Thank you to those members who attended the Zoom session we held recently, we hope you have found it useful in answering your questions and allowing you to hear the discussions of what others are doing.
We hope these FAQ will answer your questions. Please contact our team: firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0800 322 388 if you have any further questions.
Where further details are in an Early Learning Bulletin or elsewhere, we have provided links to the information.
Do I need to show a 40% decrease in revenue each month?
No. You only need to show the decrease in one month (ie August) to be eligible.
I have a new relief teacher who only worked for 3 days prior to lockdown. She has asked me to apply for the wage subsidy for her. Is that possible?
You can apply for the wage subsidy for any casual employee(s) that are employed by you at the time you apply, and who would have been expected to work during the time you will receive the wage subsidy. More information on the wage subsidy and relief teachers is available in the 26 August Early Learning Bulletin
Should the centre be providing meals or asking parents to send meals from home during level 3?
Centres can provide food to children if they choose to. If you do, you must ensure there is no sharing of food and drink between children. You must ensure drink bottles, baby bottles, crockery and cutlery are not shared between children.
If continuing to provide food prepared on the premises, food handlers must adhere to standard good hygiene practices. See this link for advice for food handlers.
I have a staff member who is unable to return to work under level 3 due to high health risk but is still able to work from home providing distance learning for children as they have been doing up to now. If they are working from home do we continue to pay them their normal wage?
Yes, unless you have negotiated anything else in good faith and that your staff member (and others) have agreed.
If a teacher, who is required to return to work in the centre does so, but while at centre gets sick, and has no sick leave or annual leave left, what is the process?
Employers can apply discretion. You can also consider anticipated sick leave for a certain number of days and can also anticipate annual leave. If the teacher is willing to consider this as an option you would want to find out when their anniversary date is as this will inform you when their next sick leave entitlement is due.
If their anniversary date is soon then you may be more willing to anticipate a few days of paid sick leave, but if the anniversary date is a few months away then you may be less inclined to offer this. If the teacher leaves the centre before their next anniversary date (and before their next lot of sick leave is due) then you cannot recoup sick leave, so this is money you will not be able to recover. However, if you offer anticipated annual leave then you can seek to recover this amount should the teacher leave prior to the date they have accrued this leave.
If you do agree to any such arrangement ensure you consult with the staff member and get their agreement and then capture it in writing and get them to acknowledge they have read and understood the offer/arrangement.
If they have run out of paid leave entitlements, then leave without pay may be an outcome.
If you are getting the wage subsidy on their behalf, then you need to forward this payment to them regardless of if they are sick. If they have exhausted all paid leave entitlements, then in this circumstance you need only pass on the amount you receive for the wage subsidy. But again, you can apply discretion and offer special paid leave.
Ministry Funding at Level 3
What funding will we receive during level 3 for the tamariki who don’t return?
The Ministry of Education has said that normal funding arrangements continue during Alert Levels 3 and 4. This means you will still be funded based on enrolments.
Will we be funded if we don’t open during level 3?
Yes, you will be. Funding for services will continue where services remain closed. The Ministry of Education has said to use the Emergency Closure Code. More information is available here.
If a child is only able to attend one early learning service during Alert Level 3 but they are normally enrolled at two services, who will be funded?
If a child is permanently enrolled at two services for different parts of the week, both services are able to claim funding as per their usual funding arrangements.
Children starting school
We have tamariki who are turning five and are due to start school. What happens with these children?
We encourage you to talk to whānau about transition for these tamariki and what their preferences at this time may be. If they prefer, they can keep their children enrolled with your service for longer, rather than enrolling in school at this time. This may help reduce any stress that some children and parents might be experiencing about starting school. If whānau choose to delay their tamariki’s enrolment at school, services are still funded by the Ministry of Education until the day before their sixth birthday.
If whānau have started the enrolment process with their school, they can stop this or un-enrol their tamariki so they can return to your centre.
Whānau who want to enrol their tamariki in school, and those with tamariki about to turn 6, should discuss with their intended schools about any transition and support available at this time.
What if a child who hasn’t started school and turns six during the lockdown period?
From the age of six there is a legal requirement for every child to be enrolled and to attend a registered school. There are no provisions in the emergency legislation that suspends that requirement, so if a child turns six during the lockdown they need to be enrolled in a school. More information is available in the August 24 Early Learning Bulletin.