Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Afterschool care, holiday programmes can reopen under red light

Asia's Tech News Daily

Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Afterschool care, holiday programmes can reopen under red light

Afterschool care and holiday programmes will be able to resume immediately under all traffic light levels, the Ministry of Social Development says.

But it’s still unclear what restrictions providers must follow to prevent the spread of Covid – given most of the children in their care will be unvaccinated.

Such programmes have had to stay closed in level 3 areas like Auckland, leaving many parents struggling for months to balance work and childcare.

That changes on Friday when New Zealand moves to the new traffic light Covid-19 protection framework, allowing businesses to open up with restrictions.

News of the reopening came as a huge relief to one Auckland mum who told the Herald she was on the verge of quitting her private sector nursing job if her afterschool and holiday programme couldn’t reopen.

Her children, 6 and 8, normally attended before and after-school care from 7am to 6pm on schooldays when she had a long shift, as well as holiday programmes during term breaks.

But none of those services have been running during lockdown. She had slashed her work hours, used up her annual leave and was now on to unpaid leave so she could drop off and pick up the kids from school.

At times the kids had sat in their dad’s ute at a building site for hours while both parents worked. Several other families at their school were in a similar position.

The woman asked not to be named for fear of repercussions from her employer.

Out of School Care and Recreation (Oscar) programmes come under the guidance of the Ministry of Social Development, which provides many of them with funding grants. However the ministry said it was the Government’s decision not to let such programmes reopen in level 3.

Primary and intermediate schools in level 3 reopened on November 17 but have had restrictions like staggering class times, keeping kids from mingling and masking for Years 4 and above to lower the risk of Covid spreading. Whether afterschool care and holiday programmes must apply similar restrictions under the traffic light system is still not known.

MSD’s general manager for services and contracts Kelvin Moffat said social services – including Oscar programmes – could operate in all traffic light settings with appropriate public health measures in place.

“Guidance for social service providers is currently being worked on and will be provided in the coming days,” Moffat said in a statement.

He acknowledged there had been uncertainty for whānau and families who attend those programmes, as well as for Oscar providers.

“We want to assure people we’re working as quickly as possible on guidance for the sector,” Moffat said.

“We have been working closely with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education clarifying the details of the public health controls for each traffic light setting, so we could be in a position to share these with Oscar providers.”

Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Afterschool care, holiday programmes can reopen under red light

They had been pleased to hear the sector was committed to children’s health and safety and was already adapting programmes to suit.

Moffat said the Ministry was taking a flexible approach to Oscar funding grants and was not seeking refunds from providers where their capacity had been impacted by Covid-19. There were also Covid support payments for employers, if needed.

Sharleen McKinnon, chief executive of sKids (Safe Kids in Daily Supervision) said the announcement was “a step in the right direction” – but it was critical they get the extra information on public health measures this week, as promised.

“Our number one goal is to ensure the safety of children and staff on site and we will adapt our operations as required, but we need the time to plan and execute according to the pending update.”

McKinnon noted school holidays were only a few weeks away and parents were seeking confirmation holiday programmes would be running.

“We want to be in a position to provide this confirmation in a clear, consistent and timely matter to our staff, parents and caregivers.”

John Kennedy, manager of the Out of School Care Network which represents about 200 providers, told the Herald on Tuesday that in lieu of advice from the Ministry, many were “getting on with it” and planning for reopening.

But some scenarios were complex – such as afterschool care at schools that were keeping groups of children separate. In those cases most providers were following instructions from the school.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Watch: Ash rains down from darkened Tongan skies after deadly volcanic eruption

Footage is emerging of the terrifing events after a huge undersea volcanic eruption pitched the Pacific island nation of Tonga into darkness. In a video posted on Facebook, Nightingale Filihia ... Read more »

Covid-19 Omicron: Traffic light system may need changing, Dr Ashley Bloomfield says

The Ministry of Health is looking at whether to tweak the traffic light system in the face of Omicron, says the Director-General of Health. The government is due to share ... Read more »

Northland homicide: Teen murder accused recaptured after escape from Oranga Tamariki facility

