Lack of evidence to open Early Childhood Education centres safely

20 April 2020

The Early Childhood Council is calling on the Ministry of Health to show their working on carrier transmission and young children.

The decision to open Early Childhood Education centres under Alert Level 3 is based on the premise that young children are unlikely to become infected with COVID-19, or to pass it on to people in their family and community.

“No-one wants to become the next cluster, and put communities or vulnerable family members at risk. We can’t find the evidence that it’s safe to open – and there are several reported cases of young children contracting the disease that are hard to ignore. There’s a huge amount of anxiety across the ECE community, who feel they’re being forced to open their doors when it’s not safe to do so.”

“Our secondary concern is the lack of detail from the Ministry of Education around safety and funding issues. No-one’s said how we keep bubbles of under-5’s apart in our centres – do we put children in Zorbs?”

“Until we receive evidence from the Ministry of Health, and assurance from the Ministry of Education, we continue to call for ECE centres to remain shut until at least Alert Level 2,” said the ECC CEO Peter Reynolds.

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