While New Zealand is operating within the COVID-19 Alert Level system, regular cleaning of surfaces is recommended alongside your usual cleaning schedule.
Review your Centre practices and consider increased cleaning for high touch surfaces (door handles, tabletops in common spaces etc.) and bathrooms. If your Centre has paid cleaners, ensure they have appropriate information, training and equipment.
Make sure the specific instructions are followed for the disinfectant being used (e.g. spray and leave on surfaces for 30 seconds before wiping down). Ensure the availability of appropriate cleaning supplies (e.g. disinfectant and cloths) for cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
Where you are cleaning things at the end of the session – such as spraying surfaces, table tops, toilets, sinks, taps, door handles, handrails, rubbish bin lids – the disinfectant should be sprayed on, and preferably left to air dry overnight. Where another session is coming in after yours, try and keep the disinfectant on for 30 minutes before wiping off.

• Where there are two sessions in one day, the centre must be cleaned between sessions
• Make sure that the following areas/items are being cleaned every session/between session:

– Tables and other surfaces that people are regularly using

– Door handles and areas of the door where little people might push it open

– Toilets and taps

– Any items or toys that get put in the mouth or coughed on – baby items, blocks, toy figures, paint brushes, dress ups, etc.

– Tablets – Disinfectant wipes with a 70% isopropyl alcohol-base can be used on the tablets, otherwise spray a nonabrasive/antimicrobial or alcohol-based (70% isopropyl) disinfectant directly on a soft lint-free cloth and wipe down your device while it is powered down and unplugged. Something like Moki Screen wipes would be ok.

• Make sure that used tissues are disposed of appropriately in a rubbish bin.

• If you are using a disinfectant make sure it says it is antiviral and follow the instructions. It is important that disinfectant sits on the surface for around 10 seconds before being wiped off to enable it to work.

• If Centres are unable to procure suitable cleaning products to maintain hygiene they may need to close. The Centre should contact their regional Centre Support Coordinator in order to discuss the situation.

Further advice on disinfecting:

A Reminder of the guidance in Ngā Kupu Oranga relating to Cleaning and Disinfecting:

Good disinfectants to use are things that contain hypochlorite (which is the main active ingredient in bleach) or activated hydrogen peroxide (0.5%). The Ministry of Health recommends that ECE services will need to use a disinfectant that has at least 2% hypochlorite.

Supermarket bleach is usually 5% hypochlorite but can be 2.5% or 10% for “premium bleach”. 

If 5% hypochlorite, then a 1% solution should be used (1 part bleach to 100 parts water). 

If 2.5% hypochlorite, then a 2% mixture is best (1 part bleach to 50 parts water).

Click here for the relevant licensing criteria then click on the “Guidance” tab for bleach mixtures.
Centre should use a 1-2% bleach solution to spray surfaces until wet and allow to air dry.

Frequency: Throughout the day (e.g. on the changing table between nappy changes), between sessions, as well as after sessions

  • Prepare the diluted solution fresh daily (24 hours after being mixed with water, bleach begins to lose effectiveness)
  • Use an opaque spray bottle, as light decomposes sodium hypochlorite
  • Use cold water, as hot water decomposes sodium hypochlorite
  • Use a funnel, as splashes of bleach will remove colour from clothing
  • Spray surfaces until wet and allow to dry (e.g. tabletops, toilets, sinks, taps, door handles, handrails, rubbish bin lids)
  • Open windows and doors to ensure good ventilation and do not breathe bleach fumes
  • Never mix bleach with other cleaning products as it can create a toxic gas 
  • Discard unused portion at the end of the day
  • Store bleach in a cool dry place, away from heat and light, out of reach of children

For disinfection by immersion (e.g. soaking blocks), a contact time of 30 minutes is recommended.

Some centres have purchased products like this which mixes the solution on use, rather than having to do up a mixture every day  (this product Activate is only available to current customers of Hygiene House)


Good hygiene is an important part of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Centres are not expected to maintain social distancing between tamariki, but adults on session should try to observe the one metre rule with one another.

Anyone with cold or flu symptoms should not attend Playcentre. Other important ways to maintain good hygiene:

  • Continue to ensure that our tamariki and adults are washing their hands regularly especially before eating and after going to the bathroom, coughing and sneezing. Consider encouraging adults and tamariki to wash their hands after playing outside.
  • Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds will dissolve the protective layer around the coronavirus and kill it.
  • Also ensure that bathroom hand basins and other touch surfaces in bathrooms are regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Good cough etiquette is also important – teaching tamariki and adults to cough into their elbows will assist in limiting the spread of the virus.
  • Consider keeping hand sanitiser at the exterior doors and by the sign-in area, if not already available. Hand sanitiser is not recommend for use by tamariki and should be kept out of reach of children and only used under adult supervision.
  • Anything that has been sneezed or coughed on should be wiped down. Dress-ups and other fabric items should be regularly laundered. Any item that has been in children’s mouths should be removed from the play space and thoroughly cleaned.