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Covid 19 Update
Business as Usual in a Covid-19 Protection Framework (CPF) Environment
Operating at Red
Update 27 January 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
Life is a rollercoaster aye?
As we work our way through our ever-changing landscape that is Covid-19, we will distribute information to you – we probably won’t send out daily updates, and so in each update we will list the documents (as we have done above) that we have sent out so you can keep track.
You will be aware that the Secretary of Education emails a Covid-19 update on a regular basis. A link to the latest update is here: MOE Covid-19 Update
We use this information to help inform the approach and policies that HWM adopts that is communicated to you via our own Kindergarten Packs and Email Updates. Please use our information as your main source of guidance as it adapts the more generic MoE information to our particular circumstances.
Boosters become part of Vaccine Mandate. The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2022 has been published and came into force at 11.59pm on 23 January 2022. A booster dose is now required for everyone affected by the 15 November and 1 January education workforce mandates.
This means that:
· all affected people need to have received two COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as a booster dose within 183 days (6 months) of their second vaccination.
· If 183 days (6 months) have already passed since the person received their second vaccination, they are required to receive their booster dose by 1 March 2022.
· Any person who does not meet these requirements will not be able to continue working on site. (source: MoE, 25 January 2022)
This is what is required by the Public Health Order, however, people are able to access their booster dose 4 months after getting their second vaccination, and we encourage you to do so. We will be emailing all staff via their personal work email early next week to highlight the amended Order and detail the process you should follow in submitting your information.
Continuation of Employee Assistance Programme Support
The free EAP support programme will continue to be available this year. All teachers, regular relievers and support staff in early learning services are eligible to access these services. You’ll find further information about these EAP services on our website. Or if you any questions call 0800 327 669 / 1800 726474 or visit the EAP website.
Use of Kindergarten at the Red Setting
Welcoming Children to Kindergarten
Please read the “SUPPLEMENT to He Whānau Manaaki Kindergarten Information Pack 24 January 2022”. We acknowledge that the Ministry has said that parents/caregivers who can supervise their children at home should do so. However, the Ministry have also made it clear that it is our job to be open and to welcome all children and whānau to kindergarten who wish to participate. The Ministry priority remains to have children onsite to best support their engagement in learning. It is up to parents and whānau to determine whether or not they send their children and what is best for their specific situation. We will not tell them what they should do. We understand that this is a tricky time because this is not the alert system, and so very few things are clear cut. We need to operate business as usual and then adapt to the unusual.
There has been a question about whether families pay fees if they keep their children at home. At this stage our fee charging system remains as is – namely unless the kindergarten is closed, fees will be charged. We intend to send communication out to families next week and will cover issues such as this in more detail. We will also send you info around this and clarify funding rules etc next week, once we have more information.
Birthday Parties and Leaving Celebrations
The rule of thumb should be that maintaining your existing ways of celebrating events that are important to tamariki– for example birthday and leaving celebrations. The numbers of adults attending should be minimised to those who are essential to the child’s celebration. Again, we understand this is tricky because this can vary, and so you need to engage with your families and negotiate what is appropriate for them and the child within your context. If you need support, please contact your Senior Teacher.
Use of Kindergarten Outside of Session Times
Our focus is on the ability of the kindergarten to be kept clean for children and staff to use during session times. To this end, Kindergartens cannot be used during the week, but can be used on the weekend, so long as vaccine passes are used and the kindergarten is thoroughly cleaned afterwards, including all surfaces. If these conditions cannot be met then the event cannot be held.
Sign in and out
Please read the “Business As Usual in a Covid-19 CPF - Kindergarten Pack 20 January 2022” that provides more detail around signing in and out, but while the weather is good, please consider having the table outside if it is practical.
Other issues that have come up
We’ve stated that visitors (including parents and whānau) must wear masks or have exemptions when on kindergarten property. Staff, although not required to, should try to wear masks when they are meeting with visitors. Again, you don’t have to if you are working with children, but if you are away from children and meeting with a visitor, try to wear a mask.
The use of masks by the public is about source control - to reduce the number of particles containing infectious virus that the mask wearer releases when breathing out, protecting other people in close proximity from being exposed to the virus. The use of disposable surgical masks (as identified by the Prime Minister and already provided to all the kindergartens) suits this purpose, and they are better than cloth masks at filtering airborne particulates.
Mask wearing is most effective in conjunction with other health measures like physical barriers, cough etiquette, hand hygiene, and physical distancing when possible.
There have been questions about HWM acquiring P2/N95 masks because some commentators recommend them. At the moment, the Ministry of Health says P2/N95 particulate respirators should be preserved for high-risk settings – for “health care workers to protect themselves from exposure to infectious respiratory particles generated by patients suspected or confirmed to be infected with pathogens transmitted by the airborne route”.
So, at this time we won’t be sourcing N95 masks for staff use. We will continue to assess advice on this, and it may change. We are currently seeking more disposable surgical masks. If you are running short of these, contact your Senior Teacher and we’ll get more to you. It’s really good to have masks available for parents and whānau who come without one.
Doors into the outdoor area should be kept open to enable children to easily access the inside and outside environment. Where it is safe to do so (e.g. children won’t fall out a window and onto hard ground) windows should be left open so there is a fee flow of air.
We are aware again that some public commentators have advocated for the use of air purifiers in educational settings. We are in the process of finding out more information about the potential benefits and the appropriateness of these products in a Kindergarten setting.
Our facilities team are currently undertaking a piece of work to explore what sort of products would be suitable. They are also looking at installation requirements and whether those can be met safely (some models are supposed to be floor-mounted in the centre of a room). We note that Ministry of Health have highlighted that Air Purifiers should not ever be considered a substitute for good ventilation. So remember, ventilation, alongside good hygiene and distancing measures, are the most effective approaches to minimising transmission.
As was made clear at the Regional Staff Meetings in term 4 last year, we will take our advice from the NZ Ministry of Health in the first instance. At this time, while we gather more information and seek further advice, we will not be rolling out air purifiers in all our kindergartens and we are not expecting you to use fundraising or operational budget to purchase them.
Adapting to Change
As we all know, this is a changing landscape, and just as we have done so to date, we will adjust as Ministry of Health (and Ministry of Education) advice changes. You have and continue to do a wonderful job in adapting to the changes in your setting and continuing to be a reassuring influence on the children and their whānau.
As always, thanks for your cooperation and keep sending through any questions to your Senior Teacher and/or to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples has published information about the Omicron variant plus "Life at Red" in various languages. If you think these could be of use/interest to your communities they can be accessed on the MPP facebook page or their website.
Senior Teacher Update
Kia ora koutou katoa
From all of us in the Senior Teaching team , a warm welcome back and happy new year to you all.
New Ways of Working/ST Hui
Next week, on the 31st of January and the 1st of February, the Senior Teacher team will be meeting again with Clare Wells to continue the mahi around our new ways of working. If you need to contact us over these 2 days please ring or email as normal and we will get back to you ASAP.
What’s happening with PLD for 2022
In the Kōrero you will continue to see our ‘usual’ offerings of PLD such as Regional Meetings, Head Teacher Meetings, First Aid, Child Protection, Leaderful Practice, Kapa Haka and Induction and Mentoring.
The Senior Teacher team will continue to look at how PLD will be delivered in a COVID environment as well as in our new ways of working in clusters. We will keep you updated.
Where to find what’s on offer
There are two ways to find this out.
- The visual spreadsheet for 2022 as it looks so far (PDF sent to Jan separately)
- In the Kōrero
How to find it in the Kōrero
When you work your way to the end of the main document, there is a “tab” called PLD – click on that to see what is in store for the rest of the year and what has so far been planned for Term 1 of 2022.
When you are finished, click on the back arrow (high lighted in yellow in the picture below)
How to enrol
Remember to enrol in PLD by logging in to Tūhonohono or alternatively contact Karen Craig.
ERO Upcoming launch of a publication
With Aotearoa being more ethnically and culturally diverse than ever before, ERO has undertaken work to understand examples of good culturally responsive teaching in early childhood education.
ERO’s upcoming report, Responding to Diverse Cultures: Good Practice in Home-based Early Childhood Services, looks at how children’s cultures and languages can be reflected in everyday practice, supporting their learning and wellbeing.
We know that good education is not one-size-fits-all, and when working with children and families that are a different cultural context to their own, kaiako need to take deliberate actions to respond to the child’s unique way of being, knowing, and doing. Culturally responsive teaching affirms and builds on children’s cultures and languages to promote rich, relevant learning experiences.
Drawn from home-based ECE settings, this new report is a collection of useful examples to inspire and motivate kaiako to grow their ability in culturally responsive teaching.
Following the publication of this report, we (ERO) will also be running a webinar for kaiako and leaders on culturally responsive teaching. This webinar will be free to attend and is likely to run on the evening of Thursday 3 March – more information on this to follow
Approaches by students wanting to use a kindergarten as their home centre for their voluntary hours requirement for studying
Lyn Wrightand Katie Fryare the senior teachers managing the students and volunteers portfolio now that Paula Hunt has retired.
If you have been approached by a student who has enrolled with an ECE tertiary provider (eg Te Rito Maioha, Open Polytech, UCOL,) and are asking to do their required volunteer hours for their study in your kindergarten, can you please send their email or details of their request to Lyn and/or Katie. Can you also please tell us if you know or don’t know the person, and if you are willing or not willing to have them or indeed any volunteer student in your kindergarten while they study.
Once Katie and Lyn get the information they will contact the person and gather the information needed. Any students will need to be fully vaccinated, and if they are to be used as a reliever in the kindergarten then they must have completed the relievers kit and have a police vet.
Te Reo Māori Online PLD Opportunity - He Pātaka Reo
We are pleased to announce that we have been able to continue with the wonderful opportunity to work in partnership with Te Rito Maioha, Early Childhood New Zealand to be able to offer an online Te Reo Māori course (He Pātaka Reo) in 2022.
He Pātaka Reo | Te Reo Pantry is an online professional learning and development course made up of three stages consisting of 6 akoranga in each. Each stage covers topics you can use both in your kindergarten and in daily conversations.
They are designed to encourage and support you to build confidence in speaking te reo Māori and will be a perfect PLD opportunity to support your progress in the Te Tiriti o Waitangi Partnership Standard for the Teaching Profession elaboration ‘’practise and develop the use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori’’.
Stage 1 starts with the basics including the Māori alphabet and correct pronunciation, how to greet someone and introduce yourself in a traditional way, and how to praise someone in te reo Māori.
Stage 2 introduces more activity-based language to use with outdoor play, physical activity, shapes, painting and more.
Stage 3 continues to grow kaiako use of te reo Māori with puzzles, reading, locating objects, and different words and phrases used in outdoor activities, animals and buildings.
Each akoranga will take approximately 45 minutes. Kaiako can access and review any time throughout the year.
If you have already enrolled, then you should be able to continue from where you left off in 2021.
If you wish to enrol, then please fill out the information in the form in this link.
Any difficulties, contact Kaz Craig.
Once your interest has been accepted, you will be enrolled into the online course and will then receive an email to your WM account with your individual sign-in information and information on how to access He Pātaka Reo. This may take up to a week. Please check your "junk" or "spam" email folder for this if you don't find it - this has been a problem in the past.
Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria
My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul
The Senior Teacher Team
Head Teacher Meetings
There was an error with the start time shown in the PLD tab last week for the Head Teacher Meetings. Please note these meetings start at 3pm and not 2pm as shown. Apologies for this error.
Term 1 2022 Whānau Contributions
Your families may be starting to ask about Term 1 requests for Whānau Contributions. Feel free to let them know that these will be emailed out next week. Hard copies will also be delivered to kindergartens for distribution through “child pockets”.
So that we have the most up to date information for our request letters can you please try and have all your children’s enrolment records in Infocare (and email contact information) up to date by the end of day on Tuesday 1 February.
Ministry of Education RS7 Reporting
Just a reminder that the Association has to report “RS7” funding information about your kindergarten to the Ministry of Education for the current funding period (1 October 2021 – 31 January 2022) by Tuesday 8 February 2022.
All of the information we require is generated from your enrolment and staff timetable information in Infocare, so we need your help to ensure that all of this is complete and accurate.
As with normal month end requirements can you please ensure that, for all the weeks in this funding period (which ends on Monday), the following is completed in Infocare by 4pm Tuesday 1 February:
- Sign in sheets marked in Infocare (actual attendance)
- Fee invoices are created and committed
- Staff timetables (“staff hour counts”) are completed
- Online sign off of your monthly roll return
- Full year kindergartens please remember to print off the January frequent absence reports and have parents/caregivers sign them
- Any ratio, attendance or roll issues are communicated to the Association (please call Tania at the Porirua Office)
If you have staff away can you please ensure arrangements are in place so that this deadline is met – this may mean that these tasks need to be completed by Teaching staff before the cut off.
We will be reviewing your Infocare RS7 data so you may receive reminder emails or queries on Wednesday 2 February.
No changes to Infocare for the 1 October 2021 – 31 January 2022 funding period will be able to be made after 4pm, Wednesday 2 February 2022.
Study Assistance Grant
We are inviting applications for Whanau Manaaki’s Study Assistance Grant. This is to support people who are studying to upgrade or enhance their qualification in education or in relation to their work.
Have a read of the policy here and if you wish to make an application, fill in the form attached to the policy and attach your invoice, receipt or other proof of the cost of the study. Send your application to the People team here by 5pm on Monday 28 February 2022.
Pest Control At Kindergarten
12-month service contracts with a Pest Control provider are not to be entered into by kindergartens unless advised.
For any pest issues, please fill out a maintenance request on GOSH. If you have any questions, email Lupeni here.
Kindergartens Aotearoa Speaks Up For Children
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens through our collective organisation Kindergartens Aotearoa has made a submission to a government select committee about saving the Children’s Commissioner.
A bill before parliament would replace the named Children’s Commissioner with a group of people, but many organisations representing the wellbeing of children and young people, including kindergartens, are concerned about losing a high-profile Commissioner to speak up for all children.
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens also joined the Children’s Rights’ Alliance in a joint submission representing many organisations, that sought changes to better allow for monitoring of children in the care of Oranga Tamariki.
We have asked to speak to the Select Committee about our concerns.
Here’s a link to the Kindergartens’ Aotearoa submission. Please don’t circulate publicly as submissions are confidential until heard by the Select Committee.
Support For The People of Tonga
Malo e lelei
As you will be aware, the eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai undersea volcano and the subsequent tsunami that hit the shores of Tonga on Saturday 14 January has been devastating for the people of Tonga. HWM will be coordinating any fundraising that kindergartens may want to do. If you are going to fundraise it is probably best to plan to do it at some stage between now and the end of February.
Although operating in the Covid-19 Red setting adds a layer of challenge, examples of fundraising activities that teams have undertaken are coin trails, a silent auction, and a Crazy Hair Day where children bring donations.
Please think about how you might engage in supporting the whānau of Tonga. Any moneys raised can be deposited into the following account:
Bank – ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited
· Payee Name – Whanau Manaaki Kindergartens Limited
· Account number – 06-0541-0220620-02
· Particulars – Tonga
· Code – Kgtn Name
· Reference – fundraising
If individual families wish to pay directly into the HWM account then please ask them to pay as follows:
Tongan Fundraiser – payments directly from families, pay to:
· Bank – ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited
· Payee Name – Whanau Manaaki Kindergartens Limited
· Account number – 06-0541-0220620-02
· Particulars – child’s name
· Code – Kgtn Name
· Reference – Tonga
All funds raised will be deposited into the official relief account for Donations and Contributions administered through the Tongan Consulate here in Aotearoa NZ.
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