What COVID-19 Alert Level 4 means for ECE

23 March 2020

An update for our members after the COVID-19 announcements from the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Education on Monday 23 March 2020.

Things are moving fast. We are now at COVID-19 alert level three and will move to level four in 48 hours.

Early learning services, schools and tertiary institutions are closing from tomorrow (Tuesday) to all but children of parents working in essential services.

We know you'll be scrambling to reassure your team and parents, and work out next steps - this afternoon, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has assured the ECE community this afternoon that the money will continue to arrive.

Here are the key points from the Minister's announcement this afternoon:

Chris Hipkins:

  • "Funding for all education providers will continue to flow as normal.
  • "Funding for Early Childhood and Tertiary providers will not be cut or clawed back based on non-attendance, or for failure to meet Key Performance Indicators.
  • "It's important that the sector has that knowledge that the money will continue to arrive.
  • "All schools and ECE providers will be closed from midnight on Wednesday.
  • "Any vulnerable workers are asked to stay home immediately (many will have done this already).
  • "We are asking for goodwill to support families who need that over the next 48 hours while they make other arrangements. That's why for that essential workforce, schools and ECE services will continue providing that support.
  • "The list of essential workforces will be distributed to schools and ECE, and schools will communicate that to parents, so parents know who can and can't send their kids to school tomorrow and on Wednesday.

We are seeking more information from the Ministry of Education and will share it with you ASAP.

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If you have questions, please feel free to get in touch by replying to this email.

    ECC's Covid-19 updates can be found at ecc.org.nz/covid19.

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