Covid-19

8 September 2021

To all Whanau, Families and Staffof Learning Links and The Farmyard

Re: COVID 19 UPDATE

 

We are all set to welcome families back from this Thursday with the centre now operating its normal hours.

Since the announcement on Tuesday, we have been reviewing all the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health guidelines for Level 2.  A copy of these documents and our work safe plan is now on our website.

Craig Bleakley from Crombie Lockwood who is a Workplace Risk Manager has again reviewed these documents and makes the following comments:

“I have reviewed all of the documentation, and your revised safety plan, and am satisfied to endorse the measures and protocols that you will have in place.  It was interesting to see that the MoE has not made the use of Hand Sanitiser to be a compulsory action, it was very good though to see that you have maintained the use of sanitiser for all staff and families on site for drop offs/pickups.

Whilst Level 2 may seem like a return to normal, all staff and families need to be hyper-vigilant in the following of the standard safety protocols and to keep away from the centre if a staff member or child are showing any cold/flu symptoms.  There are still community cases getting reported in the Auckland area and it would only take one single event contact event to close down your centre and require strict isolation measures. Continue to err on the side of caution every time and don’t assume a “she’ll be right” attitude if you have a sore throat, high-ish temperature or runny nose. It is simply not worth the risk.”

We can confirm the following conditions for Level 2.

  • Parents are asked to keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to the service, or shows symptoms, send them home. The same principle applies for staff.
  • Young children require a lot of physical support and it is not possible to explain or maintain a physical distance between young children given the age of the children and set up of centres. This means good hygiene practices are even more important. There does not need to be a measurable physical distance between children or children and staff.
  • Ensure all children and adults regularly wash and dry their hands.
  • Ensure hand sanitiser is available for use and should be used on entering the centre by all.
  • Outdoor play areas can be used, including sandpits.
  • Excursions can recommence.
  • Disinfect and clean all surfaces daily.
  • Contact tracing (via tablet logon) must be in place to record who is on site every day.
  • Face masks are not required and this is an individual choice.
  • Food / drinks/utensils are not to be shared.
  • For those centres with commercial kitchens a more simple meal will be provided this Thursday and Friday before resuming our Winter menu on Monday.

When you come to the centre you will see signage encouraging social distancing and requiring the use of hand sanitisers on entry to the centre. We will maintain contact tracing through the use of the sign in / out tablets as usual.

As mentioned earlier, all centres will return to normal operating hours and fees will recommence from this Thursday.  If this does cause financial difficulty, please talk in confidence to the centre manager/supervisor and we will work with you.  If your child is not returning this week, then there is nothing further you need to do, and we look forward to seeing you next week.

Jo and I would like to pay special thanks to all the amazing staff who have worked so tirelessly since the start of the lockdown either in front of the camera or behind the scenes, thank you.

As always if you have any questions or concerns at all please talk to us.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Thank you once again

Joanna Purdie                    Gavin Hazelden

6 September 2021

To all Whanau and Familiesof Learning Links and The Farmyard

Re: COVID 19 UPDATE

With the Prime Minister announcing earlier today the movement to Level 2 we look forward to welcoming all of you back from Thursday 9 September.

Whilst we await Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health final guidelines for Level 2, we are working on the same principles of Level 2 as we have done in the past.

You can be assured that in Alert Level 2 we will know who is at our service, who our staff and children have been in close contact with and take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe. All our Centre Managers/ Supervisorshave worked through operating in Level 3 and have a firm grip over the new policies/procedures.

Again, given the importance of getting the best possible advice; we engaged Craig Bleakley from Crombie Lockwood who is a Workplace Risk Manager with experience in ECE.  We have shared with him our Covid 19 Safety Plan and  the relevant Ministry of Education (MOE) bulletins. He will also be reviewing the updated Ministry and Ministry of Health updated guidelines as soon as they arrive tomorrow.

Based on information we have received to date; we expect more than 90% of families will be with us from this Thursday and the remainder joining us from Monday.  On that basis the centre will be open as usual with a full team from Thursday and fees will recommence.  If this does cause any hardship, please contact your centre manager and we can work with you.

For those centres who have a commercial kitchen facility we will on the Thursday and Friday provide a simpler menu to meet the nutritional needs of your child before gearing up for the full menu from Monday.

In terms of guidelines we would expect to be announced these will be:

  • Parents are asked to keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to the service, or shows symptoms, send them home.
  • Young children require a lot of physical support and it is not possible to explain or maintain a physical distance between young children given the age of the children and set up of centres. This means good hygiene practices are even more important. There does not need to be a measurable physical distance between children or children and staff.
  • Ensure all children and adults regularly wash and dry their hands.
  • Ensure hand sanitiser is available but staff/kaimahi supervise its location and use.
  • Outdoor play areas can be used, including sandpits.
  • Disinfect and clean all surfaces daily.
  • Contact tracing must be in place to record who is on site every day.

When you come to the centre you will see signage encouraging social distancing and requiring the use of hand sanitisers on entry to the centre. We will maintain contact tracing through the use of the sign in / out tablets as usual.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns at all please talk to us.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Thank you once again

Joanna Purdie                    Gavin Hazelden

2pm 31 August 2021

To all Whanau, Families and staff of Learning Links Childcare and The Farmyard

Re: Covid 19 Update

For those essential workers or those who cannot work from home we have arranged for all centres (except Alexandra St Te Awamutu where children will attend Rewi St during L3) to be open. We have sent you a separate letter earlier today outlining procedures that need to be adhered to. Please read this carefully as it ensures the safety of everyone during Level 3 operations.

Staff who are working at the centres have this morning reviewed all the necessary documentation for operating in Level 3.

