our babies off at the door as they headed off to big school. But today’s announcement from the NSW Department of Education means parents of Kindergarten students will be able to share the first-day milestone with their children under new COVID guidelines.

You can celebrate the day with our Free Printables for First Day of Preschool, Childcare & School 2021 (pictured above).

More on first day of school COVID rules:

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the main update to the guidelines was that parents and carers of children in Kindergarten, and Years 1, 2 and 7 would be able to enter school grounds on the first day to drop off their children in a COVID-safe way. She says:

“The first day of school is an incredibly important day, especially for those children starting Kindergarten. I am so thrilled that despite the challenges of the pandemic, parents and carers will be able to take part in this milestone event in their child’s life in a COVID-safe way. The NSW Government has worked hard to get the balance right for day one of school to ensure we provide a sense of normalcy whilst keeping people safe. Parents and carers attending on day one and beyond are urged to follow COVID-safe practices, which include physical distancing, hygiene practices and not to mingle in or outside the school.” – Sarah Mitchell, Minister for Education

Schools would provide relevant information to families about the processes for their school prior to the first day.

Parents, staff and students are not required to wear face masks at school, but in line with Public Health Orders, masks must be worn by those aged 12 years and over on any public transport.

Similarly, students aged 12 and over must comply with the Public Health Orders around masks at all other relevant locations within the community, and also during external school activities.

Parents are asked to avoid coming on to school grounds unless the visit complies with the current school guidelines, such as volunteering at the school canteen or visiting the uniform shop.

Schools can still plan for sporting carnivals, excursions and overnight camps, and special events such as concerts, with a COVID Safety Plan in place.

Materials and support for planning are available online to schools and their school families.

North Shore Mums respond to new kindy rules

All four members of the North Shore Mums team have children starting kindergarten, and for us, the news is a huge relief. Here’s how we’re feeling today!

Rachel Chappell, Founder and Publisher: “Ever since Covid first hit, that first day at school for my youngest daughter has been a worry at the back of my mind. It’s such a huge milestone, and I would have been absolutely devastated if I couldn’t take her to her classroom on the first day of kindy, like I’ve done with my two other daughters. I’m just so relieved that we finally have confirmation that we can take them into school! She did so well being dropped at the school gate for the orientation program, but I’m so glad we can be involved in that first day of school.”

Lucy Chesterton, Editor: “When it’s time for your child to head bravely off into the unknown world of kindergarten, the mix of pride and love and anxiety is intense – but in the age of COVID, there’s an extra layer of uncertainty. But after a year of many changes, at a moment when another curveball feels like it could knock the whole family off track, a small update to the rules means a whole lot. Now we can give our kids the start they want (and need) at school.”

Bianka Ford, Advertising Manager: “Our school has worked hard to ensure that the transition to Kindy is as “normal” as possible. I really appreciated the effort to keep the Early Bird program last year and the unofficial playdates in the park so that the kindy kids could all meet each other before they start. It all means that my daughter is ready for big school, but you never know what will happen on that first day and I wouldn’t want to miss it. Whether it’s smiles or tears, being right there with her as she steps into her classroom for the first time is so important to both of us.”

Flick Frankish, Digital Content & Promotions Editor: “Starting big school is such a huge milestone – for the kids and parents. I have actually never set foot on the school grounds! After the year that has been, it’s understandable that this hasn’t been able to happen. I’m so thankful orientation was still able to take place and Cassie could visit the school, as she is now more excited than ever to start. But it was so hard handing her over at the gate as she nervously watched me walk away. Knowing that I will be able to walk her in on that first day and send her off with plenty of hugs has made my year!”


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