COVID-19: ECC in the news

23 April 2020

We're vocally supporting our members and making sure the ECC community is represented in the COVID-19 discourse. Here are selected highlights of our work in the media.

Early childhood centres call for relaxation of Covid-19 spacing rules at Alert Level 2

TVNZ, 7 May

"We acknowledge there are complicated issues being worked through for Level 2, but we're confident our members have the processes in place to maintain safe environments for children in their care, and are ready to do so."

Stop playing 'Russian roulette' with our children - ECE council's message to Govt

NZ Herald, 5 May

"They feel like we're having stuff hidden from us ... They [Parents] need reassurance their child is okay to head back, rather than the kinds of things we're seeing at the moment, which frankly looks like a sales pitch.

Epidemic Response Committee discusses education sector at meeting

RNZ, 5 May

Parents are seeing media from overseas sources about carrier transmission and are asking for information about how this relates to them, he said.

"Parents are seeing this in the newspaper, staff are seeing this in the newspaper and it's causing concern because they're not seeing it in the government briefing."

It takes time for parents to trust centres as a safe place for their children, 70 percent of members were anxious about their centre opening, he said.

Ministry's pandemic response 'a shambles', Auckland Grammar headmaster says

Stuff, 5 May

"We don't need a sales job about reopening. We need a realistic view of the risks with reassurance around what we're doing to fix it. No one wants a cluster in their early learning centre," Reynolds said.

"We've pushed the Ministry for a meeting date this week, so that we can find out what those rules will look like.

Over 10,000 laptops ordered by Ministry of Education still delayed

Newshub, 29 April

"Having to hand your children over at the gate was really weird so it made it a bit surreal for the parents and the children," says Peekaboo Childcare owner Michelle Tod-Bosch.

And while physical distancing toddlers has proven to be impossible they've really nailed the concept of the bubble.

Something it's hoped they'll take home with them.

"We're reminding parents to keep their bubbles tight because the more they expand their bubbles the more risk comes into us," Tod-Bosch says.

Schools reopen after lockdown - but one in six don't expect any students

NZ Herald, 28 April

However an Early Childhood Council survey last week found that only 55 per cent of its 1300 services planned to open this week, with 33 per cent planning to stay closed and 12 per cent unsure.

Early childhood centres still apprehensive ahead of level 3

Newstalk ZB, 27 April

"A young child can contract the virus, they can transmit it to others. They don't have to be showing any symptoms at all. We know that about Covid-19, it is one of the more frightening aspects of the virus."

Children to return to early childhood centres in small numbers

Stuff, 26 April

"No-one's done this before," Reynolds said. "Centres are doing all they can to provide a safe environment for children and help prevent covid-19 coming in through the door.

Coronavirus: How early childhood centres will work, and keep children safe, when they reopen

Stuff, 23 April

Reynolds highlighted how it would be almost impossible to keep young people apart, especially groups of friends who hadn't seen each other in a while.

"There will be hugs, there will be kisses, there will be giggles, the whole works."

Coronavirus: Many ECEs likely to remain shut at Level 3

RNZ, 23 April

Sector leaders say many centre owners and teachers are still not convinced it is safe to reopen, despite Government assurances the chance of a Covid-19 outbreak in an early learning service is extremely low.

Early childhood educators questioning decision to re-open at Alert Level 3

Seven Sharp, 21 April

"We're worried about the rationale behind the decision to open. It's based on the WHO report on Wuhan, and we're concerned the report says returning to class is not a particularly safe thing to do, because of carrier transmission."

ECE services wary of level 3 opening

RNZ, 21 April

"We would hope that centres see sense with this. If they have any level of discomfort with the issue at all or their staff have a level of discomfort, then they'll choose the sensible path forward and not reopen at this moment."

Coronavirus: Early childhood teachers don't want centres open at alert level 3

Newshub, 20 April

Of the 1300 centres the council represents, 80 percent want to wait until New Zealand is at alert level 2 to open.

In an open letter to Ardern, they wrote that "the move to re-opening is too fast and that many of these issues will remain unresolved". "We feel it's rushed and just too early," Reynolds says.

Login to have your say