Further restrictions on in-home child minding


Dear members

The Stay at Home Directions (Victoria) (No 6) expired at midnight and were replaced by the Stay at Home Directions (Victoria) (No 7).

It appears that the new Stay at Home Directions have introduced significant changes to access to in-home child-minding which had not been widely publicised or announced in yesterday’s press conference.

The former text of clauses 7(1)(b)(ii) and 7(1)(l), referred to in our update to members on Monday 23 August 2021, has been removed. 

Clause 7(1)(l) of the Stay at Home Directions (Victoria) (No 7) now provides that a person may leave their residence to provide child-minding assistance (whether on a paid or voluntary basis) in accordance with clause 7A.

Clause 11(3)(b) provides an exception to the restriction on private gatherings if it is necessary for the person to enter the premises for the purposes specified in clauses 7(1(l) or 7A.

Clause 7A provides as follows:

  1. The reasons relating to care or compassion in relation to child minding are to:
    1. take a child, children or young person to another person’s premises; or
    2. allow a person to enter the parent or guardian’s premises,
      where a child, children or young person is not able to be cared for at the premises by a suitable adult, for the purpose of that other person providing child-minding assistance (whether on a paid or voluntary basis):
    3. because the child is a vulnerable child or young person and requires at home childcare; or
    4. so that the parent or guardian:
      1. can undertake work as an authorised worker or for an authorised provider in accordance with clause 8(1)(a), where the child, children or young person is younger than primary school age; or
      2. in circumstances where the parent or guardian cannot take the child with them, can:
        1. obtain goods and services for health or medical purposes (including vaccinations) in accordance with clauses 6(1)(b) or 10A; or
        2. obtain other necessary goods or services, in accordance with clauses 6(1)(c)(ii), or 10(1)(d); or
        3. can attend an essential public support service permitted under the Restricted Activity Directions (Victoria); or
        4. undertake care and compassionate activities in accordance with clauses 7(1)(a), 7(1)(b)(i), 7(1)(b)(ii), 7(1)(c), 7(1)(d) – (f), 7(1)(h), 7(1)(i), 7(1)(n); or
        5. meet any obligations in relation to care and support of another child, in order to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of that child; or
        6. undertake activities in accordance with clauses 10(1)(a) – (c) or (k); or
        7. exercise in accordance with clause 9 (exercise), where the parent or guardian is single; or
    5. where the parent or guardian is an authorised worker who undertakes shift work, to:
      1. facilitate the care of a child outside of school or childcare hours; or
      2. rest in between shifts.

(emphasis added)

The Bar Council understands that this new restriction will have a disproportionate effect on members with school-aged children who have relied on in-home child-minding assistance to supervise and care for those children whilst the member fulfils their duties to clients and the court.  This will have a flow-on effect on the efficient administration of justice and operation of courts and tribunals.

The Bar will ensure that the government understands the effect that these restrictions will have and advocate for appropriate changes.