Nau mai ki te pānui tênei ko te Kōrero.
Kindergarten Teams and Office staff were sent an email update on Monday 4 April outlining Whānau Manaaki’s position regarding Vaccination Mandates.
Although we support the lifting of the mandates, there is risk in doing so at this time for Whānau Manaaki, given the levels of Omicron infection in the community. Instead, we will be undertaking a health risk assessment following guidelines developed by the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) which will help inform our policy position in the future. Staff and their representatives will then be part of the consultation process on the draft policy.
We estimate the process to take approximately 4 to 5 weeks. While we’re undertaking this exercise, the interim policy is:
- Only people who have received two doses of the vaccine against COVID-19, or people holding a valid vaccination exemption, or people who have contracted Covid-19 (and can provide independent verification by a registered medical practitioner) can work at Whānau Manaaki ECE services (including Whānau Manaaki offices) or be around children in our ECE services during service opening hours.
- Booster vaccinations will be strongly encouraged rather than being compulsory. We will continue to keep records of vaccinations. Please keep providing evidence of booster shots to our Covid-19 vaccination email address
- All other procedures and public health measures that our services currently have in place will continue.
Some questions have been raised about the issue of unvaccinated people having up to 30 minutes to drop off and pick up their children. This procedure remains in place along with all other procedures. If there are concerns about this, or if teams are concerned that children may be missing out eg. if they are leaving kindergarten to go to school and want to follow the final day traditions of the kindergarten, please discuss this with your Senior Teacher and with COO Amy Weightman. We need to maintain our health measures AND we need to celebrate milestones in children’s lives.
Remember, the risk of Covid-19 has been reduced by several factors:
- A high level of vaccination in the community
- All our staff are currently fully vaccinated
- A number of people have had a Covid-19 infection providing a level of immunity
- We follow many other public health measures to keep children safe and minimise transmission within kindergarten
We’ll keep you posted about the Health Risk Assessment and the policy development.
Please keep using the Ministry of Education supplied RAT tests twice a week as outlined in a previous Kōrero.
If you are not working with children over the term break, then you do not need to take the tests.
Please make tests available to whānau if they are needed but encourage them to consult their doctor or Healthline if necessary.
There have been some delays in delivering your RAT's due to hold ups in the distribution centre in Auckland. If you haven't received your tests you can contact Nicole Harper via email.
Testing and Isolation after you have had COVID-19
There has been some confusion about the public health advice around what to do AFTER you have recovered from Covid-19. Please follow the guidelines below.
- Once you have recovered from Covid-19, you no longer need to isolate as a household contact. This remains the case for three months after you have recovered. While you can get Covid-19 again, the chance of re-infection in the three months after recovery is low.
- Once you have tested positive, further testing for Covid-19 is not required for 28 days post positive test, or symptoms starting (whatever came first)
- If you do notice new symptoms after 28 days, undertake a RAT and if positive, you are a new case. You need to isolate again and follow guidance for people with Covid-19.
- Remember that if you take a PCR test within three months of recovery it’s likely you will test positive even if there is no new infection. These tests are very sensitive, and you will still have the virus in your system.
- If you have any concerns about your symptoms at any time please talk to your doctor, or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
Leave Subsidy Applications
We are applying for leave subsidy payments from MBIE when we are providing Covid-19 leave for any staff. To do this, we need to provide details as part of the application such as name, date of birth, etc.
If you do not consent to us providing these details on your behalf to MBIE, please let us know
immediately by emailing Karen Skett.
Senior Teacher Update
Enrolling in Te Ahu O Te Reo Māori
If you have enrolled in Te Ahu O Te Reo Māori (Ministry of Education Initiative) this year, or you are thinking of registering for this later in 2022, please remember to get in touch with your Senior Teacher to discuss.
New Head Teacher Meeting
We look forward to seeing all our new head teachers next week ,11 April 2022, from 10.00am to 3.30pm. If you are attending this meeting, please enrol through Tūhonohono, or if this is proving tricky contact Ottalie directly.
Remember also to let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.
Research In Kindergartens
Just a reminder that if your kindergarten is approached and asked to be involved in any type of research project, it is important that you talk with, either your Senior Teacher or Lyn wright who oversees the research portfolio.
As an association we do need to maintain a record of projects we are part of and agree to kindergartens being involved. You can contact Lyn Wright, via email
Students In Kindergartens
We are wanting to let you know we have been approached by Victoria University about upcoming student practicums and are happy for these students to be in our kindergartens. If you are one of the kindergartens that receives an email requesting a student placement, it is fine for you to respond directly to Moe Nanai. We would also ask that you include Lyn Wright in your response so we can maintain our record of student placements.
Important Payroll Reminder
As we approach end of term please remember that all weekly staffing reports/StaffSync and time sheets will need to be received by 10.00am Wednesday 13 April.
With fees due to increase next term for many of our families, make sure you work with your senior teacher to address any issues that arise.
Here’s a link to our Frequently Asked Questions.
Long Serving Teacher to Retire
The Association would like to acknowledge Diane Mallard who is retiring from Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens after 29 years of service at Onslow Kindergarten, and a total of 40 years working in Early Childhood Education.
The Onslow Kindergarten community will be celebrating Diane’s long and illustrious career with a goodbye afternoon tea on the last day of term.
We thank Diane for her valuable service over the last three decades, and wish her a wonderful and well deserved retirement!
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