Information supplied from Ministry of Education on 20 August 2021.
Message from the Secretary for Education
Kia ora āno,
Three COVID days always seem like six ordinary days!
As you’ll be aware from this afternoon’s announcement, New Zealand will stay in Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm on Tuesday August 24, with further decisions to be made on Monday.
I know that many of you will be busy over the weekend working on further supporting your ākonga, whānau and staff. Thank you for that.
In today’s bulletin:
What to do if your service has a confirmed case of COVID-19
In the event your early learning service has a confirmed case of COVID-19, we’ll work closely with you. Our regional staff work with local health authorities to quickly provide support to assist you to communicate with and support your parent community and your staff.
Please know that our local office teams are available for general support at all times – don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Supporting your staff
Thank you for showing leadership and support for your staff during this Alert Level 4 period.
Note that a service that attests to paying their teachers at or above the minimum salary rate set out on Education.govt.nz, must continue to pay at least at this level in order to remain eligible for higher rates of funding.
If you have a query regarding an employment/payroll situation, please contact the Labour Inspectorate through the Ministry of Innovation, Business and Employment website. Please take into consideration that it is a small team dealing with a lot of queries, and that they will get back to you as soon as they can.
Health and Safety
You should involve your staff in the development of the plan to help assess risks and identify solutions and all staff should be familiar with the plan.
Readying for Alert Level 3
While we all remain in Alert Level 4, we’ve received a few enquiries seeking guidance about Alert Level 3 requirements.
As we’ve seen, at Alert Level 3 very few children return to attend early learning services and kōhanga reo. For those early learning services that open in Alert Level 3, physical distancing is not required within early learning bubbles, however, physical distancing of 2 metres must be observed between the adults working in different early learning bubbles within each service.
Good hygiene practices are very important within bubbles including washing hands, cleaning high-touch surfaces, staying away if sick, and getting tested.
Our guidance for Alert Levels 1-4 is available on our website.
Health and safety in licensed early learning services and kōhanga reo for COVID-19 [PDF, 792KB]
MSD childcare subsidy payments
The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) can continue to pay the MSD childcare subsidy and OSCAR subsidy where centres are closed or children are absent due to the COVID-19 alert system.
People getting a subsidy must remain eligible for MSD childcare assistance in order for these payments to continue.
Please see the MSD website for further details.
Keep up the great work
For our whānau in the North Island, we encourage you to regularly check the locations of interest. If you’ve visited one of these locations during the relevant time, please get a test immediately, self-isolate and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
If you were not at the location of interest at the relevant time, you do not need to be tested unless you are symptomatic.
Koia kei a koe – you’ve got this.