Update 12 October 2021

12 October 2021

Tēnā koutou katoa

Following the Cabinet meeting yesterday afternoon, the Prime Minister and Minister of Education announced that:  

  • Auckland remains at Alert Level 3 Step 1 for another week and this will be reviewed on Monday 18 October 2021.
  • Northland and Waikato will remain at Alert Level 3 until 11.59pm on Thursday 14 October 2021 and will be reviewed on Wednesday 13 October 2021.
  • All staff members who work in early learning services will be required to have a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 15 November 2021 and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.  This applies to all anybody who works on site in early learning including relief teachers, casual staff, administration staff, caretakers, and cleaners – whether direct employees or employees of a contractor.  It also applies to unpaid workers, such as volunteers and any members of the community who are regularly on site at your early learning service as they are likely to come into contact with children.  

As a licenced Early Childhood Education provider, Playcentre Aotearoa takes direction from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Education are still working on the details around this announcement given the Cabinet decision was only reached and published yesterday. This vaccination mandate is unique; given that it is the first one to apply directly to volunteers of an organisation.  We are currently clarifying with the Ministry of Education what this specifically means for Playcentre, our voluntary members and potential logistics. We recognise that there are a lot of questions and providing information and clarity is our current priority.

Cabinet’s reasoning behind this mandate is to keep vulnerable people in society protected. For Playcentre, this is primarily our tamariki. Because of their age they cannot be vaccinated. As a community, we can surround our tamariki with vaccinated people. As a community, our responsibility is to our tamariki. One of Playcentre’s greatest features is that we provide a village, supporting our communities and providing a support network to each other.

We recognise that for some, this may be an unsettling mandate so please continue to be kind and support each other.

There will be further bulletins providing more clarification and details.

We have also set up a new online form and welcome your feedback and input on COVID-19 topics.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui