Update 14 October 2021

14 October 2021


The government has announced the current Covid-19 alert level 3 response in parts of Waikato and Northland will remain for another five days. The areas will remain at the current level until at least Monday. Auckland continues to remain at step 1 of level 3.

Firstly, thank you for your patience. We are working closely with the Ministry of Education, and during the regular ECAC (Early Childhood Advisory Committee) meetings, we, along with the other ECE providers, are raising many concerns and questions based on what we are hearing from our staff and members.

The Ministry of Health are yet to publish the update to the Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021, which will enable the Ministry of Education to operationalise the mandate. When we receive this information from the Ministry of Education, we will then be able to apply this to the Playcentre context. We have met with the Ministry of Education and are continuing the conversations to advocate for the best interests of our members. Playcentre Aotearoa, as an organisation, has to uphold the law and what is mandated by legislation, and we are working towards developing processes and procedures which will allow us all to satisfy the requirements that have been placed upon all of us.

Some of the concerns/questions we raised with the Ministry of Education yesterday are:

  • The impact of the vaccine mandate on our 22,000 volunteers.
  • How do we continue to uphold our Playcentre values of being inclusive and supporting our diverse membership?
  • How do we continue to meet our licensing requirements?
  • Are we going to get additional support?
  • Clarification on how to monitor vaccination status, the mechanism to record it and  who will be responsible for this? 

Please continue to provide feedback and questions through our new COVID-19 feedback form. This provides us with a formal record and allows us to table these questions to MoE.

Once we have further clarification, we will be creating a frequently asked question bank to support centres with more information as it comes to hand.

Thank you again for your patience. We know that it is hard not having concrete answers at this stage, however this mandate has not been applied to such a large voluntary organisation before. We are in uncharted territory, but we are very conscious of giving accurate and timely information.

We will be sending out another Bulletin tomorrow that will answer some of the questions that are arising.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Super Saturday is happening this weekend – our national day of action to get more people vaccinated.

We encourage you to support the national day of action this Saturday 16 October for the benefit of your communities and our tamariki. 

The Ministry is partnering with Nanogirl Labs to deliver a series of webinars. The aim is to support the education workforce get answers to vaccine questions from a trusted source of information.

Each session will be between 45-60minutes. There is an opportunity for you to submit questions as part of the registration process, and in the live chat itself.

If you’d like to attend the webinar with Dr Michelle Dickinson, please register online here https://bit.ly/3AuZGib