Auckland early learning centres can open for any parent who needs it

31 January 2023

The Early Childhood Council is advising Auckland parents to check with their early learning centre to see if they’re open before travelling to drop their children off.

“Unlike schools, essential workers’ children can attend early learning. The definition of essential workers isn’t restricted like it was during COVID. Any child whose parent needs them to physically attend ECE for reasons like work, staying home pumping out flood water, attending to whānau or providing community support for example can do so,” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.

“Parents who haven’t heard from their centre should call to check if they’re able to open. If the centre is open, their children will be welcome. Safety comes first and the situation is changeable depending on the heavy rain forecast.”

The ECC has worked to clarify the Ministry of Education’s Monday afternoon closure announcement for providers and parents.

“Providers certainly appreciate the funding support that comes with the Secretary for Education’s decision to allow mass closures.”

“But I will write to the Prime Minister today asking for funding relief for the centres that open for essential workers. It’s not fair these centres stand to be worse off than those that close. The Ministry’s frequent absence rule settings, meaning that many absent children won’t get funded, must be updated for this emergency,” said Simon Laube.

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