Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 for early learning services

Operational questions

You can consider implementing any health and safety measure that you consider is appropriate as part of your risk assessment and management plan, provided that the measure is not discriminatory against particular people or groups.


The Employment NZ website provides useful information for both employers and employees, so this is a good place to start if you are navigating employment matters such as leave and pay. The website also provides information on the best way to prevent and resolve problems.

Employment New Zealand website


From June – September 2023 services can apply for emergency closure if they are unable to meet minimum staffing requirements because their staff are sick with COVID-19 or winter flu-like illnesses.

COVID-19 or respiratory syncytial virus outbreaks over winter -

As usual, services can use the EC12/EC13 process for an exemption from the three-week rule to continue to receive funding. However, from June to September 2023 the child’s parent or guardian can complete the form in the place of a medical practitioner.

Where absence due to COVID-19 or RSV continues for a period of six weeks or more, parents need to re-confirm the situation in writing. This can be done in the form of an email or text message. Parents do not need to re-sign the EC13. The maximum period a child can be exempted from the absence rules is 12 weeks.
COVID-19 or respiratory syncytial virus outbreaks over winter -

From June to September 2023, home-based services may claim funding if an educator or household member has COVID-19 or RSV and education and care cannot take place in the home. Funding is not available if the educator has chosen not to offer education and care. This allows services to continue to claim for funding if the home of an educator is unavailable to provide care due to COVID or RSV. 

COVID-19 or respiratory syncytial virus outbreaks over winter -

Family/whānau and teacher learning resources

If tamariki need to learn from home (or wherever they’ve based), we have a range of resources and guidance available on our Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Marama websites to support this.

Learning From Home

Ki te Ao Marama website

The Talanoa Ako pacific parent programme is still available on radio and Digital App.

Talanoa Ako for Pacific Communities

Guidance helping children and young people while they are learning at home

Nanogirl video on YouTube  is suitable for children.

Hospital Play Specialists Association website: Resources for COVID-19 Support

COVID-19 and wellbeing: information applicable to both schools and early learning

COVID-19 and Wellbeing



Yes, all teachers and support staff have access to EAP wellbeing support services.

Gold Star is an online wellbeing programme hosted by EAP Services where you can access e-learning modules, self-tests, and webinars. All staff in early learning services (including kōhanga reo, kindergartens, playcentres and home-based services) are eligible to access the Gold Star programme free of charge.

Register for the Gold Star programme – EAP Services