Tenā koutou katoa
With the Government due to review the latest COVID-19 restrictions today, we may have more of an idea about how long the current Alert Levels will remain in place. In the meantime, as you are aware, we are to stay at the current levels until midnight on Wednesday, 26 August.
For those in the Auckland region on Level 3, neither members nor employees should be entering Playcentres, except under some circumstances – these are outlined on our website. If you get the chance, do have a look at the Guidance for Centres under the COVID-19 section on the website – there is a lot of information there about operating at Level 2, and for those at Level 3, what you need to do to get your Centre up and running again when you come out of your current situation and into the next stage.
The Education Review Office has recently released a report on the impact of COVID-19 on early childhood services. I was particularly interested to read the report’s findings on what helped during lockdown and how well children and whanau are transitioning back into services.
What helped families during lockdown was regular and clear communication and supporting and encouraging parents to help their children learn at home – something, which Playcentre parents are very familiar with as children’s first and best educators. One of our parents was just saying this week that in some ways lockdown gave her feeling of empowerment because she was confident in her ability to be the best teacher for her daughter.
In terms of the return to early learning services, two issues stood out in the report. Gradual reopening helped, but anxiety was an issue, with about a third of services reporting anxiety among parents and teachers.
I know that some of our Centres have noticed higher levels on anxiety among our whanau, which when you consider what has happened over the past few months is totally understandable. And they are obviously not alone.
ERO will continue to monitor the challenges facing early learning services.
Attendance at ECE
I was interviewed this week by a Stuff reporter doing a story on falling attendance at ECE services. It does appear that there has been a decrease in numbers particularly at the commercial centres, but in Playcentre’s case the picture is quite different. Even though some of our Centres have been reporting fewer sessions, overall there has been an increase in numbers enrolling at Playcentre, which is really heartening.
Do check out CFO Marina Cook’s latest update – she has all the information about end of year finances and the link to the Finance Pack, designed to make the job as easy as possible for our hardworking Centre Treasurers.
Ka kite anō au i a koutou.