1pm 27 August 2021
To all Whanau, Families and staff of Grace Christian.
Re: Covid 19 Update
Whilst we are yet to be advised of any change in Levels this afternoon; we continue to plan around the various scenarios.
What we would now like to do is better understand and firm up on is the needs of parents who are Essential Workers or who cannot work from home.
Whilst we have the Childcare criteria from 2020, we have not yet been advised what if any changes to attendance criteria may be this time around. So at this stage without 2021 Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health updated guidelines; we cannot confirm yet if the Centre can meet the requirements or if there is any demand to open in Level 3 or indeed who is permitted by Government for their child to attend in level 3.
However, we are today asking Essential workers if you could advise us by email as soon as possible only if you do require care for your child under level 3; the ideal hours of attendance and days of the week. We will need to consolidate this parent information on Monday so can we request that in the reply email you advise your child name and centre location in the subject line of the return email. We understand that at the start of the Lockdown many of you have already advised the Centre Manager / Supervisor. Given circumstances may have changed we do need you to resend by replying to this email.
As the response we have from you will determine the processes over coming weeks it is important to note that we will not be able to provide adhoc or unplanned care during level 3. We will in essence lock in your enrolment needs and plan on that basis.
What we do not have yet is Ministry of Education or Ministry of Health Policy Advice for this lockdown regarding how Childcare Services could operate in a bubble environment or what that means for your child, our families and our staff. Last year we were able to provide a maximum starting bubble of 10 and could expand the number of bubbles over time.
Once we have all of this information, including parent needs we can then meet with everyone in the our team to determine; if there is demand to open; and if there is demand, what resourcing would be required and what preparation is then needed in respect of Health & Safety advice. We would then over coming days make ready any centres that are required to be opened.
Until we have parent feedback, we do not know if all centres will be required to open during level 3, or the number of teachers that may be needed. Again any decision we make will be in full consultation with families as well as each of the team.
For the team we will take into account specific personal, family and health needs as part of this decision process. The decision to work will be a personal choice of each respective member of our team and the health and wellbeing of everyone remains our key priority.
If we were to open for essential workers and those parents who cannot work from home, our expectation is that Childcare would be available two days after the commencement of Level 3.
The first day would be a teacher only day for those working. In 2020 for staff where centres did open we had a 3 day and 2 day teacher team who rotated each week in their bubble. Where there is only a very small demand then a balance may be a smaller team working shorter hours over the week. We will work through this detail based on demand if any. For staff working in the centre there is no expectation of you having to work from home.
Our expectation is that we will communicate with everyone shortly after a Level 3 date is provided.
During level 3 for parents who do need Childcare, we unfortunately need to charge parent fees to partially offset some costs; however as always if this does present difficulties please let us know.
What we need you to do now is – Families who require care please consider your needs during lockdown and if you do require care please reply to this email as soon as possible with your childs name, hours and days required and the centre location.
If you have any other questions at this time please feel free to reply to this email and again we will do our best to assist.
For all staff – Your Centre Manager/ Supervisor will be in contact on Monday as we receive more information from Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health and to understand your ability to work if needed during Level 3.