An Update on Childcare Arrangements for Healthcare Workers During Covid-19
We are starting to receive information about childcare services, below is the information for WCDHB and CDHB. This information will be available on our website and updated as we receive more details.
Over the last few days and as part of our rapidly moving COVID-19 planning, we’ve been working with local childcare providers and the Ministries of Health and Education to provide clarity on available options for those of you requiring childcare over the period that the country is in lockdown and early childhood centres and schools are closed.
As you know, from tomorrow all but essential services are not expected at work. As the Chief Executive has made clear, health is an essential service, and so must remain operational. This means that all staff, including those in clinical and non-clinical roles, need to continue working so that the health system can remain working.
For those of you with children, we know this creates significant additional challenges.
Use of Existing Networks for Childcare:
The Ministry of Health has this afternoon issued formal advice confirming that essential workers are asked to use their existing networks for in home care. These might include a neighbour, relative, friend or current carer/nanny who can come to their house, or provide childcare in their own home.
If you do so, there are important public health rules you need to comply with:
- The person providing care of your children is essentially become an extension of your self-isolating household group.
- This group needs to be limited to minimise spread and should be no more than 20 people in total.
- This group must remain the same for the whole 4-week period.
- The carer should not care for children from other households (other than their own) over the same period.
- If a child or carer becomes unwell, they must stay at home.
If you’re unable to access childcare to perform your duties, the government has agreed to fund selected licensed childcare providers to provide in-home care to the children aged 0-14 of essential workers. For the purposes of providing care to the children of essential workers, the in-home carer role is being classified as an essential worker.
We’re able to provide you the below details right now. However, more information on providers and funding will be updated on the www.covid19.govt.nz website today.
Option 1: PORSE
Option 2: Barnados
Option 3: Student Volunteer Army [SVA] [Canterbury Only]
We have also been working on a solution in Canterbury with the Student Volunteer Army. This service is available on a voluntary basis short-term, but a family may wish to engage them in an ongoing arrangement, at which time a koha should be paid to the volunteer.