Kia ora koutou,

We would like to acknowledge and thank all our families and communities for your ongoing strength, courage and perseverance in these extraordinary times.

As you are aware, the Government has confirmed mandatory nationwide vaccination as a means of protecting all children attending early learning services, protecting each other and of course protecting our broader community. This announcement affects us all in different ways. It is important to take a moment to carefully consider the vaccination requirements and to be mindful that for some this may be confronting. We need to support each other in considering these measures to protect our community, ourselves, and whānau.

Our employment obligations

The requirement is for all people who may come into contact with children onsite at early learning services to be vaccinated. This includes all workers, whether they are paid or unpaid, volunteers or students on placement, directly employed or contracted through a third party. We are working with all of our workers to meet the requirements of the Public Health Order. This means that every worker is required to have received their first COVID-19 vaccination by 15th November 2021 and to be double vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

What does this mean for parents, caregivers and whānau? There is no requirement for parents, caregivers or whānau that are dropping off, briefly settling and picking up their children to be vaccinated. We do ask that you wear a face covering when dropping-off and picking-up children.

However, if parents, caregivers or whānau members are spending time in a voluntary capacity such as helping on excursions and trips or spending time in the centre, more than just settling in children, we will need to ensure that both staff and volunteers (parents, caregivers and whānau) have had a first vaccination by 15th November and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

Please do not be offended as we ask our parent or caregiver volunteers for the evidence needed to verify their vaccination status. All records and information will be kept confidential and secure meeting the Privacy Act requirements.

We acknowledge that this major change will be challenging for some but we do hope that you will understand our priority which is to keep tamariki, whānau and all staff safe. We appreciate all the efforts of parents, caregivers and whānau to take care of and educate their children at home.

Thank you for working with our staff to ensure that we support each other one day at a time. We will continue to update you with the latest public health and other information as it becomes available. Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.

Ngā mihi