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Early learning service managers and leaders

Preparing for Alert Level 2

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

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

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

Under Alert Level 2:

  • It is safe to send your children to 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.
  • Consider how you can best support children and their families and whānau as they transition back to early learning services.

Most recent information on Alert Level 2

We've developed detailed guidance for early learning services to operate safely at Alert Level 2

This resource can also help support wellbeing during transitions (PDF, 147kb)

The Connected Learning Advisory helpline remains available to provide advice and ideas to support teaching and learning during Alert Level 2.

Call 0800 700 401 for support in English

Call 0508 294 462 for support in Te Reo Maori

Learning from home

Getting ready - teachers | kaiako

Other Alert Level guidance

Previous Alert Level guidance

If you are an early learning teacher or educator, work with your colleagues and leaders to develop a plan for how you can continue to support and stay in touch with the whānau of children enrolled at your service as you prepared for Alert Level 3. You may have ways of connecting remotely already. Things to consider include:

  • How you will continue to support each other and manage contact with your parents and caregivers
  • Agreeing with your team on a management plan to prepare for the next Alert Level
  • How to keep up to date with information on COVID-19
  • What distance learning tips you can share with parents and caregivers – for example:
    • Ideas and ways to use other people and things they have in the home for learning
    • Encouragement to continue and build on what is working well for them and their children through daily routines and regular play
    • Sources of advice on the optimum amount of time to spend on devices
    • Ministry of Education advice for parents

Early learning services can open for children to start attending services from Tuesday 28 April. Some services may choose to remain closed at Alert Level 3.

  • At Alert Level 3, all children who can stay home should stay home.
  • Centre-based services may open but with a restricted roll to enable public health control measures to be put in place.
  • Home-based services will be able to open for up to four children only, with appropriate public health control measures in place.
  • Playcentres and playgroups must remain closed at Alert Level 3.
  • Kōhanga reo may also remain closed at Alert Level 3.


You will need to continue to support and provide your staff with guidance and information on what preparing for Alert Level 3 means for them and your service.


Things to consider include:

  • How to continue to monitor and support your staff’s wellbeing
  • How to give clear advice and expectations of what is expected from your staff
  • Whether you can continue to use online forums to support your teaching team
  • How to make sure all your staff have information on COVID-19
  • If your service is part of a Kāhui Ako, how you can use it to support your teaching teams

Learn more with these resources:

Parents and caregivers will need your help and support. Be clear about:

  • What Alert Level 3 means for them, their children and your service.
  • The resources and support you can provide.
  • Who they contact within the teaching team.
  • The best channels for contact.

You can also: