Canberra's childcare centres are limiting outdoor play in an attempt to shield young children from the hazards of bushfire smoke.
With kids considered especially sensitive to the effects of air pollution, childcare centres are taking extra precautions to limit the exposure of children to the city's smoky skies.
At Woden Early Childhood Centre, director Reesha Stefek is monitoring hourly air quality readings to determine if children are allowed outside.
Children are kept indoors if the concentration of PM2.5 in the air exceeds the level considered to be "very unhealthy", under the centre's risk management plan.
The children, which typically sleep outside, rest indoors if air pollution is above the level deemed "unhealthy for sensitive groups".
The plan is based on advice provided by ACT Health.
Staff at Papilio Early Learning centres in Bruce, Yarralumla and Barton are regularly checking air quality data and adjusting daily activities to suit the conditions.
Outdoor play equipment has been brought indoors to ensure children can remain active.
"We haven't let the air quality stop the fun and learning - and the children have been very responsible in understanding why it has been unhealthy for their lungs to play outside," said Katelyn Pollard, who manages Papilio's Barton centre.
"They have shown wonderful resilience and patience.
The children have been able to play outside briefly today [on Tuesday] for a short period of time, and they have certainly enjoyed that."
Communities@Work, which operates 12 childcare centres across the ACT, said it was taking all possible precautions to mitigate the effects of the smoke.
It has cleaned air-conditioners at its various centres tooptimise air quality, as well as taken steps to stop smoke entering the buildings.
The Canberra Times on Tuesday reported that the ACT government was still working on how it plans to manage potential air quality issues at schools, with students due to return to class on February 3 and 4.
The education directorate will seek expert advice on the potential need to close schools or keep students indoors if the smoke haze persists.
It has not ruled out supplying students with P2 masks to limit smoke inhalation.
After a smoky start to the week, Canberra's skies were relatively clear on Wednesday. The air quality was rated as "fair" for the majority of the day.
The Bureau of Meterology is forecasting rain and possible thunderstorms to hit fire-ravaged parts of southern NSW on Thursday and into the weekend.
If rain does fall on the fire grounds, it could help reduce the level of smoke fanned into the ACT.
The bureau of forecasting up to 30 millimeters of rain to hit the ACT on Thursday.