21 June 2022 Update


At the time of writing, ALL OF OUR KINDERGARTENS ARE OPEN with additional Kindy Safe measures in place. However, COVID-19 is still in our communities, along with other winter illnesses, and we do expect there may be some disruption to kindergartens. Please ensure you and your whānau have a plan in place.

 

We continue to work to keep tamariki at kindergarten, while making kindy as safe as we possibly can, so the early years of our tamariki remain as normal as they can be in these very disruptive times.


As the nature of COVID in our communities changes, and we face our first full flu season in some time, we will continue to review our policies around vaccination, face coverings and what is required when spending time in our kindergartens. We are all more vulnerable this winter than in the past from risks associated with catching influenza and COVID within a short period of time.


If you are visiting a kindergarten, dropping off or picking up tamariki or supporting us as Parent Help, there are some Kindy Safe measures you are required to comply with under Public Health directives and Kidsfirst Policy. Individual kindergartens may also instigate additional Kindy Safe measures, depending on how COVID is impacting their community.


There are some things you no longer have to do, but we encourage you to continue these, anyway, out of manaakitanga for the more vulnerable members of our kindergarten whānau, and kaiako who may also be at higher risk of complications from COVID. We are also restricting the number of adults who come inside our kindergartens where we can, as COVID is still active in our communities. So if your child is happy to be picked up and dropped off without you coming inside, we appreciate you doing this.


Check the latest Kindy Safe requirements below.


Kia tiaki tātou i a tātou anō. Let us all take care of one another, and above all – be kind, be kindy.

 

We know this continues to be a difficult time for many families – please do reach out to your teaching team to talk things over if you need to. If you have questions about our Kindy Safe measures in general, please get in touch with us through the contact form on this site.


What you need to know now


 

Kidsfirst's Kindy Safe Measures


Kidsfirst's COVID Team continues to set policy and ensure our kindergartens are safe spaces that remain available to as many tamariki as possible. Measures include:

  • All Kidsfirst staff are fully vaccinated

  • When COVID is a significant risk in an area, kindergartens may limit the number of adult visitors indoors

  • Additional planning and measures around kindergarten events and excursions, where necessary

  • Enhanced cleaning measures at all of our sites

  • Well ventilated buildings and creative uses of our Big Backyards to limit exposure to, and the spread of COVID

  • Adherence to relevant public health recommendations and requirements


What to do if your tamariki or whānau are unwell


When your child is unwell:

We need to do all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Please, please keep tamariki at home if they are showing any symptoms of illness, especially at this time. Please arrange for someone else to drop off and pick up your child if you are unwell.


What to do if you or your whānau are confirmed to have COVID-19:

Please let your teaching team know about a positive COVID-19 test result as soon as you get it – it’s up to all of us, now, to let each other know if we’re a confirmed case of COVID-19 or a household contact. It’s important we do this to keep everyone safe, and our kindergartens open. Please note that we are legally obliged to let public health authorities know about positive COVID-19 cases connected to our kindergarten community.


If you've been a close contact of somebody who is confirmed as having COVID-19:

Please follow the official COVID-19 guidance, at this link.


New whānau visits to kindergarten:

The kindy years are such important ones, so we want to do all we can to minimise disruption for your child wherever possible. If you are thinking of enrolling your child, you and your child can still visit the kindergarten, or the teaching team may be able to take you on a virtual tour. Please call the kindergarten you are intending to visit, first. You are encouraged to wear an approved mask at all times per the government guidelines, and we ask that you maintain distancing. You'll also be asked to sign a Visitors Register. Our Open Day and Stay and Play events are suspended for now.

 

What happens when COVID-19 is in your kindergarten community?


If there is a confirmed case or cases in your kindergarten:

  • Your teaching team will let you know in the way that they usually stay in touch with you, or via Educa.

  • We will let you know if there are cases within the wider community, but for privacy reasons, will not share any more detail than that.

  • The kindergarten will remain open, so long as there are sufficient staffing numbers to fill the required positions. Our standard COVID safety measures will remain in place to keep everyone as safe as possible and limit the spread.

  • Your teaching team will stay in touch with you on an ongoing basis, keeping you up to date about what is happening, and they will let you know if there are any changes to the way the kindergarten is operating.

  • As always, your teaching team is available to talk through any concerns – we know it is a difficult time. Should you prefer to keep your child at home, you will be able to retain their place. There will be some paperwork for you to complete, though, and your teaching team will let you know about this.

If your kindergarten has to close:

  • A kindergarten will only close because of COVID-19 if we are unable to meet the staffing numbers and makeup that are a part of the Ministry of Education's requirements for us to be able to operate.

  • Every whānau should have a plan for how they will care for tamariki in this event.

  • You will receive a notification from your teaching team about what is happening, and you can also check for any closures on this site.

  • Your teaching team will endeavour to keep the connection and learning going, with online teaching, and at-home resources, if possible, however, it’s important to understand that COVID-19 is creating disruption in many education settings, ours included, and staffing numbers may mean this is not possible.

What can you do to help keep us all Kindy Safe?

  • Please, keep your child home if they are sick. Follow the public health advice on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

  • Inform your teaching team if your child tests positive for COVID-19, or if there is a positive case in your household. Please note, we are required to pass this information on to the Ministry of Health.

  • Have alternative arrangements in place for picking up tamariki, should they fall ill while they are at kindergarten, so that risk to other tamariki and kaiako is minimised.


This information is current at the date of publication, but things are changing all the time. Please subscribe to updates from this site at the bottom of any page on the website, or follow our Facebook page to receive updates.


There's more information about the government's COVID-19 response and early childhood education here.