MoE Update – 17 March 2020

Information supplied from Ministry of Education on Tuesday 17 March 2020.


COVID-19 update and FAQs

This bulletin contains further guidance to support your response to COVID-19, including answers to your frequently asked questions about how it might affect your early learning service.

Latest updates from the Government

This afternoon the Government announced a $12.1b Economic Response to COVID-19. We will provide further information as we analyse what this might mean for you. For now, we know:
The package has three components:

  1. An extra $500m support for the health system
  2. Support through employers for those people unable to work who are either in self-isolation, are sick, or caring for dependants
  3. Tax changes

COVID-19: Economic Response Package – Beehive website

Over the weekend, the Government announced that anyone arriving in New Zealand from overseas after 1am Monday 16 March 2020, is now required to self-isolate for 14 days.  This does not apply to people arriving from some Pacific countries.  

These rules are largely pre-emptive and aimed at lessening the risk of the virus. The number of cases in New Zealand remains low. 

Current regulations/rules for the early learning sector are fit for purpose

We appreciate you may have a lot of questions and some of those questions relate to future scenarios.  We are currently exploring whether any current rules can be relaxed or quickly changed. We’ll keep you updated on this. In the meantime, you will need to continue to meet current rules as usual. Many of the licensing rules are essential for children’s health and safety. 

If the situation changes and the Government makes policy or funding rule changes, we will update you as soon as we can. 

There are still only a small number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand. In times like this, it is important that people talk to each other. Encourage caregivers to let you know if a child has a compromised immune system. Follow Ministry of Health advice regarding children or staff with compromised immune systems

At this stage, our current regulatory requirements/funding rules are flexible enough to deal with the majority of issues. We have relaxed some evidence requirements for the 3-week rule for continuous absence. 

Please find attached a link to some additional Frequently Asked Questions [PDF, 493KB]