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25 March 2020
COVID-19 25 March Special Bulletin

Government announcement about children aged 0 – 14 of Essential Workers

Further to our Bulletin content about self-isolating groups (circles of care), Government has confirmed the following arrangements today. You may wish to forward this to your community immediately.

This is only available to Essential Workers, while performing essential services.


Where possible, essential workers need to make their own arrangements for childcare, due to limited capacity. 

Where this is not possible alternative arrangements have been made so essential workers can access childcare and continue to work.

What essential workers need to know when making their own arrangements

Essential workers will need to use their existing networks for in home care, for example a neighbor, relative, friend or current carer/nanny who can come to their house, or provide childcare in their own home.

There are Public Health rules that must be observed: 

  • The person caring for the child becomes part of the self-isolating group
  • This group must remain the same for the whole period
  • The carer must not care for children from other households (other than their own) over the same period
  • If a child or carer becomes unwell, they must stay at home.

If essential workers do not have access to childcare through your own networks

If essential workers are unable to access childcare they may use one of three licenced home-based childcare providers. The Government has worked with PORSE, Edubase - Home Grown Kids & Kids at Home, and Barnardos to provide in home care to the children (aged 0-14) of essential workers. They would be subject to the same Public Health rules as set out above.

Contact details are:

Barnardos - covid19enquiries@barnardos.org.nz
Edubase - Home Grown Kids & Kids at Home 0508 44 54 37 or info@hgk.co.nz
PORSE 0800 023 456

This is only available to Essential Workers, while performing essential services. For the purposes of providing care to children of essential workers, the childcare worker will be classified as an essential worker. 

Learning in homes

Over coming week we will be working to access and develop resources to support learning in homes. Our support will mostly be delivered online, and we would be pleased to connect with kaiako who are interested in working with us as we develop this. You can contact us at early.learning@education.govt.nz.

On Monday we launched Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Mārama, two new websites to support teachers, kaiako, parents and whānau to support their children and young people to continue their learning.

These have been produced with other agencies and are a one stop shop for teaching and learning at home, covering early learning through to senior secondary schooling.  These websites will continue to be developed to include a wider range of resources. 

Learning from home
Ki te Ao Mārama

  • Kaiako can use these sites to point parents and whānau to ideas for learning opportunities for their children at home.
  • Parents and whānau will find information, advice, and ideas about supporting learning from home, without needing to become teachers themselves. 

If you have ideas and requests for specific types of resources for the websites please contact Curriculum.Design@education.govt.nz.

Early learning services charging parent fees while services are closed

As you can imagine, many parents, whānau and caregivers are facing considerable pressures during this difficult time for the whole country. For some, the requirement to pay additional fees is a burden, especially if faced with substantial or complete loss of income. 

The Government is supporting early learning services through the ECE subsidy funding with no claw backs during the lockdown period, and the access to the Covid19 Wage Subsidy. We ask you to seriously review your policy of collecting parent fees during the lockdown. 

We appreciate that these are unprecedented times and everyone is grappling with enormous pressure. There is no rule book or process map to follow during these times.

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy

Early learning services who receive the Government’s wage subsidy for their employees are reminded that they required to comply with the obligations of the scheme. These are detailed on the Work and Income website accessible here: COVID-19 Employer Support - Work and Income website

Education Gazette

In light of the impact COVID-19 is having on schools, kura and early learning services, the most recent issue of the Education Gazette has been published in digital format only. You can access the latest issue online through the Issuu website.

Education Gazette 99.5 - Issuu website
 
We encourage all school leaders, teachers, kaiako and support staff to sign up to receive the Education Gazette by email to help stay informed.
 
Sing up for the newsletter - Education Gazette website