31 August 2021 Update

All of New Zealand south of Auckland will move to level 3 from 11.59pm tonight and will stay in Alert Level 3 for a period of one week, with a review on Monday 6 September.

Auckland will stay in Alert Level 4 for a further two weeks until Tuesday 14 September, with a review on Monday 13 September. Those in Northland will remain in Alert Level 4 until at least 11:59pm this Thursday 2 September.

As with lockdown in 2020, The Ministry stated that at level 3 Playcentres are not permitted to open – the rationale being that because a number of parents are required to be present, a lot of isolation bubbles will intersect.  On a positive note, we will continue to be funded as if they were open.

The Alert Level Boundary map provides indicative Alert Level 3 and 4 boundary lines that will come into effect at 11:59pm on Tuesday 31 August 2021. The boundaries are subject to change and may be updated to align with the Health Order. The map can be accessed on the COVID-19 website.

Our thoughts this morning are with our Auckland whānau as widespread flooding affects West Auckland. Please stay safe out there. If you have any concerns, feel free to contact your Regional Office.

Susan Bailey, our Acting General Manager, has been representing Playcentre Aotearoa by attending regular meetings with the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) via zoom whilst we’ve been in lockdown. These meetings have informed some of the MOE Bulletins and much learning and many questions are shared within the group. This is a busy time for all ECE providers and we are in a unique position in not having to open at Level 3. The scheduled quarterly ECAC meeting is on this Thursday, which will be held during normal working hours, unlike the others which have been after hours and at the weekend, highlighting the significance and passion held by all who attend these meetings.

We are sad to announce that our Upper North Island Regional Manager, Anna-Louise Fleet, has resigned.

Anna-Louise’s drive and passion for Playcentre are indisputable, and her contribution has been significant since she first walked through the gates of Silverdale Playcentre 15 years ago, also attending Pukekohe Playcentre and finally Glen Eden Playcentre where she was made Life Member.

Despite her role as one of Playcentre’s leading personalities Anna-Louise remains modest. She constantly recognised the people around her: “Playcentre is an organisation that builds leaders and I want to acknowledge the many wahine and tane toa who supported and encouraged me to take up the opportunities that have led me to stand where I am today”.

Thank you, Anna-Louise, for your time, energy, support and leadership for those in your region and beyond.  

We wish you all the very best in your new role at Family Action, another wonderful and vitally important organisation doing incredible work for the people it serves. 

Her last day with us will be on 17 September.

Centres should not be available to hire at level 3 as all Playcentres are shut. This includes regular hires and after school programmes.

However, in level 2 it is up to your centre if you decide to hire it out. If you do, please follow the government guidelines and ensure that anyone who hires their centre agrees to follow the centre’s cleaning practices and observes any limitations about group gatherings.

You can find further Ministry of Education guidance and licensing information here – Health-and-safety-for-COVID-19-Licensed-Early-Learning-Services-Alert-Levels-1-4.

 If you decide not to, this decision should be respected as well. 

The Playcentre Shop Canterbury will be opening on Wednesday for online orders only. Megan and Jessamy have worked out a protocol for doing this within the Level 3 requirements. No customers will be entering the shop for any reason and there will be a cleaning protocol in place for the shop and office.

They have a wonderful selection of equipment and resources for early childhood including a range of cooperative games from Peaceable Kingdom, great for all the family.