Update 3 April 2020

Tēnā koutou katoa

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in lockdown for almost two weeks.  At times it seems a lot longer!  I do hope you have checked out Playcentre’s Virtual Village, which is now up and running  – there are plenty of activities on the website that you can try if you’re home with tamariki, especially going into the weekend.  We will continue to build the Virtual Village so please keep reading and know that your contributions are very welcome.

In the Ministry of Education’s latest COVID Early Learning Special Bulletin, there are some suggestions for taking care of ourselves and our whānau, with lots of tips on how we can help keep our minds and bodies healthy.  I encourage you to  visit this website. Health.govt.nz

The Ministry of Education has also updated its website with further wellbeing suggestions, as well as useful contact information for the large range of support agencies that are in place to help with some of the many issues you or someone you know may be facing in these difficult times.

There are new updates too from the Ministry of Education which updates and clarifies information relating to licence applications, amendments and reclassifications, which you will find on the Playcentre website here.

We have also been told that the Ministry of Social Development has confirmed that it is unable to continue to provide the WINZ Childcare subsidy to ECE services during the lockdown period. If you were receiving the WINZ subsidy for children attending your Playcentre, these payments will stop as from 6 April, 2020. You will not need to repay any of the payments received prior to this. The Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education are both strongly suggesting that we don’t charge parents fees during the lockdown period. If you have already charged a small term fee for Term 1, it is not an issue.

If the loss of WINZ funding causes an issue for your Centre, please do get in touch with your Regional Manager for support and advice.

Be kind to yourselves, keep safe and I hope you have a relaxing weekend.

Ka kite anō au i a koutou.

Sean McKinley