Update Thursday 14 January 2021 at 9:05am
Keeping you COVID Safe
Although most of our services are in regional and remote locations, unfortunately many of our front-line staff have been in the Greater Brisbane area during the period the city was declared a COVID-19 hot spot.
Our priority is always the health and safety of children, families, our staff and volunteers. As a result, in line with Queensland Health guidelines until 21 January 2021 we will be providing the majority of our services to children and families via telephone and telehealth (online video-conferencing) rather than by face-to-face appointments.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and hope that we will be able to reinstate face-to-face appointments for children and families from 22 January.
By providing our services by phone and video conferencing for this short period we will be able to continue supporting rural and regional communities while keeping everyone safe.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding.
Update Friday 10th July at 4.30pm:
Service Centres begin reopening in our ‘new normal’ COVID-19 world
From the start of Queensland schools’ Term 3 Week 1 – Monday 13 July – BUSHkids begins the process of restarting face-to-face (F2F) service delivery at our Centres across the State. This will be progressively phased-in over the next six weeks.
For now, all F2F appointments will be scheduled by our teams in advance by phone, and you can find out more about your local Service Centre’s status via the teams’ contacts here
BUSHkids CEO Carlton Meyn shared extracts from his message to staff and volunteers this week:
“We are not returning to work in a world which we once knew: some things will be familiar and unchanged, but the way in which we interact with them – and with each other – has changed. Needs to change. Must – for all our sakes – change.
“If anything, the very careful steps we are all about to take towards reopening face-to-face (F2F) BUSHkids services are even more critically important than the prudent precautions we all undertook in reorientating to remote service delivery only a few months ago.
“As recent developments interstate and overseas have shown, our ‘new normal’ life is still something which we cannot take for granted and can be subject to massive change at short notice. We are just one outbreak of the virus away from having to reintroduce the stringent measures which have so far helped keep us safe.
“I remind everyone in our BUSHkids family of our duty-of-care to ourselves and each other – and, especially, to our clients and their families – as well as to our local communities, funders and co-providers. This is not to be gloomy or negative – far from it! – but we must all exercise respect for our roles and responsibilities in this new shared reality.
“For the foreseeable future, we will all have to live with COVID-19 in our ‘new normal’ world; that is not in doubt. What we KNOW we can do, each of us, to help keep the virus at bay is to continue to rigorously practice good personal hygiene and safe physical distancing in all of our personal contacts.”
Update Monday 22nd June at 11.00am:
Transitioning to ‘the new normal’
From everyone at BUSHkids, thank you to all the parents and children who have adapted and attended our services via telehealth and by phone during the COVID-19 period.
Currently BUSHkids is mapping out our return to face-to-face service provision in all our regional service centres. Our priority is always the health, safety and wellbeing of children, families, our staff and volunteers. This will be at the forefront of our plans as we move to a new normal for BUSHkids’ service provision around Queensland.
Keep an eye out for updates on Facebook and this website page as we head towards to ‘the new normal.’
Update Wednesday 3rd June at 5.00pm:
ANNOUNCEMENT: New WELLBEING infosheet WB4 published!
Click on the thumbnail image or document title below:
||WB4 ~ Anxiety in children (2pp, 995kb)
This 2-page PDF includes:
• 9 handy, practical tips for parents and carers to help kids understand that anxiety is a part of life
• Links to videos, books and other reading
… and a quick-reference MENU guide to our growing library!
Published a little later than planned, but we decided to wait for WB4 to be ready so it could be included on the second page. Click on the thumbnail image or document title below:
||MU1 ~ Collected TS, WB and IS infosheets (2pp, 575kb)
Collating informative outputs from our first 3 months of living with COVID-19, this handy 2-page PDF gives an ‘at-a-glance’ summary guide to our 6 TIPSheets, 4 Wellbeing sheets and 1 BUSHkids teleHealth INFOSheet ~ with clickable links in each image thumbnail and title to take you direct to that sheet!
Update Friday 22nd May at 5.00pm:
ANNOUNCEMENT: getting everyone else back to school from Monday 25th May
Children in Years 2 to 10 returning to school from Monday 25th May will be feeling excited, anxious, reluctant – a whole range of emotions are normal and to be expected as we cope with yet another change.
Check out our TIPSheet TS6 Transitioning back to school in our new COVID-19 world. Children this age can also really benefit from mindfulness practices to help them recharge, focus, and find a sense of calm through this transition and beyond. See our Wellbeing TIPSheet WB2 Mindfulness for fun activities to include in your family’s daily routine!
For parents and carers
Lockdown restrictions may be easing, but the impacts of ongoing stress, change and uncertainty will continue to be felt by many. Remember to #BeKind to each other, but also to yourself.
See BUSHkids’ TIPSheets TS4 Taking care of yourself (so you can care for your family) and WB1 Self-care for Parents and Carers to check-in with yourself. Your family may thank you for it! #InThisTogether
Update Friday 15th May at 6.00pm:
GOOD NEWS: feedback from BUSHkids teams and families across Queensland
An upside of COVID-19 has been the opportunity for BUSHkids to trial some innovative approaches in the frontline work of our teams. This has led to the successful implementation of virtual playgroups, virtual storytime and home delivery of activity kits to vulnerable families.
We have had some wonderful stories of parents feeling connected to others through virtual playgroups at a time when they have been incredibly isolated and vulnerable – and one young boy was amazed that his best friend from a real playgroup was on his screen and talking to him!
During COVID-19, many children are unable to attend playgroups, childcare and kindy or attend their local library storytime. To help maintain the development of vital literacy, social and emotional skills, around one dozen virtual storytime sessions are now being delivered each week. Reach out to your local BUSHkids Centre for more information on these!
Families are now really seeing the benefits of BUSHkids teleHealth to the home: for instance, a family with a 3-year-old boy in Central Queensland was able to be remotely coached through a frustrating parenting moment, so they could see for themselves how a different approach to responding could work for their son!
BUSHkids will work to capture some of the success stories during this time to share and celebrate the work we are doing with families across Queensland, with updates here and on Facebook.
ANNOUNCEMENT: three new BUSHkids WELLBEING (WB) infosheets published!
We had previously mentioned the addition of two new Wellbeing (WB) documents to our growing library of TIPSheets and INFOSheets; in fact we now have three in the WB series:
- WB1 – Self-care for Parents and Carers
- WB2 – MINDFULNESS
- WB3 – Separation anxiety
A quick flick of the finger (or mouse-scroll!) below and you can see what each WB is about, with the usual download link in both the thumbnail image and the file name.
(Note: WB3 complements and expands on the tips and ideas set out in TS6 on getting kids back to school, which was released last week and which you can find here – or scroll down this page to read more.)
Early next week, we will be publishing a handy, one-page ‘Menu’ guide which combines all the links to our growing TS/IS/WB library – we’ll keep you posted!
||WB1 ~ Self-care for Parents and Carers (1p, 395kb)
Focuses on Dr Siegel’s “Healthy Mind Platter” and the balance of seven daily essential activities which we all should try to attain to develop and maintain physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
||WB2 ~ MINDFULNESS (2pp, 1.23MB)
A 2-part PDF split into:
- Mindfulness for parents (visit ‘Smiling Mind’ or watch one of Maggie Dent’s videos)
- Mindfulness with kids (watch a special Play School episode, try the renowned ‘Mind-in-a-jar’ activity, or check out a selection of good quality apps to investigate!)
||WB3 ~ Separation anxiety (1p, 440kb)
Features tips for parents and carers to stay calm as role models, as well as ideas for helping cope with anxious children.
As noted, complements and expands on our TS6 PDF here
Update Friday 8th May 2020 at 1.00pm:
ANNOUNCEMENT: getting (some) kids back to school from Monday 11th May
There has been a lot of change and uncertainty in our lives so far in 2020 — for parents, carers and kids alike. First, we had to put the brakes on everything and change our lives by staying home as much as possible so we could all help to ‘flatten the curve’ of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Now, the success of our efforts so far means that shared restrictions can begin easing and we can get ready for some kids to go back to school from next Monday 11th May.
Initially, this will be only for Kindy, Prep and Year 1 (and Senior – 11 and 12) from next week – so kids in Years 2 to 10 should continue schooling at home for now, with the exception of children of essential workers or vulnerable children.
Scroll down to check some important links about this.
How can families adjust to these latest changes and what will it mean for families with young children of different ages, with the little ones resuming their school routine but the older ones not for a while yet …?
