Authorities were told of fewer suspected instances of child abuse and neglect while school students were learning from home because of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
State and territory data published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Friday highlights the significant role teachers play in reporting possible child abuse.
Australian teachers are legally required to report suspected abuse and neglect to government child protection services.
They're usually only behind police as the most common source of reports.
AIHW spokeswoman Louise York said ongoing monitoring would be needed to better understand the long-term impacts the coronavirus health crisis has had on child protection services.
"There are a range of risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect, such as financial hardship, housing stress and poor mental health, many of which are likely to have increased for some people during the COVID-19 pandemic," she said.
AIHW points to previous studies showing children may be at increased risk of violence during emergencies and natural disasters but does not directly tie the two together in relation to COVID-19.
The number of Australian children receiving protection services in some form has remained steady over the past two years: about one in every 33 or 174,700 in total.
There was a drop in notifications to authorities in most states and territories in April, as initial coronavirus restrictions were being introduced.
The numbers increased again in May and June as restrictions eased, even resulting in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory seeing more notifications than prior to the pandemic.
Victoria had a second drop in notifications from school personnel over July to September during strict restrictions as authorities battled the state's deadly outbreak of the virus.
Australian Associated Press