A 15-year-old jointly charged with the murder of a man in the Far North has been recaptured 21 days after escaping from a youth justice facility. Michael John Biggins, 62, ... Read more »

City council smart transport technology allows decisions to be backed by real data

A device that counts pedestrians, people on bikes and scooters, skateboarders – even dogs – is the latest in a stream of smart transport initiatives rolled out by Hamilton City ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Security staff to check vaccine passes costing Dunedin council $20,000

Employing security staff to check Covid-19 vaccine passes at Dunedin City Council sites has cost more than $20,000. Vaccine passes have been required since early December for elected officials, staff ... Read more »

Covid-19 Omicron: Whanganui District Health Board begins children's vaccinations

The Whanganui District Health Board had a “steady and positive” first day of Covid-19 vaccinations for children. From Monday, children aged 5-11 were eligible for their first vaccine shot. More ... Read more »

Palmerston North doggy daycare PawPals Playcare is lab approved

Looking through the window of PawPals Playcare is like looking at a book of dog breeds. The sizes, colours, hair lengths and energy levels vary hugely. Probably unlike their owners, ... Read more »

Mike Clark's Business Bites: Finding the balance between IT and black hole

How much time do you spend looking at your phone in a day? How much time will you commit to your phone this year? How many times do you touch ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Parents taking Medsafe, Govt to court to stop vaccine rollout for 5-11s

A group of parents is suing the Government to urgently stop the Covid-19 vaccine rollout for kids aged 5-11. From yesterday 476,000 children were eligible for their first dose of ... Read more »

Government had three years of warnings new credit rules would shut out borrowers

The Government was repeatedly warned over a period of more than three years that changes to lending laws could cut people off from mortgages they could likely afford. Since new ... Read more »

ANZ searches for Manawatū's next female cricketing talent

As New Zealand prepares to host the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in March, sponsor ANZ is seeking the next generation of female cricketing talent from Manawatū. Eleven girls aged ... Read more »

Focus Morning Bulletin: 18 Jan, 2022

Delayed discussions see Northland stuck in red, significant damage and first death reported in Tonga and Brian Tamaki spends his first night in the cells in the latest New Zealand ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: What I wish I'd known before catching the virus

After almost two years of reporting on the pandemic as a health journalist, Felicity Nelson assumed she would be prepared when she caught Covid. She was wrong. In a post ... Read more »

Hawke's Bay: 3.5m easterly swells spray Clifton and Haumoana

Swells hitting Hawke’s Bay from the remnants of Cyclone Cody are expected to begin to ease today, but surfers and swimmers have not been given the all-clear to return to ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Bizarre booster shot side effect explained

As more people roll up their sleeves for their Covid-19 booster shots, reports of one side effect in particular are on the rise. Most people who have received their first ... Read more »

Former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett considering a return to politics

Former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett is mulling over a return to politics at Wellington City Council’s table. Leggett, who is currently chief executive of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand, ... Read more »

Our Treasures: Whangārei Museum tells fascinating tale of Captain Crozier's Chest

Captain Crozier’s Chest. Every now and then an object appears that is so fascinating, the more you find out about it the more you want to know. A very unprepossessing, ... Read more »

Ashley Bloomfield discusses Omicron and the booster jab

Director General of the Ministry of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield spoke to Tim Dower about booster jabs and the looming Omicron variant. Video / Newstalk ZB Read more »

Covid 19 child vaccines: Only half of vaccination centres available for kids

As parents rush to get their children vaccinated against Covid before sending them back to school, some are being turned away from their local GP and pharmacy. That’s because only ... Read more »

Cricket: Wanganui fall to the big guns of Hawke's Bay

It was the standard of performance Wanganui has yet to reach at Furlong Cup level, as Hawke’s Bay picked up a big innings win at the weekend. Wanganui were spun ... Read more »

Lee Suckling: Why the secret to happiness is embracing your inner introvert

OPINION: There’s nothing like going away with your friends for seven days to bring out your inner introvert. It sounds nonsensical, especially after the loneliness of 2021, to leave the ... Read more »

