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During Alert Levels 2 and 3

Under Alert Level 2

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday 13 May.

Schools and early learning services are safe to attend from Monday 18 May and additional public health measures are in place.

Play it safe

Under Alert Level 2 COVID-19 is still out there, but it’s contained and schools and early learning services are safe to attend if public health measures are followed. Almost all children and young people should return to school and early learning services unless they are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation or waiting for a test result.

Under Alert Level 2:

  • It is safe to send your children to schools and early learning services.
  • Good hygiene practice is key — wash and dry your hands often, cough or sneeze in to your elbow and don't touch your face.

A full list of the public health measures in place at early learning services and schools and FAQs are available here

Talk to your child

Help prepare your child to transition back to daily life at their early learning service or school. Remind them that COVID-19 is still out there so it’s important that they play it safe while they’re at their early learning service or school, and that there will be some new measures in place. People are more likely to get COVID-19 through touching their face with their hands. Emphasise the importance of good hygiene at all times.

More information to help you get ready for Alert Level 2

Return to early learning service and school

Schools and early learning services are preparing to welcome your child back. Your child’s wellbeing will be the top priority. We know that your child needs to feel comfortable and safe for learning to happen. Your early learning service and school will be in contact as they work through their plans to shift to Alert Level 2.

Learn from home if needed

Some children may need to continue learning from home. That includes:

  • Children and young people with certain underlying medical conditions
  • Children and young people in isolation
  • Children and young people waiting for a test result

Talk to your child’s teacher if they need to learn from home. Our learning from home resources are still available for those who need it.

  • Everyone should work and learn from home if they can.
  • All children and young people who can stay at home should stay.
  • If your child is unwell, they should stay at home.
  • Early learning services and schools will be physically open up to Year 10 for families that need them.
  • Early learning and schools will create ‘bubbles of safety’ for children and staff, using public health guidelines.

Under Alert Level 3

Alert level 3: myth busters

1. Myth—It’s not safe to send my child to their early learning service or school

Essential workers can now send their children to their early learning service or school. Children of parents who can work from home are encouraged to stay home. However, this does not mean that early learning services or schools are unsafe. It just means we are minimising the number of children attending during Alert Level 3.

Fact: Public health and your child’s wellbeing are paramount.  Careful planning is going on to ensure schools and early learning services meet public health requirements. 

  • Class sizes (bubbles) in schools and early learning centres will be limited to 10 children initially and there’ll be no mixing between bubbles (at least 2 metres will be maintained between bubbles).
  • Schools will have staggered start and finish times, and break times, to avoid mixing.
  • There will be hand sanitiser in all classrooms and disinfecting of surfaces daily.
  • During PE in schools, there will be physical distancing of 2-metres between children, and no use of balls, ropes or sticks.
  • Public playground equipment will not be used, and early learning service playground equipment will be cleaned in between each bubble using it.

Visit a full outline of measures in place at early learning services and schools.

2. Myth—If I have go to work, I have to send my child to their early learning service or school

Fact: In Alert Level 3, you can extend your bubble to include close family members or caregivers that may able to support your children to continue learning from home.  However, if you don’t have other childcare arrangements or are in a vulnerable position, you may send your child to school or, if open, to their early learning service.

3. Myth—My child will fall behind others in their class if they’re learning from home instead of at their early learning service or school

Fact: Learning will continue, whether at home or at school.  Your child’s school teacher will be working hard to ensure that children at home get the same level of learning. Your child’s school teacher is your partner and is there to support you and your child.  Many early learning services are also supporting children’s learning at home and if you haven’t’ done so we encourage you to contact them.

4. Myth—My child’s learning will be affected if I don’t have access to the internet and/or an internet device

Fact: Your child’s early learning service and school will be able to provide you and your child with learning activities that don’t require internet access at home. There are many ways that your child can learn.

  • The Ministry began sending hard copy learning resources to school children without internet access on 15 April.
  • The Ministry is also working directly with early learning services where there is the greatest disadvantage to provide hardcopy resource packs.
  • You can find learning opportunities in everyday activities and with everyday things such as creating as budgeting, cooking and going for walk. 
  • Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV  (TVNZ 2+1, TVNZ on Demand and Sky Channel 502) is broadcasting airing educational content from 9am – 3pm on school days.
  • Māori TV is broadcasting te reo educational content on schooldays from 9am – 3pm on Sky channel 82 or Freeview channel 15.
  • The Ministry of Education is also working on getting digital devices sent to homes with school aged children, initially focusing on connecting young people in senior secondary school working towards NCEA.

5. Myth—My child needs to follow a tight schedule while learning at home

Fact: You don’t need to follow a tight schedule; instead you should continue in a routine that works best for you and your whānau. This will help maintain everyone’s wellbeing, while also keeping your child motivated to learn. 

Try to start the day the same way you would if your tamariki were going off to school then decide on an appropriate time to start their work.  Similarly younger children benefit from having consistent routines and rhythms to their day. Learning from home doesn’t need to happen between 9:00am and 3:00pm, there might be things you need your tamariki to help with around the house like cleaning or laundry, and that is alright, as long as it is part of your new routine.

6. Myth—I can send my child to their early learning service or school if I’m working from home 

Fact: If you can work from home, your child should be at home too. We need to continue to work together as a country in order to address the high risk of ongoing transmission of Covid-19.  We are expected to stay in our bubble or in an ‘extended’ bubble, and continue working and learning from home where possible.  We know that working and learning from home together can be challenging – be kind to yourself and talk to your child’s teacher about what is possible in your household.