Update 22 April 2020


Tēnā koutou katoa

This week has been full of meetings with the Ministry of Education, and today was no exception, as we work through what happens over the next few weeks.  As you know Playcentres are not permitted to open under Alert Level 3, which the country goes to at midnight on Monday.  You may also be aware of some of the discussions that are taking place in the Early Learning sector about what this means for all the other services.  The Ministry acknowledges the difficulties posed by a service reopening.  In many ways, we are lucky that we are not in the position of having to make those decisions and basically just carry on as we have for the past three weeks.  There is also a sense of relief that we will continue to receive our usual bulk funding.

We know that this funding will continue to apply for the 1 July funding payment, whether or not a service reopens from 29 April.  This also includes advance funding payment in the 1 July funding round and where actual enrolment falls below projected numbers, the Ministry will write off any shortfall or difference to ensure services do not face a “negative” wash-up payment, in other words, if our projections fall short.  

On May 11, the Government will be making its next Alert Level announcement. That gives us plenty of time to be planning for what re-opening Centres will mean for our communities, and what steps we can start taking in advance to ensure a smooth transition back to normal session life, when that occurs.  This is something I have been discussing with the Regional Managers and we will be putting out more information shortly.

Do check out the great new play idea resource in our Virtual Village – family and dramatic play.

Family and dramatic play offers children opportunities to build social skills and explore their own culture. Children can try out interactions within the safety of play. They build language, emotional skills, social skills and problem solving.  And family and dramatic play can be relaxing play for adults too! Click here to view

Ka kite anō au i a koutou.

Sean McKinley