Given the importance of getting the best possible advice; we engaged Craig Bleakley from Crombie Lockwood who is a Workplace Risk Manager with experience in Early Childhood Education.  We have shared with him our Covid 19 Safety Plan, MOE Covid 19 guidance, 29& 30 August Early Learning Bulletin and the Early Learning Service Checklist for Alert Level 3. He has reviewed all of these documents and confirms we have put in place all necessary steps for preserving everyone’s safety. A copy of these documents will be on our websites shortly or available at the centre.  Craig will also work with us as we progress to Level 2 and Level 1 ensuring we receive and implement the best possible practices.

For those of you who have children remaining at home, our team will continue to support you during Level 3.

Please note that families will not receive an invoice today as you normally would. For children attending the centre from Wednesday 1 September (Level 3), invoices will be emailed next Tuesday 8 September. Children not attending will remain at zero fees.

Thank you once again for your support and like you we look forward to heading down to Level 2 where all children will be permitted to attend.

If there is anything further we can do to assist and support you please reach out to the Centre Manager or give Jo or myself a call.

 

Kind Regards

Joanna Purdie                    Gavin Hazelden

31 August 2021

To Families attending Learning Links and The Farmyard during Level 3.

 

Thank you for entrusting us to take care of your child during Level 3.

Given the importance of getting the best possible advice; we again this year engaged Craig Bleakley from Crombie Lockwood who is a Workplace Risk Manager with experience in Early Childhood Education.  We have shared with him our Covid 19 Safety Plan, MOE Covid 19 guidance, 29& 30August Early Learning Bulletin and the Early Learning Service Checklist for Alert Level 3.

Craig has advised compared to coming out of Level 4 last year when the risk of further community transmission was negligible, we are in a different situation this time round with the aggressive Delta variant and our behaviour has to match the change in risk.

With Auckland still producing active community cases, we still need to have the “act as if you have Covid” mindset to a degree when interacting in shared spaces, especially around the expectations of family members wearing masks, using hand sanitiser and practicing social distancing.  The risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is significantly lower in most other parts of the country compared to Auckland, but we cannot allow any variance to the Safety Plan which will be implemented by Learning Links / The Farmyard. These steps are in in place for preserving everyone’s safety.  If this plan is followed, then everyone is in the best possible position to keep safe.

So, what this this all mean?  On the day there will be some changes to normal Childcare services and we have summarised them as below.  Each Centre Manager will be available to answer any questions. Alternatively feel free to call our Director, Gavin Hazelden on 021 799644 or Joanna Purdie on 021 361 822 at any time.

On the day for all families and staff attending

What will be different for families, children, staff and visitors in order to comply with Ministry of Education and Ministry of Education guidelines.

  • Our bubble is limited to 10 children. These children will be the same 10 during the week. Only one bubble will operate in the centre except in Taupo where 2 bubbles will operate; albeit they will remain separate from each other and will not share the indoor/outdoor play areas.
  • Please note the Te Awamutu Alexandra St Centre will be closed with those children attending the Te Awamutu centre at Rewi St.
  • All families and children will need to remain outside until invited in by the teacher to the reception area. If it is  raining or weather poor, families can come inside to reception as long as social distancing is maintained.
  • All families and children to remain at reception until invited in by the teacher to the room.
  • We highly recommend only 1 family member enter the centre with the child. The adult will need to wear a face mask.
  • All other visitors / couriers etc may not enter the building.
  • In the first instance Hand sanitizer to be used at reception by all people entering the centre.
  • One teacher will be assigned the duty of signing in/out the child on the tablet rather than each parent using the tablet. The parent will need to advise their Pin number to ensure we can trace this person if required (Please note the person who are dropping of the child need to use their own individual pin number. Our teams will have a print out of the families pin number as required). The teacher will wipe the tablet after use. All parents will need to complete morning wellness check and supply their contact details if not already held.
  • If you or someone in your bubble is unwell please do not attend. Contact Healthline or your GP.
  • We are not permitted to provide meals. Families will need to provide lunchboxes for all meals. We will provide water and if it is usual to provide your child’s water bottle then that can continue.
  • Children’s bags can continue to be placed in lockers and teachers can assist.
  • For shared services such as toilets, handbasins, nappy change and door handles we will stagger the use of these and clean between use.
  • Teachers will carry out touch point sanitization on a regular basis.
  • Our cleaning team will disinfect surfaces and resources each evening including child lockers used.
  • The sandpit area will not be available for use during Level 3. There will also be restrictions on outdoor areas available.
  • We will adopt a zero tolerance for all unwell people. The most important aspect is regular communication between all of us.
  • We will encourage social distancing and our team will balance this and the practicalities of providing the love and care your child needs. Again please keep communicating with us as these are all new times.
  • All people attending will regularly wash and dry their hands, we will discourage touching faces and encourage children not to as well. We will remind everyone about coughing in their elbows or into a tissue to be disposed of.
  • All excursions have ceased until further notice. All staff and children will remain onsite for the duration of the day.

Thank you once again for your support.

 

On our website you can access (or simply ask us for a copy of the following)

  • Letter to families, Letter to Staff, Ministry of Education Bulletins, Covid 19 Guidance from Ministry of Education, Checklist for Alert L3, Alert L3 Table, Worksafe Plan.

 

Kind Regards

Joanna Purdie                    Gavin Hazelden

31 August 2021

To our team attending Learning Links / The Farmyard during Level 3.

Thank you for your support and commitment at this time.

Given the importance of getting the best possible advice; we again this year engaged Craig Bleakley from Crombie Lockwood who is a Workplace Risk Manager with experience in Early Childhood Education.  We have shared with him our Covid 19 Safety Plan, MOE Covid 19 guidance, 29& 30 August Early Learning Bulletin and the Early Learning Service Checklist for Alert Level 3.

Craig has advised compared to coming out of Level 4 last year when the risk of further community transmission was negligible, we are in a different situation this time round with the aggressive Delta variant and our behaviour has to match the change in risk.

