COVID-19 strategy for early learning services

COVID-19 strategy for early learning services

COVID-19 Health and Safety Response

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to require a health and safety response to minimise transmission of COVID-19. The same measures used to respond to COVID-19 will also help reduce transmission of other infectious illnesses and will form part of your overall health and safety plan.

Latest COVID-19 updates

To read the latest COVID-19 updates for early learning services, visit our He Pitopito Kōrero | Early Learning Bulletin page.

Bulletins | Ngā Pānui —

Health measures to reduce transmission

There are a range of health measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious illnesses, including COVID-19.


Immunisation can protect people against harmful infections, which can cause serious complications including death.

COVID-19 vaccination provides very good protection against developing severe disease. Everyone aged 5 and over can be vaccinated for free. If you’ve had COVID-19 you’ll need to wait 3 months.

More information on COVID-19 Vaccination

New Zealand Immunisation Schedule | Ministry of Health NZ

If you are sick – stay home and get tested

If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and test. Call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you need advice.

If children present as unwell on arrival parents will be asked to take them home. If children become unwell, parents or caregivers will be contacted to come and pick them up.

Get tested for COVID-19

COVID-19 symptoms

Good hygiene practices

Includes avoiding touching your face, good hand hygiene, cough, and sneeze etiquette, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. 

Maintain good hygiene


Indoor spaces should be well ventilated, for example by opening windows, doors, and any vents. If mechanical ventilation is used, make sure the ventilation system is regularly maintained. 

Ventilation in early learning services

Case management

Cases of COVID-19 will continue to arise in communities. Staff and whānau should follow public health guidance to identify who needs to self-isolate and get tested. Services do not need to undertake contact tracing for their staff or children. However, visitors should be captured in a visitor register as is normal practice.

Face masks

Masks for staff and children are not required in early learning services, including certified playgroups. 

Services can set their own policy for visitors, including parents, to their centre.

Physical distancing

Physical distancing is not required in early learning settings. However, distancing between staff and other adults is encouraged wherever possible. Parents and visitors are encouraged to maintain physical distancing from other adults and children as much as possible.

Children with complex medical needs

Parents of children/tamariki with complex medical needs may seek advice from their health professional.

Risk assessment and planning for COVID-19

Regular review of health and safety plans including a risk assessment, is good practice. 

You should undertake an assessment in consultation with your staff, their representatives, and any other relevant parties such as parents and those in your wider community.

Quick Guide
Quick Guide for Risk Assessment and Controls
Quick Guide for Risk Assessment and Controls

Further information