We have compiled lots of helpful ideas and suggestions in our latest TIPSheet “Transitioning back to school in our new COVID-19 world” and you can download the PDF (2pp A4, 740kb) by clicking on the file name below or on the thumbnail image.
TS6 Transitioning back to school in our new COVID-19 world (2pp, 740kb)
Key topics covered include:
• Prepare yourself first, and then your kids
• A reminder of good personal hygiene measures
• Supporting children’s worries about getting sick at school
• To help with separation anxiety
• Old but new, same but different …
(And yes, we might feel a little bit like nervous Meerkats, poking our heads up from our burrows to have a look around: that’s okay! Check the PDF for helpful suggestions.)
ADVICE: important government website links
You can find more information on school arrangements on the Queensland Department of Education website at:
And a reminder for our ECEI EarlyStart families that the NDIS has a dedicated COVID-19 information and support page at:
Update Wednesday 6th May 2020 at 5.00pm:
ADVICE: three new BUSHkids COVID-19 TIPSheets published
Kaitlin and her colleagues have been super-busy this past week, and we have three new TIPSheets (TS) published to help families navigate their way through our new COVID-19 world.
You can find a simple overview of each TS in the table below, as well as direct-download links for each PDF (double-sided A4) file. Click on either the thumbnail image or the TS title to download!
Our next two TS will open BUSHkids’ new ‘Wellbeing’ (WB) series of A4 sheets and will be published in the next few days.
Early next week, we will also be releasing a one-page ‘menu’ of our growing TIPSheet, INFOSheet and WBSheet library of topics. Whether you’ve been keeping up with this page or are just joining us, this menu will provide a simple summary. You will be able to quickly see what each Sheet is about and directly download the PDF file/s of interest.
Update Friday 1st May 2020 at 5.00pm:
ADVICE: BUSHkids to publish set of new TIPSheets next week
Much has changed – and continues to change – in our new COVID-19 world. Some restrictions in Queensland are set to be relaxed from this weekend, but Queenslanders cannot relax our precautions, physical distancing and good hygiene measures. We continue to follow and endorse the official advice of the State and Federal Governments.
It has been an arduous, challenging journey for everyone to this point: adapting to new ways of schooling, working and coping. Our BUSHkids teams, working remotely, have also been busy preparing a new range of helpful TIPSheets to support families and children. Topics to be published next week cover:
• Helping your family feel safe, secure and supported
• Taking care of yourself (so you can care for your family)
• Juggling working from home, and home learning
• Self-care for Parents and Carers
Like our earlier TIPSheets and INFOSheets, these will be small-size PDF files, tailored for easy download and economical printing at home. Contact your local BUSHkids Centre team or our Brisbane Office by email or phone 3870 7288 if needed. Make sure you follow BUSHkids on Facebook so you know when these new resources are released!
Update Wednesday 22nd April at 4.45pm:
UPDATE from BUSHkids
Thank you, everyone, for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through these challenging times together. Here is an update on the status of BUSHkids services:
NDIS ECEI EarlyStart teams are working remotely to support clients in these areas:
• Bundaberg • Emerald • Gladstone • Gympie • Hervey Bay • Kingaroy • Maroochydore • Rockhampton
Our CPSS (Children and Parenting Support Services) teams are working remotely in these areas:
• Agnes Water • Kingaroy • Inglewood • Stanthorpe
Some of our Allied Health Centres are still partly-staffed; others are now working remotely:
• Bundaberg • Dalby • Emerald • Mount Isa • Warwick
Parents or guardians who need to get in touch with BUSHkids, and who do not yet have direct contact details for one of our team members, are asked to call their relevant Centre: check our CONTACTS PDF page here
ANNOUNCEMENT: new Queensland Health COVID-19 reporting page launched
Today (22nd April), the Queensland Government launched a new QHealth web page reporting detailed information on COVID-19 case figures in Queensland:
This new web page is an extension of the overall COVID-19 Coronavirus information page:
Update Tuesday 7th April at 10.45am:
ADVICE: BUSHkids Centres local contact info
||This week, you will begin seeing signs like these on the doors of our Centres and on community noticeboards in our service areas across Queensland, as our teams transition to working remotely.
Prominently displayed are the local BUSHkids phone numbers and email addresses, together with core online links, including our social media pages and official State and Federal Government coronavirus information sources.