With Auckland still producing active community cases, we still need to have the “act as if you have Covid” mindset to a degree when interacting in shared spaces, especially around the expectations of family members wearing masks, using hand sanitiser and practicing social distancing.  The risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is significantly lower in most other parts of the country compared to Auckland, but we cannot allow any variance to the Safety Plan which will be implemented by Learning Links / The Farmyard. These steps are in in place for preserving everyone’s safety.  If this plan is followed, then everyone is in the best possible position to keep safe.

Your Action – Please read the following: The Worksafe Plan, Covid 19 Guidance, Checklist for L3 and both the 30 and 31 August Ministry of Education Bulletin.

Your Centre Manager / Supervisor will review this in detail with yourselves prior to opening to ensure everyone understands and agrees with the protocols. We encourage all our team especially the ones attending during Level 3 lockdown to review all attached documents. They will then ask for confirmation that you have read and understood these documents in order for us to advise families early this afternoon.

As always, you should feel free to contact us at anytime if there is anything you need help with or are unsure of.  Marie can be contacted on 021 361 852 for Learning Links or you can call Gavin on 021 799644 or Jo on 021 361 822.

 

Kind Regards

Joanna Purdie                    Gavin Hazelden

1pm 27 August 2021

To all Whanau, Families and staff of Learning Links Childcare and The Farmyard.

 

Re: Covid 19 Update

Whilst we are yet to be advised of any change in Levels this afternoon; we continue to plan around the various scenarios.

What we would now like to do is better understand and firm up on is the needs of parents who are Essential Workers or who cannot work from home.

Whilst we have the Childcare criteria from 2020, we have not yet been advised what if any changes to attendance criteria may be this time around.  So at this stage without 2021 Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health updated guidelines; we cannot confirm yet if the Centre can meet the requirements or if there is any demand to open in Level 3 or indeed who is permitted by Government for their child to attend in level 3.

However, we are today asking Essential workers if you could advise us by email as soon as possible only if you do require care for your child under level 3; the ideal hours of attendance and days of the week. We will need to consolidate this parent information on Monday so can we request that in the reply email you advise your child name and centre location in the subject line of the return email.  We understand that at the start of the Lockdown many of you have already advised the Centre Manager / Supervisor.  Given circumstances may have changed we do need you to resend by replying to this email.

As the response we have from you will determine the processes over coming weeks it is important to note that we will not be able to provide adhoc or unplanned care during level 3.  We will in essence lock in your enrolment needs and plan on that basis.

What we do not have yet is Ministry of Education or Ministry of Health Policy Advice for this lockdown regarding how Childcare Services could operate in a bubble environment or what that means for your child, our families and our staff. Last year we were able to provide a maximum starting bubble of 10 and could expand the number of bubbles over time.

Once we have all of this information, including parent needs we can then meet with everyone in the our team to determine; if there is demand to open; and if there is demand, what resourcing would be required and what preparation is then needed in respect of Health & Safety advice.  We would then over coming days make ready any centres that are required to be opened.

Until we have parent feedback, we do not know if all centres will be required to open during level 3, or the number of teachers that may be needed. Again any decision we make will be in full consultation with families as well as each of the team.

For the team we will take into account  specific personal, family and health needs as part of this decision process. The decision to work will be a personal choice of each respective member of our team and the health and wellbeing of everyone remains our key priority.

If we were to open for essential workers and those parents who cannot work from home, our expectation is that Childcare would be available two days after the commencement of Level 3.

The first day would be a teacher only day for those working. In 2020 for staff where centres did open we had a 3 day and 2 day teacher team who rotated each week in their bubble. Where there is only a very small demand then a balance may be a smaller team working shorter hours over the week. We will work through this detail based on demand if any. For staff working in the centre there is no expectation of you having to work from home.

Our expectation is that we will communicate with everyone shortly after a Level 3 date is provided.

During level 3 for parents who do need Childcare, we unfortunately need to charge parent fees to partially offset some costs; however as always if this does present difficulties please let us know.

What we need you to do now is – Families who require care please consider your needs during lockdown and if you do require care please reply to this email as soon as possible with your childs name, hours and days required and the centre location.

If you have any other questions at this time please feel free to reply to this email and again we will do our best to assist.

For all staff  – Your Centre Manager/ Supervisor will be in contact on Monday as we receive more information from Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health and to understand your ability to work if needed during Level 3.

 

Thank you once again.

Joanna Purdie      Gavin Hazelden


20 August 2021

To all Whanau, Families and staff of Learning Links Childcare.

Re: Covid 19 update 20 August

As you are by now aware, the decision has been made to extend the nationwide Level 4 lockdown to midnight Tuesday 24 August.

For parents, all fees will continue to be suspended whilst in lockdown. Ministry of Education has also reconfirmed ChildcareServices cannot be provided for essential workers during Level 4.  Here is the link with more information  https://mailchi.mp/education/early-learning-bulletin-19-august-2021

In addition to Story Park and Facebook, there are several online resources on our website which many families found useful during the last lockdown.

https://www.learninglinkschildcare.co.nz/learning-at-home/

For staff, normal pay continues, and we thank you for supporting families and whanau via online options.

All usual emails will continue to be checked and updates will take place via email and Storypark.

 

Kind Regards

Joanna Purdie Gavin Hazelden

Directors

 


11th Aug 2020

To all Parents, Families and the Team at Learning Links Childcare

Re: COVID 19 UPDATE

As you are all aware by now, there was a media announcement by the Prime Minister at 9:15 PM tonight advising of a change in Alert Levels for Auckland and Rest of the Country.

Hence, our Auckland Childcare Centre will be closed effective immediately; reopening planned on Monday 17 August. Our staff will be in the centre Wednesday morning to ensure the centre is closed correctly and secured.

All other centres throughout the Country are now in Level 2 conditions. This means we will operate normal hours and routines with the following considerations recommended by Ministry of Health and Education.

  • Contact tracing will be essential and we encourage you to use the App.
  • Couriers and Suppliers will be asked to drop off items at the front door of the centre rather than come in.
  • The use of hand sanitisers and hand washing remains of the utmost importance.
  • Any non immediate family members visiting the centre are required to complete a health declaration on sign in.
  • If your child is unwell we ask that they stay at home.

As you would be aware, all Learning Links processes/protocols are in line with Ministry of Health guidance and have been checked and confirmed by independent Health and Safety experts. Like you we hope the alert levels last only for a very short period of time.

As always if there are any concerns or questions please feel free to contact us.

Take care and talk soon

With love and respect from learning links.


11th May 2020

To all Parents, Families and the Team at Learning Links Childcare

Re: COVID 19 UPDATE

With the Prime Minister announcing earlier today the movement to Level 2 effective Thursday 14 May; we are looking forward to welcoming you back on Monday 18 May.

The key principal for Level 2 is ‘Play it Safe & maintain Good Hygiene’ which means that the vast majority of New Zealanders will be able to return to work.

The Prime Minister also advised that for Education facilities we are expected to open under Level 2 conditions from Monday 18 May. For those who have advised us of their returning intentions – Week 1 returning will be from 18 May and week 2 returning will be from 25 May. If your plans have changed please let us know as soon as possible.

Please note under Ministry of Education guidelines for those centres that are currently open and operating in Level 3 (Dunedin, Taupo, Hector Drive Hamilton); we have no ability in Taupo to take any additional children until 18 May. For Dunedin Montessori and Hector Drive Hamiltonwe have some limited availability to take additional children this week. Please contact us to discuss if needed.  For all other centres the first day of opening will be Monday 18 May.

You can be assured that in Alert Level 2 we will know who is at our service, who our staff and children have been in close contact with and take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe. All our Centre Managers/ Supervisorshave completed the required opening checklists and have a firm grip over the new policies/procedures.

Given the importance of getting the best possible advice; we engaged Craig Bleakley from Crombie Lockwood who is a Workplace Risk Manager with experience in ECE.  We have shared with him our Covid 19 Safety Plan, the relevant Ministry of Education (MOE) bulletins, MOE pre opening checklist, MOE checklist for Level 2 and our morning wellness checklist.  We have also discussed these plans with each member of our team working during Level 2.  Craig has advised at both Level 3 and now Level 2  “You should feel confident that your plan will be keeping your people and your students safe.”

As you can see the Learning Links  team have been extremely comprehensive and detailed in our preparations.

Based on information you have provided; we expect approximately 70% of families will be with us from Monday 18 May and the remainder will join us shortly after.  This means that our team will be working around 80% of their normal hours and their rosters have been adjusted to reflect this.  We look forward to having everyone back as soon as possible.  If we have spoken to you then your place is secure under Level 2 and there is nothing you need to do.

We have received comprehensive information from Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health regarding operating at Level 2.  The following is a Summary and the full document including our Level 2 Workplace Plan can be accessed at https://www.learninglinkschildcare.co.nz/covid-19/ or at reception.

In Summary

  • Parents are asked to keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to the service, or shows symptoms, send them home.
  • Young children require a lot of physical support and it is not possible to explain or maintain a physical distance between young children given the age of the children and set up of centres. This means good hygiene practices are even more important. There does not need to be a measurable physical distance between children or children and staff.
  • Ensure all children and adults regularly wash and dry their hands.
  • Ensure hand sanitiser is available but staff/kaimahi supervise its location and use.
  • Outdoor play areas can be used, including sandpits.
  • Disinfect and clean all surfaces daily.
  • Contact tracing must be in place to record who is on site every day.

When you come to the centre you will see signage encouraging social distancing and requiring the use of hand sanitisers on entry to the centre. We will maintain contact tracing through the use of the sign in / out tablets as usual.

As an additional safety measure,we will be taking and recording temperatures of all children and staff in the morning.

In addition, on the advice of Ministry of Education; on your first day back we will require you to sign a form to advise your acceptance of the condition ‘ Childrenmust not attend the service if they are sick. If parents or caregivers are sick, they must not bring their child to the service.’

Lastly please note if you think or know that within Level 2 you would require to self-isolate on public health advice, or are considered vulnerable, please let us know; as we want to make sure that we work with yourself closely to ensure all precautions and safety measures are met.Again, the safety for our teams, families and children are of upmost importance.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns at all please talk to us.

 

Take care and talk soon

With love and respect from learning links.


28th April 2020

To Families attending Learning Links during Level 3.

Thank you for entrusting us to take care of your child during Level 3.

Given the importance of getting the best possible advice; we engaged Craig Bleakley from Crombie Lockwood who is a Workplace Risk Manager with experience in ECE.  We have shared with him our Covid 19 Safety Plan, the 23 and 24 April Ministry of Education (MOE) bulletin, MOE pre opening checklist, MOE checklist for Level 3 andour morning wellness checklist.  We have also met and discussed these plans with each of the staff who will be working during Level 3. As you can see the team have been extremely comprehensive and detailed in our preparations.

Craig has advised that fundamentally the most important processes throughout all this are:

  • Keeping sick people away
  • Minimising contact with others outside your centre bubble
  • Cleaning all surfaces regularly
  • Maintaining excellent self-hygience and helping your children do the same
  • Keeping records of everything that you are doing.

Craig has also made the comment We are so lucky in NZ that the risk of any community transmission is incredibly low, and that the true risk of contracting the virus is extremely unlikely. By following the MoE and MoH’s plans that risk will fall even further, but of course maintain adherence to your policies for as long as demanded. You should feel confident though that your plan will be keeping your people and your students safe.”

