MoE Update – 20 August 2021

Information supplied from Ministry of Education on 20 August 2021.  

Early Learning COVID-19 update

Message from the Secretary for Education

Ngā mihi o te Rāmere, Friday greetings 

Thank you for all the queries you’ve sent through to us over the last couple of days. 

Please keep these coming – we’re happy to help and will answer all the questions you have as soon as we can. Your questions help us provide the information you need.  A second bulletin will be published later today after we know the government’s decisions on alert levels.

Ngā mihi
Iona

Accessing premises

Staff can now go on-site to prepare materials for distribution to the homes of ākonga and whānau that are wanting additional support during this time. A special exemption signed by the Director General of Health provides this authority.

All decisions about staff attending the worksite must be in line with the agreed public health requirements as follows:

  1. Limited staff onsite at any one time (operating with the minimum staff possible). If there is more than one staff member on site, they must wear a face covering.
  2. Ensure staff working onsite are physically distanced (one metre in the workplace), use personal protective equipment and practice good hand hygiene.
  3. Ensure high-touch surfaces are cleaned in between use by different staff (for example, if you have staff rostered in the morning and then a second shift of staff in the afternoon).
  4. Ensure good contact tracing systems are in place including checking in via the COVID Tracer App or an alternative means.
  5. Request anyone who is unwell to stay at home and seek advice from Healthline on getting tested.
  6. The person doing the drop-off must wear a face covering and keep physically distanced from all others (two metres).
  7. When dropping off packs, there should be no physical contact between staff and the person receiving the materials. That is, drop the pack at the door, knock and move away from the door (minimum two metres).

You will need to work through the logistics to ensure you have the right addresses for your learners and that someone will be home (which we assume should not be an issue for most, at Alert Level 4).
 
Limited circumstances approved for picking up learning materials and devices

In addition to staff being able to go onsite to prepare and arrange for delivery of learning resources to families, an exemption has now been given so that in limited circumstances, some parents/caregivers will be able to come onto an early learning site in order to collect resources to support distance learning. The conditions for this exemption are:

Parents/caregivers can access an early learning service site in order to collect learning resources from their ECE service, where:

  1. those resources are necessary to enable the child to participate in remote learning through their early learning service; and
  2. it has not been feasible or possible for the early learning service to deliver or arrange for the delivery of the education resources to the child, for example where it is not practical or safe to arrange for delivery, and 

This exemption is conditional on early learning services acting in accordance with the following requirement:

  • limited staff onsite at any one time (operating with the minimum staff possible)
  • ensure staff working onsite are physically distanced (one metre in the workplace), use personal protective equipment and practice good hand hygiene
  • ensure high touch surfaces are cleaned in between use by different staff (if they have staff rostered in the morning and then a second shift of staff in the afternoon)
  • avoid large gatherings of whānau and caregivers through rostering and staggering when people can pick their resources up
  • ensure physical distancing (two metres) and the use of face coverings by those attending to pick the resources up
  • ensure good contact tracing systems are in place including checking in via the COVID Tracer App or an alternative means
  • request anyone who is unwell to stay at home, and seek advice from Healthline on getting tested.

All the conditions above must be met in order for you to distribute materials from the early learning service site.  

Contactless delivery to homes is the preferred method for getting materials to the majority of your learners.

For personal protective equipment when going onsite to prepare distance learning materials. Please note, a face covering and gloves when handling materials, are sufficient in this regard.