You can also bookmark this web page and refresh the browser view for updates on your regular return visits.
Update Monday 6th April at 10.45am:
ANNOUNCEMENT: BUSHkids staff begin working remotely
Starting today, our teams across Queensland will no longer be working from our Centres to provide services, instead maintaining physical separation and working remotely.
Our apologies in advance for any temporary disruption to contact or services which may occur this week, as we progressively make this important transition. We will be working very hard to minimise any interruptions to phone, email and teleHealth appointments in the next few days.
BUSHkids remains committed to our local communities, supporting children and their families across Queensland in these challenging times.
A reminder of all key BUSHkids Centres’ contact numbers can be found here if you have any queries. Thank-you for your patience and understanding if you experience any temporary delay in getting in touch.
Update Sunday 29th March at 1.15pm:
BUSHkids COVID-19 TIPSheet 2: Supporting children at home during the COVID-19 outbreak
As more community services close or cancel events to try to ‘flatten the curve’ and contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus, we are experiencing unavoidable changes to family life and activities. The information we have collected and presented in this TIPSheet can help support families as children spend more time at home.
||This double-sided A4 TIPSheet includes links to resources for parents/carers, as well as links for resources to use with children, including helping understand the need for social distancing, supporting their social-emotional wellbeing, and tips for home learning. The 2-page PDF (538kb) is available for download here or by clicking on the thumbnail image.
Update Tuesday 24th March at 11.45am:
BUSHkids Centres closed to public: all services now by teleHealth or telephone
||Per the CEO’s message yesterday (scroll down to read below), all BUSHkids Centres are closed to public access until further notice, with all services to be offered remotely, by telephone or BUSHkids teleHealth video-conferencing. The 1-page A4 PDF notice (75kb) may be downloaded here or by clicking on the thumbnail image.
Please read the BUSHkids teleHealth INFOSheet below, and remember you can find full BUSHkids contact details here
INFOsheet for Parents and Carers on BUSHkids teleHealth services
||From Tuesday 24th March 2020, BUSHkids services can be delivered remotely via your desktop or laptop computer, or by tablet or smart phone, using our teleHealth video-conferencing app.
More info on our 1-page A4 INFOSheet #1 and the 124kb PDF is available for download here or by clicking on the thumbnail image.
Update Monday 23rd March at 4.30pm:
Important message from the CEO regarding BUSHkids services
||Please read our Chief Executive Officer’s message to families, children and friends regarding changes to BUSHkids’ service delivery operations, effective from Tuesday 24th March 2020: the 1-page A4 PDF (451kb) is available for download here or by clicking on the link or the thumbnail image.
Update Thursday 19th March at 4.45pm:
BUSHkids COVID-19 TIPSheet 1: Supporting children’s understanding of COVID-19
This collection of handy tips, videos, links and reading suggestions has been compiled to assist children and adults who may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious during these uncertain times.
||This double-sided A4 TIPSheet includes general tips to support children, recommended resources for parents/carers about talking with children about coronavirus, and resources that can assist in talking with young children of different ages. The 2pp PDF (225kb) is available for download here or by clicking on the thumbnail image.
Updated Thursday 19th March at 11.45am:
Rockhampton – Play Connect playgroups and MyTime support groups cancelled
Following discussions with health experts and educators, we have cancelled the remaining Play Connect playgroups and MyTime support group meetings scheduled in Rockhampton for the final weeks of this school term. Our priority is always the health and safety of our children, their families and our staff. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause families and will continue to provide updates in coming weeks.
Updated Thursday 19th March at 11.30am:
BUSHkids is introducing some graphic ‘badging’ to our COVID-19 coronavirus communications
The red badge is for NEWS about the coronavirus as it may affect BUSHkids operations and the delivery of our services to you. The orange badge is for TIPS from BUSHkids’ clinical teams about what families can do to support children and each other. Look for them on our Facebook and Twitter accounts as well!
BUSHkids essential info as downloadable A4 posters
||The BUSHkids COVID-19 advice of 16th March shown below on this page is available as an A4 INFO poster PDF (90kb) which you can download here or by clicking on the thumbnail image.
||And the summary of essential BUSHkids CONTACT details, linked below, is also available as an A4 poster PDF (124kb) which you can download here or by clicking on the thumbnail image.
Updated Monday 16th March at 4:19pm: