Dear Parents and Carers
Most of you would by now be aware of Premier Mark McGowan’s earlier press conference, and the measures that will take effect from 6:00pm this evening.
Of course one of these is the lockdown that is being put in place in Perth, Peel and the Southwest Development Commission regions. The Premier indicated that would essentially mean an ‘extended holiday’ for schools in those regions. That is, KAPINARA like other Perth schools, will not commence Term 1 as planned tomorrow. In fact, we have subsequently been advised that the ‘lockdown’ measures that apply to many in the community also pertain to school staff, who are similarly to remain at home.
Today’s announcement and measures to be enacted, remind us as adults, that despite our relatively good fortune thus far, our context can still change in a moment. However, this is not likely to be a helpful message for children, particularly young children. I’m also hoping that many children have been spared the impact of the extra activity at shops etc that appears to have characterised this afternoon.
I would like to suggest that the message for children is more along the lines of ‘the people who have kept us safe so far, have made this decision because they believe it’s what we need to do to keep us safe at the moment. Yes, I understand that you feel disappointed (if they were looking forward to school) or scared (if they’ve overheard words like ‘lockdown’), but we’re okay and we’ll just keep doing the things we need to, to stay safe and healthy at the moment.’ You might even add ‘… and when we feel disappointed/scared we can do things that help us feel better. Let’s go for a swim/build a cubby/watch a movie …’
As I have said before, children take their cue from adults, particularly those they are closest to and trust most. In situations such as this, irrespective of how you actually feel, try to appear calm and be reassuring in their presence, as that’s what children need. That doesn’t mean being dishonest, it just means acknowledging how they are feeling and helping them to manage that emotion. This is of course, how they learn to manage emotions themselves and see themselves as increasingly able to do so. The same thing applies when your child is waiting to see who is in their class, who their teacher is going to be etc
Out of School Hours Care – the Y (formerly YMCA)
I have spoken with OSHC Manager, Jacinta Lydiate, who has indicated that although they are awaiting advice from their government department, they anticipate opening from 8:30am – 6:00pm tomorrow. At this stage, she believes this is for essential workers only, but they are waiting for clarification on that. If you are an essential worker requiring care for your children, but you have not previously registered with the company, I understand you can do so via the website https://www.ymcawa.org.au/kapinara/before-and-after-school-care . Jacinta indicated that if you have any difficulties, head office will be open from 7:30am.
I will be in touch when I have any further information to share with you. In the meantime you can find general information at https://www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus