Nau mai ki te pānui tênei ko te Kōrero.
The Board supports lifting vaccination mandates, but recognises the risk at this time for Whānau Manaaki given the current levels of Omicron infection. We have commissioned an independent Health Risk Assessment, using government guidelines, to help inform our policy position in the future. A draft policy will be tabled with the board, alongside the independent report and other contextual evidence. The draft policy will be consulted with staff and NZEI Te Riu Roa once the board has endorsed a position.
While this process is underway, we expect you to continue with our interim policy that is currently in place:
- Only people who have received two doses of the vaccine against COVID-19, or who hold a valid vaccination exemption, or those who have contracted Covid-19 and provide verification by a registered medical practitioner can work at Whānau Manaaki ECE services (including Whānau Manaaki offices) or be around children in our services during service opening hours. This includes parent or whānau helpers or other volunteers.
- Booster vaccinations are strongly encouraged rather than compulsory. We continue to keep records of vaccinations, please send 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 until the 8 May.
This means retaining the current practice of limiting the time unvaccinated people have inside kindergarten to 30 minutes to drop off and pick up children. This procedure remains along with all other procedures that support the public health measures detailed in the CPF. If there are concerns about this, or if teams are concerned that children may miss out (e.g. if they are leaving for 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.
The Ministry has added an additional distribution cycle of RATs and have been delivering them to services that have already opted-in. This means you can expect to receive an additional delivery of RATs for your use and for any whānau that may require them. Please see the Kōrero #345 for a reminder of what they can be used for. If you are running low on RATs for your health surveillance, or for whānau use please let your Senior Teacher know so that we can try an source some more.
We continue to closely monitor the numbers of household close contacts and people with COVID-19 that are connected with the kindergartens. Our numbers very closely match the patterns of cases reported by the DHBs across our rohe. This gives a very high degree of confidence that our experience fits with the public health modelling and that you are doing an amazing job of connecting with parents and whānau and reporting what is happening in your kindergartens. Please remember to report positive covid cases for staff and children (and parents or whānau that have been in the kindergarten) to your Senior Teacher in the first instance. This helps with consistency and ensures that no one is falling through the gaps.
Keep up the good work – we are definitely coming out the other side of the Omicron wave in all our regions now.
Fees Due To Increase In Term Two
On Monday you would have received an email pack detailing the fees increase which starts in Term Two.
Please continue to talk to your families about this change, and to check in with them to see if this will be a barrier to their children attending kindergarten.
We acknowledge this is a challenging time for many families and recognise that the introduction of fees in some cases, and the fee rises in other cases, may cause hardship for some families. If this is the case in your kindergarten, we may be able to help with a full or partial fee waiver. Talk with your Senior Teacher and check out the information sheet outlining the process before you send it through.
Your families may also qualify for a Childcare subsidy to help pay for some or the full cost of their child’s fees. To see if they qualify, they need to call MSD on 0800 559 009 and or read the MSD fact sheet and Childcare rates sheet in the resources below.
You can link to the Childcare Assistance Application Form here.
We will continue to update our attached Frequently Asked Questions document to help you to understand the changes and answer any questions that families may have.
If you have more questions, please contact your Senior Teacher in the first instance.
Fee increase resources here:
End of Month Infocare Cut-Off
A reminder that this week is financial month end. We’d be grateful if you could have your Infocare records for this week completed by noon on Monday (2 May).
This means we would like you to complete the following tasks in Infocare for April, as appropriate:
- Sign in sheets marked in Infocare (actual attendance)
- Fee invoices created and committed (if applicable)
- Staff timetables (“staff hour count”) completed
- Online sign off of your monthly roll return
- Print off your frequent absences for the month
- Any ratio, attendance or roll issues are communicated to Tania
2021/22 Donation Tax Certificates
A reminder that 31 March 2022 Donation Tax Certificates will be emailed to our whānau tonight. These summarise all whānau contributions and other donations made to Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.
Any queries about the tax certificates can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022/23 Kindergarten Budgets
We have begun the process of preparing the 2022/23 WMK Association budget and are due to present this to the Board soon. As usual we require your input as part of this process and are requesting that you prepare and submit your 2022/23 kindergarten budget to us over the coming weeks.
We will email your budget template and completion instructions to you on Monday and Finance staff will be available to assist you with this process.
Your 2022/23 budget is due for completion and return to us by 20 May 2022.
Whānau Manaaki staff are encouraged to get a flu vaccine now that they are available.
Those over 65 or with health conditions will already be able to access free vaccinations, but if you don’t qualify, you can get reimbursed for the cost of the flu vaccination.
This flu season is expected to be worse than usual, because of the borders reopening and because of limited flu exposure in the past two years.
Apologies for not including the reimbursement form in last week's Kōrero!
We are excited to announce the dates for our first in person all staff conference since 2019!!
Mark the dates in your diary, Monday and Tuesday, 3 and 4 October! You will have noticed already that these days are showing as PLD in your term dates calendar.
We are so looking forward to have all our staff together to reconnect, learn and celebrate the last two years of dedication, resilience and hard work.
Updates will be made in the Kōrero so keep checking here!
First Aid Courses
Since moving to the Covid Protection Framework Orange Level, there are more spaces available in each of our First Aid courses.
If you had previously missed out on enrolling in a course because it was full, check again in Tūhonohono, each course has been update with additional spaces.
Raranga - Weaving
A number of options have now been added to the PLD calendar for raranga - weaving with Kurt Komene. Please enrol through Tūhonohono.
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