COVID-19

Kia ora koutou - by now, you will have read and heard much about the current COVID-19 pandemic announced by WHO and while we don't wish to overload you with details we are keen to support our members by sharing information relevant to the ECE sector where we can.

Your first port of call for up to date information and instructions should come from official sources including the NZ Government, who have recently developed a new website to cover all things related to the virus and we encourage you to refer to it for updates - covid19.govt.nz.

Other important sources of information are the Ministry of Education (both their website and the Panui/Early Learning Bulletin have regular COVID-19 updates) and the Ministry of Health. If you have further health related questions, please contact Healthline free on 0800 611 116 


Read on for regular updates for our sector, however PLEASE NOTE: All members of the Board are voluntary and also have immediate responsibilities within their own ECE services therefore we won't always have an answer to all of your questions at this uncertain time. We ask you to understand this situation and bear with us while we hear from the Ministry and other agencies as to the official instructions to follow for our sector. We will respond to all of your questions and provide further sector updates as soon as we possibly can. Government agencies are also working hard on informing the public as best and as quickly as they can. Please be patient, be kind to one another, and we will get through this together - thank you :)


Key dates reminder from the Ministry of Education

26 March          Alert Level 4 commenced
28 March          School holidays begin
10 – 14 April     Easter including the Tuesday after Easter
15 April             Term 2 begins
22 April             Current date for ending of lockdown period
27 April             ANZAC Day observed


Regarding the ECE sector:

18 March - The Ministry of Education have posted some very useful FAQs for Early Learning Services - please have a look at this link for further information

19 March -  At the time of writing, no early learning services have been required to close.​ The Ministry is working with other government agencies to align our planning for a range of possible scenarios relating to early learning services and schools. An overview of the decision tool is available here for your information. This tool tells you what will happen in different situations.​

21 March - New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact for COVID-19. People over 70 years of age and those with compromised immunity and certain existing medical conditions are asked to remain at home as much as they can from now on and avoid any non-essential travel. This applies also to all staff, children and young people in schools and early learning services who have compromised immunity or are over 70 years of age. 

Please refer to the MoE funding information regarding absence funding for children - http://education.govt.nz/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-3/#fundingforeve

23 MarchGovernment announcement – moving to Alert Level 3 for 48 hours and then Level 4. The Prime Minister has today announced we are moving to Level 3 for the next 48 hours and then to Level 4 in the COVID-19 Alert Level structure for a further period of 4 weeks. COVID-19 Alert Level [PDF, 50KB]

24 March - Leave subsidy update for home-based educators: It’s important to note that educators who are contractors or self-employed need to apply for the subsidy themselves, rather than the home-based service they contract to, or get work from.
To qualify for the wage subsidy, all applicants must also be able to declare that they meet the other key criteria such as:

  • having experienced a minimum of a 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue (over the period of a month when compared with the same month last year), and that decline is related to COVID-19
  • be taking active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their business
  • making their best effort to retain employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal income for the subsidy period.

25 March - Read the latest MoE bulletin here, with information on essential worker childcare options.

27 March - Read the latest MoE bulletin here, with further information and scenarios regarding supervision and care of children.

28 MarchEarly learning relief teacher applications for COVID-19 Wage Subsidy scheme

30 March - Read the latest MoE bulletin here, with information on COVID-19 and employment relationships

02 April - Read messages from Edubase and Barnardos regarding information on Childcare for Families who are Essential Workers


Regarding employment issues:

Find out more from Government about the economic repercussions of the pandemic here.

Refer to Employment NZ here for guidance for the workplace and business support (including the leave payment scheme)

22 March - The Association have issued an FAQ sheet regarding COVID-19 wage subsidies and leave payment for homebased educators, we hope you find it useful and please feel free to share. We will update this section should we receive any further information from the Ministries or the Government.

28 MarchEarly learning relief teacher applications for COVID-19 Wage Subsidy scheme

30 March - Read the latest MoE bulletin here, with information on COVID-19 and employment relationships


Regarding your safety:

Keep up to date with news from Civil Defence here

Learn more about food safety and more from the Ministry of Primary Industries here

Find out the latest travel alerts from Air New Zealand here


Regarding the kids:

We'll be updating this section with hints, tips and fun resources to share with the children in your care - you'll also find heaps of information on our Facebook page (see below for link).

Nanogirl has some helpful videos to share with children regarding the virus and how to understand it

Check out Amazing Educational Resources - there you'll find links to resources, videos, printables, lesson plans etc. for all ages from preschool upwards; it could be useful for educators and families!

Our friends at Twinkl have many wonderful resources available if you sign up with them, however they have shared some of them with us here; Germ cut outs - Germ experiment - Snuffle station sign - Soap experiment (and accompanying soap experiment record sheet)

The Ministry of Education had links to some learning support resources in their bulletin of 26 March: The Inclusive Education website has 28 guides to help recognise, plan for and meet the learning and wellbeing needs of diverse learners. Inclusive Education website. The following link will take you to resources that may be useful for your teachers supporting students and families with learning at home. Topics include and partnering with parents and whānau. Learning Support Coordinators - Education Conversation website

31 March - Our friend Sharon Holt from Te Reo Singalong has created a site for children and teachers to use during the next 4 weeks. Each week day will feature one Te Reo Singalong book, with a video introducing the book, a video of her doing the book with the song, and a video with an activity. The previous books will remain there for viewing.  Click here for more details.


Keep an eye on this page for more information - we aim to constantly update it with ECE sector information!

Our Facebook page is also being updated - please feel free to have a look: http://www.facebook.com/nzhbca

If you have any specific questions/concerns for us please email us and we will try to help where we can.