MoE Update – 24 August 2021

Information supplied from Ministry of Education on 24 August 2021.  

Early Learning Bulletin 24 August 2021

Message from the Secretary for Education

Kia ora koutou,

Once again thank you for all the queries, which are helping us to provide you with the most relevant information in the Bulletins possible. We are endeavouring to stick to new information only and to keep it succinct and clear as I appreciate there is a lot of information to take in at the moment.

Hei āpōpō,

In today’s bulletin:

  • Mandatory requirement for contact tracing and QR codes
  • Workforce wellbeing EAP services
  • Further information on wellbeing
  • More places to get help
  • Children turning five or six
  • Home Learning update

Mandatory requirement for contact tracing and QR codes

You may have seen Minister Hipkins has announced mandatory record keeping requirements for some businesses and services. Because the other systems and processes already in place to record who is onsite at all alert levels are sufficient to enable contract tracing, the new requirements do not apply to schools and early learning services.

Record keeping to become mandatory for most events and businesses – Beehive website

You will continue to be required to display QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App.

Go to the website for more information

Workforce wellbeing EAP services

EAP wellbeing support services will be made available from tomorrow for three months.

All all teachers and support staff across early learning services (including Kōhanga Reo, Kindergartens and Playcentres), kura and state and state-integrated schools are eligible to access these services.
There are up to three confidential individual one-on-one counselling sessions available. Under our current alert level settings these are available online or on the phone.

There will be no charge for these services. They are not intended to replace existing services you already offer staff, but rather to be in addition to the current provision for a specific period of time.
Further information about these EAP services can be found on the Education website.

Workforce Wellbeing Package

EAP will be in contact with further details. If you have any questions call 0800 327 669 or visit the EAP website.

EAP services website

Further information on wellbeing 

He waka eke noa – we’re all in this together. You’ve done it before, and you can do it again. We hope you’re making looking after your wellbeing a number one priority through this time.
The following resources include information that will be helpful for you and the wellbeing of children learning from home and their whānau.

Tips for parents, teachers and caregivers – supporting toddlers
Tips for parents, teachers and caregivers – supporting children
Children and young people will again look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If adults seem overly worried, children’s and young people’s anxiety may rise. 
Adults can reassure children and young people that everyone is working together, from the Prime Minster down, to help people throughout the country stay healthy and to limit the spread of this virus.
As things change, families and whānau will also want to stay connected with you. For some children, young people and their families’ things may be challenging. As just one person, you might not have all the answers you need, but working collectively can help. Work together with your colleagues, parents, caregivers and whānau iwi, social and health agencies, and other services in your community. 
Whakawhānaungātanga – take the time to connect and listen to ensure genuine and authentic engagement with those around you.

More places to get help

In addition to the information above, there are other places to get help – we’d encourage you to share with your staff that it’s OK for them to get help from anywhere.

Please ensure they’re aware of the following supports and know to stay in contact and check in with their colleagues.

Helplines that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • Mental Health Crisis: 0800 800 717
  • Lifeline for counselling and support: 0800 543 354 or 0800 LIFELINE
  • Samaritans for confidential support for anyone who is lonely or in emotional distress: 0800 726 666
  • Depression Helpline to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions: 0800 111 757 or free text 4206
  • Healthline for advice from trained registered nurses: 0800 611 116
  • Suicide Prevention Helpline: 0508 828 865
  • Counselling Free Call or Text 1737

Also available: 

Children turning five or six

You may have some children at your service who might have been preparing to start school during this Alert Level 4 lockdown period. Here is some key information about transitioning to school:

  • Parents/caregivers should be made aware that children can remain enrolled in early learning and remain eligible for 20 Hours ECE until they turn six.
  • Parents/caregivers should have a discussion with their early learning service and intended school about any transition and support available at this time. 
  • If parents/caregivers want their child to start school, then schools are required to enrol children during Alert Level 4.
  • From the age of six there is a legal requirement for every child to be enrolled and to attend a registered school. During Alert Level 4 we will support a parent’s decision to delay enrolment until the child can physically attend school (noting once schools physically re-open, any child who has already turned six does need to enrol and commence attending).
  • Children aged six or over cannot remain enrolled in any early learning service.

Home learning update

Thank you again for continuing to support all tamariki with their distance learning through Covid-19 Alert Level 4. We know it can be challenging but have heard about lots of great ways you are keeping learning rich and engaging, and appropriate for your communities, while kanohi ki te kanohi is not possible.

A reminder that the Ministry has a lot of distance learning materials available to you now. These include online teaching and learning resources (with guidance for parents) which can be printed and sent to learners by services. You can find these on our Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Marama websites.

Learning from Home website
Ki te Ao Marama website

Beginning tomorrow morning (Weds 25 August), the Ministry will be re-activating distance learning broadcasts through TVNZ and Māori Television. This includes lots of new content as well as some of the existing content (and familiar faces) from 2020. This content is suitable for a range of ages.

Note that the broadcasting schedule is available online and we invite you to share these links with parents, caregivers and whānau:

In addition, on-demand content can be found here:

  • Home Learning TV can be accessed On Demand or via the TVNZ App on a device (mobile phone, smart TV, or tablet); and
  • Mauri Reo, Mauri Ora can be accessed on demand from Māori TV.