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 19 March 2020


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Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.  


In this edition of Kōrero, we have included the “COVID-19 Update”, a daily update that has been emailed to our Board and staff over the past few days.


This is an amazing time, and a time when we need to remain flexible and focused on supporting each other.


Read the Kōrero, read the Update, and remember that this is an issue that highlights how real the term “global family” really is.


I read this on a fb post recently:

China sent medical masks to Italy and wrote on the boxes a quote from a Roman poet: “We are waves from the same sea”. Japan had donated supplies to China and wrote on the boxes a quote from a Chinese poem: “We have different mountains and rivers, but we share the same sun, moon and sky”.


Hang in there people. You really do rock!






This is the third COVID-19 Update this week updating staff on the changes it means for our services.


Please make sure you read these, and make sure everyone in your team reads them, including any relievers who might be with you from day to day. At times like this we need to work together even more than we do usually.


This is a rapidly changing situation, and every day we are considering whether an update is needed.  Each update will have the date so make sure you are readng the latest one – as the advice may change.


WM Offices in Porirua and Whanganui

One thing that is happening from next week is that most of our office staff will work from home for at least one or two days a week, on a rostered basis. This is to provide more social distance, and to reduce the size of the office groups to reduce the risk of infection. 


There will be  people in the offices each day, and everyone is still working and available for contact by email or phone.


A list of cellphone numbers is provided here.


Use of Kindergarten Outside of Hours – Team Time

In yesterday’s Update, I wrote:

During this time of uncertainty, team meetings and working outside of session times (other than set-up and tidy up) should be kept to a minimum or should be carried out offsite. As a team, you need to continue to plan and evaluate, and ensure the learning programme is maintained, and the time spent doing this should be managed carefully. It is really important that you work as a team and with your Senior Teacher to plan how you will do this.” This may look like:

  • some teams rather than meeting in the office you meet out in the learning space, keep a good distance apart and keep the meeting to the point and focused on core business.
  • using Storypark to communicate with the team and whānau  
  • using Storypark to have team discussions in lieu of some aspects of team meetings.

It is important that we maintain the privacy of children, whānau and teachers if and when they need to self-isolate.


If you are leaving the kindergarten outside of ‘normal operating hours’ put a cell phone contact on the answer phone and on the door.


Perhaps the first person at work in the kindergarten in the morning checks the answer phone.


Remember to work with your Senior Teacher to plan for how you will continue to progress your core work in balance with the need physical distancing.



We are expecting pressure on reliever numbers because of the virus, and other unrelated leave, and because we are asking everyone to be cautious about staying away when sick. This is expected to mean extra pressure on our relievers.  Kindergartens are asked to think about whether you need a reliever before you book one (if your numbers are low)  This is to leave relievers for those kindergartens who most need them.



Please email me or Jane B if any ESW who works with any of your children is away because of the COVID-19 isolation requirements.


Cleaning and handwashing

Proper handwashing and cleaning surfaces are part of the front line agianst spreading infection. Keep promoting hand-washing at every opportunity. Remember soap and water is the best for cleaning hands, and hand sanitiser is ideal if water is not available.  Remember to use approved products as cleaning agents, not home remedies.  Click here for information from the Ministry of Health.


Share positive news and tips

Nature, excercise and music are good for your wairua. While some activities are being cancelled, this leaves time for others.  You can still go for walks (avoid crowds) and do the garden if you have one. Think of positive ways to use extra spare time.  Share ideas with your families, and share tips (sound, scientifically valid ones ) on your Facebook pages.    


What do we expect 

It is difficult to predict what will happen in the days, weeks and months ahead so we are staying flexible and taking advice each day. We are carefully considering the situation as it evolves. Experts are saying the virus could peak in August, or there could be several peaks and it could last for up to 24 months.


In the notice to parents attached to yesterday’s Update, we shared a chart created by Dr Siousixe Wiles. She is an Associate Professor and head of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland. Siousixe has written a lot of easy-to-understand information about how we can be prepared and pandemic ready. Read all of her articles for The Spinoff here.


Keep calm and be kind to each other

We are in a new situation, all of us, and it is natural to be fearful about the future. It is important that we stay calm for our kindergarten children and families and that we be kind, mindful, and forgiving. Remember to look after your team members, all of you. You are the core of your service and you need to look after yourselves so you can be there for others. There is support from the Asoociation if you need it.  Please contact your senior teacher first.




Extra Government Support 


The government has announced a major package of measures to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19, including more support for beneficiaries and the elderly, relaxing rules about in work payments increasing the capacity of the health system and supporting businesses to keep people in work.


Benefits will go up by $25 a week, and the winter energy payments is doubling.


People whose hours of work are reduced will be able to keep the in work payment.


Extra money for the health system will help slow the spread of the virus by testing and tracing cases, and will be used to communicate health messages.


Businesses can get a temporary wage subsidy to keep people in work if they have suffered a downturn because of the virus.


The government has set up an official Covid-19 webpage which is a good source of information, you can access here. 


Maintenance Requests


When requesting any maintenance at your kindergarten you are to do so using the GOSH online system.


When you require maintenance at your kindergarten: firstly, please refer to the Maintenance Flow chart for your area. The flow chart details the process for requesting maintenance and includes the names and contact details of the preferred contractors in your area. The Maintenance Flow charts are available on GOSH in the Key documents section and on the Whānau Manaaki website www.wmkindergartens.org.nz/staff


Please note that with all urgent and essential maintenance, the kindergarten must contact the contractor directly and then complete the Kindergarten Maintenance Request form in GOSH.


When requesting maintenance please use the Kindergarten Maintenance Request form which can be found in the What would you like to report? section on GOSH.


If you have any questions, please contact Lupeni.Aitogi@wmkindergartens.org.nz




Just a reminder that week 9 of each term, which this term is the week of the 23/3/2020is the time to review your kindergarten Hazard Registers. This is an opportunity to update your Hazard Register, including deciding if the hazard still exists within the kindergarten environment,  

if there are any changes to the actions and approaches you are taking related to each hazard and ensure that hazards that do exist in your environment are included on the Hazard Register.


As a result of feedback from teams, GOSH has created a more user friendly way to review your hazards. You will see now that there is a new icon on your “My Kindergarten” view (see red arrow below).



In the Week 9 Review option there is a new form called “Kindergarten Hazard Review Audit” (see below).


This form means that you can now complete the week 9 review of the hazards on your register without having to edit each hazard individually.  


You will see on the form there is a tick box which means you just need to look at the hazards and if they still exist, and you are happy with the actions to deal with the hazard, then you just complete the tick box


Upon completing this record, all related hazard records on your Hazard Register will be updated to reflect this review.



Just a reminder that the Termly Hazard Checklist is completed during week 9 of each term which this term is the week of 23/3/2020.


The Hazard checklist is able to be completed on GOSH and can be found in the “What would you like to report” section on the home page.


Any hazards that are identified during this process, that cannot be eliminated immediately, are then entered onto your kindergartens Hazard Register using GOSH. 


Staff Sync Reliever App Training


We are continuing the roll out of training for Staff Sync (app for co-ordinating relievers).  This app is already used in some parts of our organisation.   It is really important that all relievers attend the training because it is the systems we will using for booking relievers from Term 2. We know, like any change, there could be some hiccups along the way so please let us know if you need further support or have any questions.


We anticipate that there will be very little (if any) impact on teachers in Kindergartens, it will be Relievers and our Co-ordinators who will be using the App, we need teachers to support where you can.  Our reliever co-ordinators have been provided with training and they will also be present where possible at the training days being provided. 


Relievers will be paid for their time to attend the training and reimbursed for travel. 

As the training is for a mobile based app, please make sure youbring your cell-phone.


The schedule for the remaining training sessions is as follows:






City North

23 March 

12.30pm / 3.00pm / 5.30pm

He Whanau Manaaki

Te Puna


24 March 

12.30pm / 3.00pm / 5.30pm

He Whanau Manaaki

Catch Up Sessions

30 & 31 March 

112.30pm / 3.00pm / 5.30pm

He Whanau Manaaki


Catch Up Sessions

The catch up sessions are for any relievers from Upper Hutt or Wairarapa that have not yet attended a training session, or who need a refresher.


We will email relievers with the dates and details of the training, if you haven’t received this email by end of next week please contact Leigh.Comeskey@wmkindergartens.org.nz.   We will send out this schedule to be displayed in the kindergarten for relievers. 


We will send out further details with the venue and asking you to  RSVP to confirm numbers for catering purposes. 


Please direct any questions to trish.taylor-pope@wmkindergartens.org.nz


We look forward to seeing you there!


Artists Open Studios Creative Art World OMEP 

 (World Organisation of Early Childhood)


Colour your rights: 30 years with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child


On behalf of OMEP Cyprus, OMEP Aotearoa New Zealand wish to invite you to participate in the CREATIVE ART WORLD OMEP PROJECT celebrating 30 years of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Project goal: To provide the opportunity for children to illustrate their perception of a specific article in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, freely promoting the expression of their thoughts, feelings and understanding through artistic expression. 


Project description: Children from all OMEP member countries are invited to illustrate their understanding, feelings and thoughts about one specific right through artistic expression using a variety of ways, approaches and materials which will initially be digitally displayed at the OMEP World Assembly in July 2020.

For more info please click here.


Artists Open Studios


In Whanganui there is an annual event during the last 2 weekends of March - Artists Open Studios. 
Whanganui seems to have a lot of artists, not all of whom have a street presence, so once a year the artists open up their studios or display their works in the regular and pop-up galleries around Whanganui.  This means that there are over 80 artists whose work you can discover all over Whanganui (where it takes a maximum of 15 minutes to get anywhere!). 
Although they have been impacted by COVID-19, most galleries and studios are continuing with the event, but some larger group events are cancelled. 
Whānau Manaaki has decided to join in by having children's artwork displayed in the office window, as they are on the main street in Whanganui.  One of our parents is also an artist herself - she painted Aramoho Kindergarten's logo on their entrance way - so we had her come and select the artwork. 
Photo: Melissa Avery, artist, Pamela McLaren, WM HR Officer and the selected artworks.


Mō te Hui Tangata Māori 


Nau mai haere mai ki te huihui tuatahi o ngà tangata Màori i tènei pò

kei te harikoa tàtou ki te huihui!

Ka mau te wehi, ihi, mana mauri! 

Kia ora mò tènà whae Jenny ràua ko Sandy :)



Race Relations Day 2020 - March 21st


*Also known as The Elimination of Racism Day
For details and more resources click here.



Items up for Grabs


Wellington South Kindergarten have a fishtank with all the necessary attachments, accessories and supplies and were hoping to donate to another Kindergarten which may have use for this.


They also have a set of blocks for anyone interested.
Any Koha is appreciated for either items. 



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