Educational providers – including all schools – will be closed while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4.
Schools will be provide information about what this means directly to parents.
The upcoming school term break will be brought forward to start on Monday 30 March. For the remainder of this week, and through the term break, schools will establish ways to deliver teaching online and remotely.
Help children cope with anxiety by providing accurate information.
Children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events such as COVID-19. Parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers will have a particularly important part to play in reassuring children at this time.
Children will react to and follow your verbal and non-verbal cues. If you are able to stay informed and realistic, it will be easier for you to reassure children effectively as well.
Children need factual, age-appropriate information about COVID-19 so that they can also feel informed and in control. They need to know how they can play a part in avoiding infection and slowing the spread of virus.
They also need to feel that any fears they may have can be talked about and addressed.
If no one in your family has COVID-19, nor has had close contact with anyone with COVID-19, emphasise to your children that they – and your family – are fine.
Evidence shows children are less susceptible to COVID-19. Parents and caregivers should follow standard guidelines to prevent the virus spreading by:
Let your children talk about their feelings, and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.
You know your children best. If they have a lot of questions, consider how much extra information would or wouldn’t be helpful for them to know before replying.
Where possible, essential workers need to make their own arrangements for childcare, due to limited capacity.
We know this will not be possible for everyone. Alternative arrangements have been made so essential workers can access childcare and continue to work.
Your employer will tell you if you qualify as an essential worker for these purposes.
Making your own arrangements is the preferred approach. We encourage you to use your existing networks for in home care, for example a neighbour, relative, friend or current carer/nanny who can come to your house, or provide childcare in their own home. There are Public Health rules you need to comply with:
If you are unable to access childcare to perform your essential service, the government has agreed that it will fund other licensed childcare providers (for example through PORSE, OSCAR and Barnados) 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.
For the purposes of providing care to children of essential workers, the in-home carer will be classified as an essential worker.
Some of the key providers include:
0800 BARNARDOS (0800 227 627)
Edubase / Home Grown Kids
0508 44 54 37
0800 023 456
The best thing everyone can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 is stay home. This includes parents with shared custody arrangements, and their children. The Principal Family Court Judge has released guidance for parents with shared custody arrangements.
Generally, children in the same communities can continue to go between their homes. Simple precautions should be taken to protect the health of parents and children. This includes parents from different households keeping a distance of more than 2 metres.
If the families are in different towns or communities, then the children should stay in one home. Children should also stay in one home if they're feeling unwell, or if someone in their home is unwell or has been overseas in the last 14 days. This will protect the health of parents, caregivers and children.
The Ministry of Education is working with all schools and early childhood centres and is providing resources and additional support. We know that maintaining routines is important and children look to both their parents and teachers for this support. It’s natural for children to want to be at school to play and learn with their peers so where possible schools will operate as usual.
For updated information about possible closures check with your school or early childhood centre.
Some children may be feeling worried about COVID-19 and being at school will give them further opportunities to understand what’s happening and who is helping. If you want to talk to your children about COVID-19
If you’re worried that a child or young person you know is not safe or being cared for, or you know a child who has been separated from their parents or caregivers, you can phone Oranga Tamariki on 0508 326 459 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or email email@example.com