Update: 11th May 2020
With much anticipation, I am sure you have all been watching the Prime Minister’s announcement that we will be moving to Alert Level 2 effective from this Thursday with childcare and schools being reopened under Alert Level 2 effective from Monday the 18th May. With a few limitations such as limiting group gatherings to 10 people, good handwashing and social distancing we are able to reopen and balance a new, safer normal. Precautions include keeping your distance from people you don’t know, especially when on public transport, wash your hands and regularly, keep a track of where you have been and who you have seen and if you are sick, stay home.
Under Alert Level 2, the Ministry of Education require our Visiting Teachers to do home visits again and they will be sure to also take these measures to help reduce risks with them visiting between homes. For those Educators wishing to return next Monday, Visiting Teachers will be in contact with you to organise a visit on Thursday or Friday this week to do a quick safety check of your home.
Over the coming days as we plan for reopening across our service, we will continue to keep you up-to-date with any additional information that may be advised by the Ministry of Education.
We would like to take this time to acknowledge all of our families who are essential workers and have continued work through Alert Levels 4 and 3, and to those Educators who provided care for their children during this time. We would also like to thank all of our Nurtured at Home community for your commitment to staying home and saving lives. We know this time may have been difficult for many of you and together, we have done our bit to help save the lives of so many more people. We are so incredibly proud of the positive attitude and sense of community spirit over the past 6 weeks within Nurtured at Home and we hope this announcement brings all of you a little closer to family, whānau and friends.
Care under Level 2 Faq’s
When will Nurtured at Home be able to operate under Level 2?
With the announcement that New Zealand will be moving to Alert Level 2, childcare will be able to resume for all children effective from Monday 18th May 2020.
Will OSCAR or other subsidies be available?
WINZ childcare subsidies will resume for any child attending.
We have not had notification yet about the restarting of OSCAR, but as care and education can start to return to normal, as long as we do this in a safe and conscientious way under Alert Level 2, we would expect that this includes OSCAR.
Is there a charge for parents not using care in Level 2?
Care is able to resume like normal under Alert Level 2 so childcare fees for booked hours will also resume.
What happens for Educators not working?
If Educators choose not to return under Alert Level 2, then alternative care will be offered to families wanting to return. Educators will not be able to charge parents or be reimbursed for children in this instance.
Can I send my child to more than one ECE service?
Under Alert Level 2 children can resume their previous attendance at multiple services.
Parents need to ensure that enrolment agreements are up to date.
Will I be visited by my Visiting Teacher?
As a transitional arrangement, monthly visit requirements during May can continue using either online methods, or by a face-to-face-visit. This means for those families and Educators who may not feel comfortable having an additional person coming into the home and interacting with children, have time to adjust to care under Alert Level 2. From June, face-to-face visits by Visiting Teachers are required.
Will my child be eligible for the WINZ childcare subsidy?
WINZ childcare subsidies will resume for any child attending under Alert Level 2.
What if my child is unwell?
Parents are asked to be vigilant about keeping any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to the service, they must be sent home.
Children must not attend the service if they are sick. If parents or caregivers are sick, they must not enter the premises.
It is recommended that parents be asked to keep children home if anyone in the household is sick as a precaution. Any child that becomes unwell while at the service must be immediately isolated.
It is also recommended that parents be asked to keep children home if anyone in the household is sick as a precaution.
How do you physically distance children in ECE?
There are no requirements to physically distance in ECE. It is not possible to adequately care for infants and young children from a distance. Good hygiene practices are required.
What handwashing, cleaning and hygiene protocols are in place?
Regular handwashing is required, including on arrival to the service and before and after meals. Where soap and water is not readily available, hand sanitiser should be provided.
All surfaces must be cleaned at the end of each day, including beds.
Indoor temperature needs to be at 18 degrees Celsius. This is a requirement and is increased from the current minimum of 16 degrees.
Children need to have their own food containers and drink bottles and these mustn’t be shared between children.
A contact tracing register is required – we will be supplying this to Educators.
PPE is not required.
Are there any limits on what toys will be available to children?
All toys will be available for children. Toys should be wiped down at the end of each day. Dress ups and other fabric items should be regularly laundered. Any item that has been in children’s mouths should be removed from the play space and thoroughly cleaned.
Will playgroups, Discovery Days and professional development be able to resume under Level 2?
At this point with the announcement of limiting numbers of people in social gatherings to 10 people in total, we are waiting for further guidance on what this will look like for our playgroups, discovery days and professional development. Once gatherings are able to be more than 10, then the following guidelines will be in place:
- Playgroups that are not open to the public with only our Educators and children onsite will be able to resume. Public playgroups/music groups will not be offered by Nurtured at Home, as the ability to easily contact trace and ensure health and safety is harder to control.
- Educators wishing to take children to publicly-run playgroups will need to get parent permission for this to occur, and will need to satisfy themselves that the playgroup is taking all necessary steps to meet all of the health requirements required under Alert Level 2, including those in our procedures. Educators must complete a contact tracing form on arrival.
- Discovery Days in the community are possible during Alert Level 2 providing we can meet the physical distancing requirements under Alert Level 2, and that children and staff are able to maintain a 2-metre distance from others outside the service.
- Professional Development ran by Nurtured at Home will be able to resume.
Compliance is required to ensure Playgroups, Discovery Days and Professional Development stay within the guidelines set for public gatherings. Playgroups, Discovery Days and Professional Development must have hand sanitiser for everyone (including children) attending to use, and the contact tracing register completed. It is essential during Alert Level 2 that the Educator’s own excursion form is completed for every outing outside of the home.
Will Learning Support be available under Level 2?
At Alert Level 2 learning support staff and independent early intervention providers are able to provide direct support to children and families/whānau across multiple sites and for those learning from home. Early intervention services will be open at Alert Level 2, while also providing remote support.
As an Educator or Nanny (nanny family) will I need to have a Contact Tracing Register?
Families are required to complete the Contact Tracing Register.
- Contact tracing registers must be set up to record who is on site in each physical space each day, who visits, eg: parents.
- You must record the date, time, name of any person on-site (staff, child, parent/caregiver or any visitor) and ensure their phone contact details are included. Nurtured at Home will provide these to all Educators and Nannies.
Examples of visitors:
- Parents/caregivers if they enter the premises.
- Tradespeople completing essential repairs in the premises.
- Education support workers working with children with learning support needs.
- Your Visiting Teacher
You must ensure any person (staff, child, parent/caregiver or any visitor) who has flu-like symptoms do not enter the premises. These include symptoms such as sore throat, cough, sneezing, blocked ears, head cold, fever or body aches.
You should consider limiting visitors inside the premises where possible to facilitate physical distancing between adults.