Early Childhood Education:
Childcare and Covid 19
At each stage of the alert levels, we are applying what we have learned about Covid 19 and continuing to support the learning and development of children. At Wellington Childcare our priority is the safety of our tamariki, team and whānau. Responding to and managing the current pandemic environment is a time of change. A child does not adapt to and cope with change in isolation. Everyone in the child’s world plays an important part in facilitating the process of change with children. Our teachers will support and role-model for children and their whānau, ways to navigate their pathway to a new place.
Public Health officials have advised that all early learning services are safe to be open at Alert Level 2, if appropriate public health measures are put in place. We will be maintaining the additional range of health and safety practices we introduced during Alert Level 3, to ensure we are keeping children, teachers and families’ well being as top priority.
Children and staff who are at higher risk of severe illness from Covid19 are asked to take extra precautions when leaving home, but they are still fine to attend the centre.
- Please use the QR code to register your visit to the centre, which is displayed on the entrance doors using the NZ Covid Tracing App.
- If children/tamariki or staff are sick, they must stay home (phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or their GP and get tested if they have flu-like symptoms). If children become unwell while at the centre, we will ask for them to be picked up immediately- this can include symptoms such as a continuous runny nose, coughing etc.
- Indoor temperature needs to be set at a minimum of 18 degrees. Our indoor temperature is normally between 18-21 degrees. All rooms, including sleep rooms are kept well ventilated. Sleep furniture will be cleaned daily.
- Young children require a lot of physical support and it is not possible to explain or maintain a physical distance between young children given the age of the children and the layout of the centre. This means good hygiene practices are even more important. There does not need to be a measurable physical distance between children or children and staff.
- We will provide food during the day as usual. Children will have their own plates and will be supervised so that they do not give and take food to and from each other.
- Our playgrounds will be used, including sandpits and children must wash their hands after use.
- Toys will be wiped down at the end of each day. Dress ups and other fabric items will be regularly laundered. Any item that has been in children’s mouths will be removed from the play space and thoroughly cleaned.
- Excursions will continue as previously; the 2 metre physical distancing rule is required.
- All surfaces will be disinfected and cleaned daily.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned several times throughout the day.
- All children and adults will regularly wash and dry their hands in the appropriate way.
- Hand sanitiser is located inside the front doors and we ask you to sanitise your hands as you enter and leave the centre every time. Hand sanitiser is available (but staff will supervise its location and use around children).
- Everyone will be encouraged to cough and sneeze into their elbow, to catch the droplets and stop them getting onto hands.
- Contact tracing is in place to record who is on site every day. Our sign in procedures for families, through our tablets allow effective contract tracing as each person has a unique code recording they have been on site. Please DO NOT share your code with anyone else.
- PPE is not required as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health officials. However all staff have been provided with reusable masks and they may begin to wear them in the coming days.
- Upon advice from the local medical officer of health, any educational facilities connected to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 must close on an individual or group basis for 72 hours to allow contact tracing, and then potentially for a further 14 days. We will work quickly and closely with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to develop a plan and notify our community.
- The Ministry of Educations’ parent website has Alert Level information here and a parents’ checklist here.
- For the most up to date and relevent information on Covid 19 please check out https://covid19.govt.nz/
You can also check out our Youtube Channel: Wellington Childcare for lots of great activities, games and stories.