Update 27 August 2021

27 August 2021

It is heart-warming to see Playcentres throughout Aotearoa displaying manaakitanga with children, whānau, centre members, and their community. This is a time when it really shows, as we all come together.

It is great to see you sharing with your members and other Playcentres, ideas, activities and resources.

Our prime minister has announced that all of New Zealand, south of Auckland will move to alert level 3 at 11.59pm on Tuesday 31 August 2021.  A further update will be provided on Monday about alert levels specifically for Auckland and Northland. However, it has been indicated that Auckland is likely to stay at level 4 for a further two weeks.

At level 3 and 4 Playcentres do not operate and staff will continue to be paid during lockdowns.

Further guidance on level 3 and 4 is available here

You may have some children who might have been preparing to start school during this Alert Level 4 lockdown period. Here is some key information about transitioning to school:

  • Parents/caregivers should be made aware that children can remain enrolled and remain eligible for 20 Hours ECE until they turn six.
  • Parents/caregivers should have a discussion with their early learning service and intended school about any transition and support available at this time. 
  • If parents/caregivers want their child to start school, then schools are required to enrol children during Alert Level 4.
  • From the age of six there is a legal requirement for every child to be enrolled and to attend a registered school. During Alert Level 4 we will support a parent’s decision to delay enrolment until the child can physically attend school (noting once schools physically re-open, any child who has already turned six does need to enrol and commence attending).

Children aged six or over cannot remain enrolled in any early learning service.

A reminder that the Ministry has a lot of distance learning materials available to you now. These include online teaching and learning resources (with guidance for parents) which can be printed and sent to learners by services. You can find these on our Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Marama websites.

Learning from Home website
Ki te Ao Marama website

The Ministry has reactivated distance learning broadcasts through TVNZ and Māori Television. This includes lots of new content as well as some of the existing content (and familiar faces) from 2020. This content is suitable for a range of ages.

Note that the broadcasting schedule is available online and we invite you to share these links with parents, caregivers and whānau:

In addition, on-demand content can be found here:

  • Home Learning TV can be accessed On Demand or via the TVNZ App on a device (mobile phone, smart TV, or tablet); and

Mauri Reo, Mauri Ora can be accessed on demand from Māori TV.

Here is a great resource for explaining the virus for 4-8 year olds – available in 13 languages including te reo.

‘Super Felix’ is a self-published storybook designed to help kids everywhere make sense of COVID-19 and talk about it with their parents, peers, and teachers. Follow Felix as he overcomes his fear of the virus, and learns what superpowers he has to help everyone stay safe.

It is free to download for your family as a PDF or EBook.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori have published a word list for Covid-19.

You may want to use some of these kupu over the next few days. Kia kaha tātou!

He waka eke noa – we’re all in this together. You’ve done it before, and you can do it again. We hope you’re making looking after your wellbeing a number one priority through this time.
The following resources include information that will be helpful for you and the wellbeing of children learning from home and their whānau.

Tips for parents, teachers and caregivers – supporting toddlers
Tips for parents, teachers and caregivers – supporting children
Children and young people will again look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If adults seem overly worried, children’s and young people’s anxiety may rise. 
Adults can reassure children and young people that everyone is working together, from the Prime Minster down, to help people throughout the country stay healthy and to limit the spread of this virus.
As things change, families and whānau will also want to stay connected with you. For some children, young people and their families’ things may be challenging. As just one person, you might not have all the answers you need, but working collectively can help. Work together with your colleagues, parents, caregivers and whānau iwi, social and health agencies, and other services in your community. 
Whakawhānaungātanga – take the time to connect and listen to ensure genuine and authentic engagement with those around you.