So, what this this all mean?  On the day there will be some changes to normal Childcare services and we have summarised them as below.  We will be in touch with you directly by phone before Wednesday 29 April to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively feel free to call our Director, Gavin Hazelden on 021 799644 at any time.

On the day for all families and staff attending
What will be different for families, children, staff and visitors.

  • Our bubble is limited to 10 children. These children will be the same 10 during the week. Only one bubble will operate in the centre.
  • All families and children to remain outside until invited in by the teacher to the reception area (One family at a time). If it raining or weather poor, families can come inside to reception as long as social distancing is maintained.
  • All families and children to remain at reception until invited in by the teacher to the room.
  • We highly recommend only 1 family member enter the centre with the child.
  • All other visitors / couriers etc may not enter the building.
  • In the first instance Hand sanitizer to be used at reception by all people entering the centre.
  • One teacher will be assigned the duty of signing in/out the child on the tablet. The parent will need to advise their Pin number to ensure we can trace this person if required (Please note the person who are dropping of the child need to use their own individual pin number. Our teams will have a print out of the families pin number as required). The teacher will wipe the tablet after use. All parents will need to complete morning wellness check and supply their contact details if not already held.
  • The temperature of all teachers and children will be taken each morning at reception. Where a person presents with a temperature over 38.2c and/or display signs of unwellness; they will be excluded from attendance until they are well and free of symptom. It is critical that medication is not taken at home that could inadvertently mask the symptoms. If in doubt please do not attend and consult Healthline or your GP. Temperature checks will be taken with a new ear piece and gloves for each person and disposed off.
  • We have asked all teachers and parents (on behalf of their child) to each morning complete a 1Place checklist confirming their own wellbeing everyday.
  • If you or someone inyou bubble is unwell please do not attend. Contact Healthline or your GP.
  • All shoes (teachers and children) to remain at reception, no shoes in the classroom / socks can remain.
  • Families to provide lunchboxes for all meals. We will provide water and if it is usual to provide your child’s water bottle then that can continue.
  • Children’s bags can continue to be placed in lockers and teachers can assist.
  • For shared services such as toilets, handbasins, nappy change and door handles we will stagger the use of these and clean between use.
  • Teachers will carry out touch point sanitization at least every 2 hours. Sanitizer to be used as expected i.e. left for 30 seconds (no use) or as the label suggests.
  • Our cleaning team will disinfect surfaces and resources each evening including child lockers used.
  • The sandpit area will not be available for use during Level 3. There will also be restrictions on outdoor areas available.
  • We will adopt a zero tolerance for all unwell people.  The most important aspect is regular communication between all of us.
  • We will encourage social distancing and our team will balance this and the practicalities of providing the love and care your child needs. Again please keep communicating with us as these are all new times.
  • All people attending will regularly wash and dry their hands, we will discourage touching faces and encourage children not to as well. We will remind everyone about coughing in their elbows or into a tissue to be disposed of.
  • All excursions have ceased until further notice.  All staff and children will remain onsite for the duration of the day (lunch break to be held inside the premises).

 

Take care and talk soon

 

With love and respect from learning links.


7:30 pm, Wednesday 22nd April 2020

To all Parents, Families and the Team at Learning Links Childcare

Re: COVID 19 UPDATE

Thank you to everyone who promptly responded to our Monday evening email.  We have been working through all of these responses and coordinating with our Centre Managers and Supervisors who are now discussing with their teams.

Based on the information we have, the following is a very quick update and we expect to have more details later this week.

For families at Borman Road Hamilton, Hector Drive Hamilton, Taupo and Montessori Dunedin we expect to be able to meet the needs of families requiring care.

For families at Palmerston we are still awaiting further information to determine overall needs but expect to be able to meet the needs of families requiring care.

For families at New Lynn no families to date have elected to return and we are awaiting further information from Ministry of Education as to whether the centre needs to be opened or not. Ofcourse we will continue to monitor this and can meet the needs of any families requiring care.

For families at Rewi Street and Alexandra Street Te Awamutu we are still awaiting further information to determine overall needs and will let you know as soon as possible. We expect to be able to meet the needs of families requiring care.

For families at Horowhenuawe are still awaiting further information to determine overall needs and will let you know as soon as possible.

Across all centres we are talking to our teams now with the following proposal:

  • We have yet to sightthe final Ministry of Education or Ministry of Healthrequirements for Early Learning Services and our final decision to operate will be on the basis that we can meet these requirements.  We have been advised to expect this on Thursday and we will communicate with you as soon as we know. Until then we continue to develop our Covid 19 health and safety steps to ensure all our whanau are safe and healthy. This includes instructions around cleaning, pick up / drop offs, consistent bubbles, play areas, temperature checks if required etc. We want to ensure all our team and staff that all health and safety precautions/recommendations will be acted on.
  • Please note initiallywe will only have one group bubble for Children in each centre as demand is less than 7 each day.
  • For teachers we will have 2 bubbles operating.  Teacher Bubble One will work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  Teacher Bubble Two will work Thursday and Friday.  They will then rotate the following week. Some centres with may vary this roster based on individual needs and will discuss this with families. Our aim as directed by Ministry of Health is to keep the people within our bubbles consistent.
  • All other teachers not at the centre will continue to work from home and to be there for all other families via Zoom, Storypark and Facebook etc.
  • Whilst we continue to build on our Covid Health and Safety response, we do not yet have final information to determine the needs of cleaning staff and expect to know this tomorrow given a very high degree of cleanliness’s and new procedures will be required.
  • We do not yet have final information to determine sign in / out process or pick up /drop off and will let you know as soon as possible.
  • Please note as an extra precaution we request our families to provide all food for our Tamariki. No snacks or foods will be prepared or supplied on premises for the period of Level 3 Lockdown.
  • Normal fees will apply for those children attending.  For children not attending, no fees will apply.  Your normal enrolment booking has been held.

For families who have advised they need childcare during Level 3 lockdown each Centre Manager / Supervisor will be in contact with yourselves on Friday morning to confirm hours, processes and which teachers will be working at the centre from Wednesday 29 April.

As always please do reach out if you have any questions or concerns, otherwise the next communication from us will outline all the additional health and safety steps we shall be undertaking during Lockdown 3.

 

Take care and talk soon

 

With love and respect from learning links.


7:00 pm, Monday 20th April 2020

To all Parents, Families and the Team at Learning Links Childcare

Re: COVID 19 UPDATE

With New Zealand moving to level 3 from Midnight Monday 27 April; Schools along with Early Learning Services have been asked to make plans to assist those parents who are Essential Workers or cannot work from home.

So today we are asking if you could advise us by email as soon as possible if you do require care for your child under level 3; the ideal hours of attendance and days of the week. We will need to consolidate this parent information as quickly as possible so can we request that in the reply email you advise your child name and centre location in the subject line of the return email.

As the response we have from you will determine the processes over coming weeks it is important to note that we will not be able to provide adhoc or unplanned care during level 3. We will in essence lock in your enrolment needs and plan on that basis.

What we do not have yet is Ministry of Education or Ministry of Health Policy Advice regarding how Childcare Services could operate in a bubble environment, what that means for your child, our families and our Learning Links team.

Once we have all of this information, including parent needs we can then meet with everyone in the Learning Links team to determine; if there is demand to open;and if there is demand, what resourcing would be required and what preparation is then needed in respect of Health & Safety advice. We would then over coming days make ready any centres that are required to be opened.

Until we have parent feedback, we do not know if all centres will be required to open during level 3, or the number of teachers that may be needed. Again any decision we make will be in full consultation with families as well as each of the Learning Links team. For the team we will take into account specific personal, family and health needs as part of this decision process. The decision to work will be a personal choice of each respective member of our team and the health and wellbeing of everyone remains our key priority.

If we were to open for essential workers and those parents who cannot work from home, it is likely we would be able to meet the Government guideline and open from Wednesday 29 April with a Teacher only day on Tuesday 28 April.

We would expect to be in a position by this Wednesday afternoon to have received Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health guidelines for operating under level 3; have understood what demand, if any there is, and to have discussed this with each member of the Learning Links team. Our expectation is that we will be able to communicate to all of you by late Wednesday evening as to what operating requirements would apply.

During level 3 for parents who do need Childcare, we unfortunately need to charge parent fees to partially offset some costs; however as always if this does present difficulties please let us know.

For all other families that are not essential workers or cannot work from home during Level 3; the Prime Minister today indicated that Cabinet would meet on 11 May to review. It is foreseeable if we all continue to do our part, that normal Childcare Services under level 2 for all families would be available from the week of 11 May but no earlier.

If all families requiring care under level 3 could reply as soon as possible that would be appreciated and we can then discuss with ourteachers, cooks, cleaners, administrators, supervisors and managers on Wednesday as to how we can assist.

What we need you to do now is – Families who require care please consider your needs during lockdown and if you do require care please reply to this email as soon as possible and no later than 2pm Tuesday 21 April with your childs name, hours and days required and the centre location. If you have any other questions at this time please feel free to reply to this email and again we will do our best to assist.

For the Learning Links team – Consider your own personal circumstances and wellbeing as to whether you would be available if needed. If you were to make yourself available would your child attend the centre with you? If your child would need care then please reply to this email no later than 2pm Tuesday 21 April.

Take care and talk soon

 

With love and respect from learning links.

=====


4:00 pm, Thursday 16th April 2020

To all Parents, Families and the Team at Learning Links Childcare.

Re: COVID 19 UPDATE

By now many of you will have heard the Prime Minister outlining broad definitions of Level 3 but not when New Zealand will move to this level.

For Learning Links; our priority remains fully focused on ensuring the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our families and team.

As advised this morning; we will await further guidelines from Ministry of Education and then discuss these with each respective Centre Manager and Supervisor. Right now our centres remain closed and we have no firm date as to when these will open or functionally how this may look in respect of room sizes, hours or attendance.

Any decision made will be in consultation with our teachers to make sure the most appropriate decision is made based on information we have at the time.

If we do get to a stage where we are confident that we can meet these rigorous health and wellbeing guidelines in consultation with our team; we do not expect this to happen before the end of April 2020. However; we may be requested by Ministry of Education to give earlier assistance for Essential Workers and we will again review this on receipt of additional information

We hope the above provides additional clarity. Have a pleasant rest of the week in your bubble and talk soon.

Take care and talk soon

 

With love and respect from learning links.


9:00 am, Thursday 16th April 2020 

To all Parents, Families and the Team at Learning Links Childcare.

Re: COVID 19 UPDATE

We trust you all had a nice; if not somewhat different Easter with your bubble.

For many of you with older siblings the school term has begun, and your lockdown day is likely somewhat different to last week.

At Learning Links; like you, we are awaiting the Prime Minister announcement later today around the definitions of Alert Levels followed by more details from the Ministry of Education.  Then on Monday; the Prime Minister announcement on Lockdown dates.

Our expectation is regardless of the date; reentry into Learning Links Centres will be a staged approach over several days.  Ensuring our premises are ready, additional sanitization and hygiene measures put in place and new operating processes reviewed, trialed and implemented with the team.

For families and staff, we understand you will each have your own unique needs over coming weeks, some families might need childcare as soon as possible where others may stagger their return.  Again,we want to emphasize that we are listening, here to help and our Centre Managers and Supervisors will work with you around your specific needs; so please do reach out to us as we will assist in any practical way possible.

On Tuesday 21 April or earlier if we know; we will communicate with you the proposed next steps and share all of the information we have.

In the meantime, we have two additional events for you that you are welcome to attend.

This Thursday, 16th April 2020 at 3.30 PM to 4.00 PM in partnership with Bays Martial Arts we will be hosting a Facebook live Preschool Martial Art session with an aim to provide age specific developmental skills. The focus this week is on listening and catching.
Yes, there will be some punches and kicks but its guaranteed to be a lot of fun and a great way to burn energy. It is perfect for those who have never done anything like this before. Parents will be required to help and encourage their child in class (no you don’t need to do any kicks yourself!). All you will need is a small ball or soft toy for catching, a cushion, a chair, a pool noodle if you have it (not essential). Join via Facebook live on our page or jump into the Zoom class
[https://zoom.us/j/426875217](https://zoom.us/j/426875217) Meeting ID: 426 875 217

Then, next Monday 20th April at 2pm we are will be hosting a Facebook live session with John Cowan.

John will discuss a wide range of parenting topics including “Dynamics of different parenting styles in the same household, what children really want from parents, positive parenting and taking care of your own Mental Health.”

Many of you will know John from the frequent radio slots and appearances on television. He hosts Real Life with John Cowan on NewstalkZB, appears twice a week on TV3’s The Café and has regular slots on several other stations.  Formerly the main writer and presenter at Parenting Place, John has produced a huge number of articles, courses, manuals and videos on all aspects of family life.   He is the father of three young adults and has a varied background including scientist, youth worker, media producer and social worker in Mental Health.  He is a gifted and entertaining communicator who inspires people to take action to make small changes that have a big impact.

We look forward to seeing you with John on Monday. You can join either our Zoom meeting or watch live via Facebook on our Learning Links Childcare Page.  Please do ask questions via Chat on Zoom or from Facebook live.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/94702530430
Meeting ID: 947 0253 0430

Thanks again and please do take care in your Bubble, please reach out if we can help with anything at all.

Take care and talk soon

 

With love and respect from learning links.


5:00 pm, Tuesday 14th April 2020 

To our team and extended family at Learning Links.

Re: COVID19 UPDATE

As promised we continue to look for ways where we can add value to yourselves and the wider community on top of the work that our wonderful team are already doing through Zoom, StoryPark and all other channels with individual families/parents.

This Thursday, 16th April 2020 at 3.30 PM to 4.00 PM in partnership with Bays Martial Arts we will be hosting a Facebook live session with an aim to provide age specific developmental skills. The focus this week is on listening and catching.

Yes, there will be some punches and kicks but its guaranteed to be a lot of fun and a great way to burn energy. It is perfect for those who have never done anything like this before. Parents will be required to help and encourage their child in class (no you don’t need to do any kicks yourself!). All you will need is a small ball or soft toy for catching, a cushion, a chair, a pool noodle if you have it (not essential).

Please note in addition to above, feel free to visit https://www.learninglinkschildcare.co.nz/learning-at-home/ , To assist and help our families, we have recently launched a new section on our website that provides a range of simple ideas and tips that may be helpful.

Lastly we also have a helpful video on all our Facebook pages from Leading Financial Advisors Peter Norris and Ben Pauly from Lateral Partners who share tips and advice for home owners, families, businesses around support available during this unprecedented event. They have offered a free 15 minute chat to anyone who requires it. Details on our pages.

We look forward to catching you all on Thursday and as always if we can support with anything else at all please feel free to reach out.

Take care and talk soon

 

With love and respect from learning links.


3:00 pm, Wednesday 8th April 2020 

To all Parents, Families and the Team at Learning Links Childcare

Re: COVID19 UPDATE

Here we are just before Easter and hopefully at the halfway point for the lockdown.

I’m sure we can all agree that it is great to see everyone adapting to the new way of communicating, engaging and catching up with friends and family.

When it comes to food some of us are venturing out the Supermarket and others are doing everything online with the likes of www.foodbox.co.nz ; www.loaf.co.nz and of course www.nespresso.com/nz covering many of our essentials. There are also lots of fantastic local operators in each area, for example those in Hamilton can check out https://foodchainathome.co.nz and use the code SOSEATKEG. Please feel free to share details of any local stores that are offering contact less delivery amongst your local families.

We hope you have found our website https://www.learninglinkschildcare.co.nz/learning-at-home/ useful. Please feel free to let us know of any other items that can be added.

Today we have two other items that may be of interest. The first one is that we have added to our website some helpful tips and advice/guidelines around Health and Wellness when working from home. Check it out when you get a chance.

On Thursday 9 April at 10am we would love you to join us for a Zoom meeting where two of New Zealand’s leading Financial Advisors Peter Norris and Ben Pauley from Lateral Partners answer many pressing questions around money and financial planning for families.

It is a 20 minute session covering topics such as ‘What you need to know about property values and interest rates, options to consider as a home owner around mortgage relief, options to consider as a small business owner, plus what households need to know and be aware of.’ This will be followed by a short Q&A section. Feel free to add your questions in the chat section of the Zoom meeting.

Peter and Ben have also kindly offered to all Learning Links families a free confidential 15-minute private financial health check and details on how to access this will be discussed in the Zoom meeting. Or visit their website www.lateralpartners.co.nz

Please join us at 10:00am with the link below. This is limited to 100 participants but will be recorded.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/704991144

Meeting ID: 704 991 144

Take care and talk soon

 

With love and respect from learning links.


5:00 pm, Thursday 2nd April 2020 

To all Parents and Families of Learning Links Childcare

Re: COVID19 UPDATE

Now into our eighth day of Lockdown, we wanted to thank each and every one of you for being part of the extended Learning Links Family.

If at any time there is something you are not sure of, no matter how simple it may seem, please reach out to anyone of us in the Learning Links Team.

With this week almost at the end; it is great to see so many of you engaging with teachers and each other. The words ‘zoom’ and ‘bubble’ are now pretty much every day words in most conversations.

We will continue to remain in touch via Storypark and our Facebook page; and we of course intend to keep talking and being part of your child’s learning journey during the lockdown period. So please keep sharing updates with us.

Today we have launched a new section on our website that provides a range of simple ideas and tips that may be helpful. https://www.learninglinkschildcare.co.nz/learning-at-home/

We have separated the website into sections encompassing: Rituals & routines, Something for the mind, Something for the body, Contribute to our bubble, Just for fun, More information & tips, Recipes.

You are of course welcome to share this page with friends and family as there could be something to help them get through. And if you know of something that has been helpful for you, let us know and we will get it loaded on the page.

With your focus on your child; it is now more important than ever to really take care of yourselves and loved ones:

  • Develop routines for yourself and your bubble.
  • Get enough sleep, eat well, don’t forget to hydrate.
  • Get some exercise in.
  • Have some fun.
  • Be open to change and embrace the new way.

Take care and talk soon

 

With love and respect from learning links.


3:00 pm, 25th March 2020 

As instructed; our centres are now in lockdown due to the Covid-19 Level 4 Alert.  There will be no re-entry until after the lockdown has ended and additional cleaning and hygiene steps have been carried out.

From the week of 30 March, all of our staff will start working from home with either online learning or business support. Our centre managers and supervisors will meet with teachers via online on Monday and Tuesday  to outline how we will  consult with families to ensure the best program possible is available to continue with your child’s learning journey. Teachers will be in contact shortly after.

All emails will be able to be received and Storypark and Facebook posts will continue.

As soon as we have been given the all clear to re-open we will assess the situation.  All precautions have been taken during the centre closedown to ensure very high hygiene controls were carried out.

There will also be a staged reopening process with further hygiene and cleaning programs implemented before people are permitted to re-enter the centre.

Despite the lockdown; we will be here (online) to support your child’s continuing journey with Learning Links Childcare.

New enrolments will also be welcomed during the closedown period for future dates.

In the event of an emergency during the Lockdown please call Gavin 021 799644.

 

With love and respect from learning links.


8:30pm 23rd March 2020  – UPDATE

To all Parents and Staff of Learning Links Childcare

Re: CLOSURE OF CHILDCARE CENTRE NOW EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY FOR CHILDREN OF NON ESSENTIAL WORKERS

At 750pm we have received confirmation of the list of essential workers and the conditions of operating our Childcare Service.

Unfortunately we have been instructed that for Tuesday and Wednesday we are only able to have babies/preschool children of essential workers and babies/preschool children of our teachers onsite.

Regrettably this means today, Monday 23 March was the last day of Learning Links Childcare operation until we are instructed to re-open after the 4 week shutdown. For children of non essential workers arriving at the centre on Tuesday or Wednesday we are legally not permitted to accept your child and other arrangements will have to be made.

We sincerely apologise for this significant disruption.

Our teachers will be in the centre Tuesday and Wednesday taking care of the children of essential workers, preparing the centre for closure and finalizing plans for working from home to continue your childs learning journey as best we can.

As advised in our earlier email today. There is nothing you need to do at your end in regard to your child’s enrolment. In regard to payments and the invoice scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday 24 March for the week; as a goodwill measure no fees will be charged for this week.

The complete list of essential workers can be found here

https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/essential-services-list.pdf

 

With love and respect from learning links.


23 March 2020

As you are  aware, the Prime Minister has introduced a nationwide alert system for Covid-19. We are at alert level 2.

You will notice at our centre that we are taking additional steps and would appreciate if we could all work together to help further protect those ‘At Risk Persons.’

When it is time to drop off or collect your child; it would be great if we could limit this to as fewer people as possible.  Ideally just Mum or Dad coming in.

It is also time now for Grandparents and those at risk persons to self isolate.  If you or someone in your family meets any of the criteria below then please take the Government advice.

At Risk People

  • Those over 70: Older people often have underlying health issues, including respiratory issues that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • People with medical conditions: Underlying medical conditions can make you more vulnerable to COVID-19. In particular, people with respiratory conditions, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart conditions, high blood pressure, kidney problems and diabetes.
  • People undergoing a treatment for cancer and blood conditions: As treatments for cancer and blood conditions affect people’s immune systems, this makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • Pregnant women: Health experts do not yet know if pregnant women are impacted by COVID-19 in the same way as other people. However, pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk from some infections.
  • People without easy access to healthcare

Two great website to stay informed are www.education.govt.nz and www.Covid19.govt.nz

Thank you for continuing to be part of the Learning Links Family.

 

With love and respect from learning links.


19th March 2020

We would like to share with you the actions that we at Learning Links Childcare are doing to look after you, your child and our own team during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

At this point in time we continue to run our centre as normal. The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health are in regular contact with Early Learning Centres and we will follow and observe their guidelines and direction.

You can be assured that we are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all.

As well as our continuing with our cleaning and hygiene policies and procedures throughout the day; we have taken additional steps to focus on cleaning and hygiene. Some of these changes you will see include..

  • Hand sanitization for everyone entering our centre
  • Proactive additional cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day on door handles, tables, handwashing sinks and taps.
  • Slowing down handwashing rituals for children.
  • Rolling kai times to ensure smaller groups at tables.
  • Rescheduling planned larger group family events.
  • When in groups, increasing social distancing and having fun with new elbows shakes and air high-5’s in a sensible, respectful and loving way.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your child’s wellbeing; or through a change in personal circumstances affecting either your child’s enrolment or ability to pay; then please talk to our centre manager/ supervisor in confidence.

A great website to stay informed is www.education.govt.nz and click on the Covid-19 Link.

Thank you for continuing to be part of the Learning Links Family.

 

With love and respect from learning links.