In Shape: Exercise a love hate thing

Your attitude towards everything in life will have a direct impact on whether you achieve your dreams or goals. This year why not make it all about harnessing your positive ... Read more »

Covid 19: Northland DHB planning for Omicron outbreak

Northland health officials have set up a Community Co-ordination Hub in Whangārei to help deal with an expected outbreak of Omicron in the region. The experts say it’s a matter ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Traffic light system needs revision - experts

It’s time to “move on” from the traffic light system and towards a more suitable model to fight the Omicron variant of Covid as top Government ministers meet today to ... Read more »

Tonga eruption: Body of British woman Angela Glover swept away in tsunami found

A British woman who lost her grip on a tree while desperately trying to save her dogs has been confirmed as the first fatality in the massive Tonga volcanic eruption ... Read more »

Auckland travel: The new jet ski harbour tour from Sea Auckland

Eighty-two kilometres per hour. That’s how fast you can push Sea Auckland’s Yamaha Ex WaveRunner when you have a mate sitting behind you and Auckland harbour’s glassy water stretches before ... Read more »

Tonga eruption: Body of British woman swept away in tsunami found

A body has been found in the search for a British woman swept away when a tsunami hit Tonga, her brother has confirmed. Angela Glover, originally from Brighton, had been ... Read more »

Tennis: French Open vaccination pass law to leave Djokovic title race in ruins

Novak Djokovic returned home yesterday after being thwarted from defending his Australian Open title only to face a new predicament: He could be barred from the French Open this year, ... Read more »

Herald morning quiz: January 18

Test your brains with the Herald’s morning quiz. Be sure to check back on for the afternoon quiz. To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE. Read more »

NZ's top 10 playgrounds revealed in the Herald's Best of Summer competition

We’re having the goddaughter’s birthday party at Potters Park on Sunday. It’s where I learned to seesaw, where my big brother broke both arms coming off the swings, where I’ve ... Read more »

Covid 19: Traffic light system needs revision - experts

It’s time to “move on” from the traffic light system and towards a more suitable model to fight the Omicron variant of Covid as top Government ministers meet today to ... Read more »

Northland honey company ordered to pay sacked worker $18,000

A Northland honey company has been ordered to pay a former employee $18,000 for unjustified dismissal. Phillip Evans was dismissed without notice from his job as a site relations manager ... Read more »

Each of us can make a difference

“Just a reminder that you don’t have to make resolutions. Or huge decisions. Or big proclamations. You can just set some sweet intentions and take each day as it comes.” ... Read more »

Repertory Theatre's panto has pace and slapstick

The Repertory cast of Fantastic Mr Fox cast were loosely assembled on stage while director Kerry Girdwood and “music rescue” Patrick McKenna took them through a rendition of “Cider inside ... Read more »

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Auckland daycare confirms case within centre

An Auckland daycare will be closed on Tuesday following a Covid-19 case within the centre. In an email, Westgate New Shoots confirmed there is a Covid-19 case within the centre. ... Read more »

Cyclone Cody: Swells build in Hawke's Bay, forecasters expect peak to be Monday evening

Swells hitting Hawke’s Bay from the remnants of Cyclone Cody are expected to begin to ease tomorrow. This afternoon the swell was slowly building, with damage to exposed areas at ... Read more »

Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami: Significant damage reported along Tonga's western coast

There is significant damage to the western coast of Tonga’s main island of Tongatapu. The New Zealand High Commission says the damage is centred along the western coast, where there ... Read more »

Tonga volcano eruption: Tongans in New Zealand anxiously await news from home

By Christine Rovoi and Jean Edwards of RNZ Langi Fatanitavake’s wife and son live on one of the islands flanking Tonga’s Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, but his repeated calls home ... Read more »

Horse racing: Last to first - hope for filly in $1m race

The trainers of Karman Line find themselves in the unusual position of having the second favourite in a $1million who ran last at its previous start. But that does mean ... Read more »

Insulting question White Island survivor Stephanie Browitt is asked

A woman who survived the 2019 Whakaari White Island volcano eruption — and lost her dad and younger sister to the tragedy — has revealed one common question she’s still ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic