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Business as Usual in a Covid-19 Protection Framework (CPF) Environment
Operating at Red
Update 3 February 2022
- Business As Usual in a Covid-19 CPF - Kindergarten Pack 20 January 2022
- SUPPLEMENT to He Whānau Manaaki Kindergarten Information Pack 24 January 2022
- Update 27 January 2022 (in Kōrero)
Happy First Week of February!
Information for Parents and Whānau
Information for parents and whānau will be emailed out to kindergartens this afternoon. Please distribute it via your regular channels.
You will have received a personal email this week about vaccinations, and the need for everyone to get boosters as part of complying with the government’s health order.
This went to everyone’s Whānau Manaaki email address, so check there if you have not seen it.
Since then, the gap between second vaccination and booster doses has reduced to three months, so now many more people are able to book boosters. Please do this as soon as you are eligible, and keep sending your My Covid record to our dedicated vaccination email address.
We have employed Nicole Harper who is also Administrator at Katoa Kindergarten in Porirua, to be part of the Whānau Manaaki admin team, taking charge of receiving and recording vaccination evidence from our staff.
Operating our kindergartens at “Red”
Please keep referring to the kindergarten pack we sent out earlier this month (20 January) about operating through the different traffic lights, and the supplementary information on 24 and 27 January. Click below for a link to those documents. There is a lot of information in the pack, including FAQs which will answer many of your questions.
There has been some confusion about whether families should attend kindergarten at Red, with initial advice from the government suggesting people stay home if they can. In fact, all children are encouraged to come to kindergarten in the Red setting, and a subsequent update from the Ministry of Education has confirmed this. Be aware that this might change in the future and if it does, we'll let you know.
With Omicron expected to be widespread in the community in the coming weeks and months, we are continually planning how we respond and have systems in place. We are in close contact with the Ministry of Education. We are here to support you as we have been throughout the pandemic.
Teachers and all staff do need to make sure their head teacher and senior teacher know if you are a close contact, have had a positive test, or are awaiting a test result, so that we are able to plan next steps if necessary.
Announcements today about the borders mean we will move to home isolation for most vaccinated kiwis returning from Australia at the end of the month, and home isolation for New Zealanders from other places from mid March.
Just to remind you, we’ll be including Covid Updates in the Kōrero each week. If there is an announcement that requires us to send out correspondence to you urgently, we will do, and your Senior Teacher will alert your team.
Frequent Absence Rules
The Ministry of Education has advised that the Frequent Absence Rule has again been reset and that the proactive use of EC12 will be required for whānau choosing not to send children to kindergarten for covid-related reasons. This means that for any children not attending because it is Red, they will need to complete an EC12 declaring their intention to return at Orange/Green.
Please ensure you are getting whānau to complete these forms as soon as possible.
Please email completed forms to Tania Braybrook.
Please continue to enter your sign-in sheets daily. This is a vital part of our process for monitoring and contact tracing.
Are you all goods? COVID-19 Whānau Planning Resource
Are you all goods is a website created for Whanganui whānau to prepare and start thinking about what to do if someone close gets COVID-19. It is specific to the Whanganui region, but includes heaps of excellent information to help all communities.
Here is a PDF resource from the site that can be shared or printed for whānau across the motu.
Just a reminder, if you identify a new hazard at kindergarten, it is important that you complete the following steps:
- Ensure that initial risk that the hazard poses is minimised/addressed as soon as possible.
- Please ensure that visitors to the kindergarten & staff are made aware of the hazard by adding it to the white board.
- If the hazard requires maintenance, please following the HWM maintenance request process.
- Enter the hazard onto your Hazard Register using the Report a Hazard form on GOSH. Please ensure that you complete both sides of the form including review dates.
- If you have assessed the hazard as being “Extreme” or “High” risk, please ensure that you are reviewing the hazard at least weekly – daily is preferred.
- If the hazard is eliminated, please ensure that you update the hazard record to reflect this.
Please review your Hazard register in week 9 of each term using the Week 9 Hazard audit form which is located in My Kindergarten on GOSH.
Once you have completed your termly audits, can you please ensure that you print off an up to date Hazard Register which should be made available in your Visitors Book.
Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Lorraine.
Kindergarten Fees to Rise Next Term
As was highlighted to teams at the Regional Staff Meetings in Term 4 last year, Whānau Manaaki will be increasing fees this year in order to ensure our services remain sustainable, and to make our fee structure more equitable across our kindergartens.
It is a long time since our fees have risen, and we have been working hard to manage costs, however the time has come when the board has had to make this decision to ensure the future of our kindergartens. We recognise that this may cause some difficulties for some families, and so we will be making changes in stages to make it easier for families to adjust.
We will continue to offer 20 hours free to all children over three who attest their hours to us, and to all children under three, so up to half of our families will not be affected by this. For those kindergartens who currently offer 30 hours free (mainly kindergartens in the Whanganui and Central Plateau), this will mean a change.
Because our current fee structure is complicated with different arrangements and different starting points, it is not possible to give a simple dollar figure of the fee rise we are making. We will provide more specific detail to each kindergarten in a pack to be sent over the coming weeks. The pack will also include information for conversations with families about how fees are spent and why they are needed and what we can do to help in cases of family hardship. We will also continue to offer a fee discount for equity funded kindergartens.
We want to continue to ensure our services are accessible to all, so we will continue to be providing support in situations of family stress. We will be providing more information to head teachers about how this works at the Head Teacher Meetings this term.
The increases will take effect in Term 2 this year with a further increase for some of our kindergartens in Term 1 next year.
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens will remain one of the most affordable options for early childhood education.
Senior Teacher Update
Kia ora koutou katoa,
Annual review update
As discussed at our last RSM, the Senior Teacher team have been working on the development of a new annual review document. The next step in this review is to trial the new framework, with a small number of kindergartens from each region. This will further inform the Senior Teacher team before we confirm its final form.
Over the coming week your senior teacher will be touch with you to let you know if you will be part of the trial and what this will involve. For teams not taking part in the trial your senior teacher will still be meeting with you and supporting you to determine your goals and STLP (strategic teaching and learning plan) focus for 2022.
New Administrator Supporting Vaccination Mandate
As mentioned above Nicole Harper is now working three days a week in the Association office to manage the administration of the vaccination mandate for our staff and our contractors.
Nicole is also available to support kindergarten administrators with vaccination requirements so if you have any questions or want to contact her please contact her here.
Facebook Posting Tips
Hello from the Comms Team!
Here are a few tips for Facebook posting. We have more detailed information available if you need that for the mechanics of Facebook posting, you can contact Kaz for this.
If you need something created i.e. a “we have spaces” Facebook ad (or flyers, posters, etc) you can contact Kitty.
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