“Care is First and Foremost – especially when transferring between our Safe Bubbles”
When we founded our family of centres over a decade ago, our very first philosophy statement to support our vision was: “Our Chrysalis family is a protected stage of development where care is first and foremost, followed by transformations that are calm and unhurried, yet filled with wonder and amazement, just like Nature itself”
Further to our article released before Level 4 lockdown last month (March) “Helping our Youngest Cope in Times of Uncertainty”, please read on to see the elevated practices and new strict rules that we have adopted with the support and guidance of Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education to live up to our own philosophy statement for our children, teachers and caregivers.
At the time of writing we are still in Level 4 lockdown. We have developed the following practices that will be continuing in your centre with additional new strict (COVID19 based) rules in place if and when we are re-opened by the government under Level 3 or Level 2 or Level 1. These may be adjusted as we move through the levels and we will consult with you and our teams moving forward.
We trust you will understand, value and be confident about these stringent rules, bearing in mind that they are coming from a place in our hearts of absolute care and absolute commitment in doing the right things as well as doing things right:
Ongoing best practices at Chrysalis, Magic Kingdom and Fern Garden:
- HAND SANITISER SUPPLY: we are well stocked with hand sanitisers and have up to 12 months’ supply in reserve (i.e. these are commercial packs from suppliers, not the retail / grocery store hand pumps).
- HAND WASHING:
- hand wash immediately when children and staff first arrive (to safely transfer from your home bubble into our hyper-clean centre bubble),
- regular hand washing throughout the day, then
- hand wash when children and staff leave (to transfer back from your centre bubble into your home bubble).
- CLEANING: our teachers regularly sanitise resources, furniture and toys during the day.
- CLEAN RESOURCES: only easily cleanable surface resources are brought out for play.
- NO SOFT TOYS: If we cant wash and disinfect it, we wont use it.
- DAILY DEEP COMMERCIAL CLEANS: extra deep cleans by our commercial cleaners.
- WARMER CLASSROOMS: As per our normal practice, we are pleased that the Ministry of Education has raised the minimum temperature in ECE centres to 18degC as part of their upgraded COVID19 regulations.
- PHYSICAL DISTANCING:
- Inside our centre bubble: we have always been proud of our generously designed classroom spaces that are licensed up to 3.25 sqm per child. We will be encouraging physical distancing in the most respectful, understanding and kindest manner as possible for our children to understand. We are even letting them create and lead new rules for us too (i.e. practicing their role as our future leaders), based on https://covid19.govt.nz/;
- Outside our centre bubble (i.e the edges of our bubble at reception/front door/carpark): we will adhere to the 1m rule based on https://covid19.govt.nz/.
- CARE FOR TEACHERS: we are providing moisturising hand creams for our teachers who are continually washing their hands.
- TEACHERS’ BUBBLES: our dedicated teachers are taking extra precautions inside their own secure home bubbles too. However, if they begin to show or feel COVID19 symptoms, then rule #2 below applies.
- TEACHERS’ SAFETY: For any of our teachers who are vulnerable (as identified here: https://covid19.govt.nz/individuals-and-households/health-and-wellbeing/vulnerable-people/) and are at risk of getting a severe illness from COVID-19, they will be encouraged to stay at home, while we continue to support them with the MSD wage subsidy as per Level 4.
New COVID-19 prevention rules at Chrysalis, Magic Kingdom, and Fern Garden:
- CONTACTLESS THERMOMETER CHECKS FOR ENTRY:
- All staff, parents, whanau, children, managers, directors will be checked outside the front entrance/door for high temperature (“at least 38degC” as specified by the Ministry of Health);
- If there is a queue then please observe physical distancing while you wait;
- If anyone has a high temperature, they will not be allowed in the centre;
- Turning children away like this will be managed kindly, respectfully, and sensitively (for example: they will be offered a lollipop or their favourite toy from the centre to play with until they get better. Any mat time, singing or group activities within the centre will also be live on ZOOM so that the unwell child can at least connect and participate with us);
- We want to be as inclusive as we can, while enforcing this strict rule for the health and safety of everyone in the centre as well as our nation;
- The parent should then contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453, for their next steps, before returning to our centre.
- ON ARRIVAL (DROPOFF) TO OUR CENTRE:
- Parents will not be allowed to enter our hyper-clean classrooms. Instead parents will be asked to bring their child to the outer front door or reception, where a teacher will greet you (at 1m distance), take both your temperatures, and if under 38degC will welcome your child inside and sign them into our safe “mini-bubble” classrooms and playgrounds;
- your child will wash their hands immediately upon arriving and be ready for a day of “clean fun”;
- Only one family member should bring your child to the front door (this is to limit crowding and apply social distancing at our entrances).
- ON PICKUP AT OUR CENTRE:
- Parents will not be allowed to enter our hyper-clean centres and classrooms. Instead parents will be asked to call from the carpark or wait outside the front door / reception. One of our teachers will sign out, wash your child’s hands and bring your child to you (i.e. transfer your child from our safe centre bubble into your safe home bubble).
- “MINI-BUBBLES” COMPRISING 10-20 CHILDREN :
- We designed our centres to be generously spacious (i.e. “micro-bubbles” of up to 3.25 sqm per child), which is higher than the Ministry of Education’s (MOE’s) minimum regulations;
- As per the Ministry of Education’s new COVID rules, each child’s “micro-bubble” (3sqm per child) may occupy space inside a “mini-bubble” of 10-20 children and their teachers in our rooms. These “mini-bubbles” will remain together during each day as a tight group;
- Our Adult:Child ratios will remain best in class as we have always maintained to ensure highest quality care and education;
- We will work with parents on a needs basis (i.e. essential workers, parents who must return to work, etc) in determining the priority based makeup of each “mini-bubble” group.
- NO ENTRY IF SYMPTOMATIC: if any teacher or parent or child feels any of the COVID 19 symptoms as stated on the Ministry of Health website:
- a cough
- a high temperature (at least 38°C)
- shortness of breath.
- sore throat
- sneezing and runny nose
- temporary loss of smell,
they will not be allowed entry into our centre. See guidelines here: https://covid19.govt.nz/.
- NO ENTRY IF SYMPTOMATIC: if any parent starts to feel any of the COVID 19 symptoms while at work during the day, and if there is no other pickup option for the child, then before entering our centre to pick up their child, they must call our centre and wait outside the front entrance. One of our teachers will sign out and bring their child to them. The parent should then contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453, for their next steps, before returning to our centre. Until then, rule #2 applies.
- NO FEES IF FORCED TO BE AWAY: We understand that the entire world is in uncharted waters, so we are lifting up to the “spirit of the law”, rather than the “letter of the law”. We want to be as kind and as respectful and as supportive as we can to help you through this if you and your child need to stay at home due to having COVID19 symptoms. Our online platform via ZOOM will continue for your child so that they can stay connected with their friends and teachers.
- CANCELLATION OF ENROLMENT: If any parent is found negligent, or puts our community at risk, or fails to follow our rules and Ministry of Health guidelines, then their enrolment will be cancelled and we may be required to report them to the Ministry of Health.
- NO ENTRY FOR VISITORS: we have shifted all non-essential meetings at our centre into ZOOM meetings for the foreseeable future.
- NO ENTRY FOR WALK-INS: we do not allow walk-ins by anyone with non-enrolled children to any of our centres for the foreseeable future.
- NO EXCURSIONS: we have postponed all centre excursions for the foreseeable future to eliminate contact with strangers or unclean surfaces. There is ample exciting discovery, exploration and fun awaiting our children still in our nature-packed playgrounds.
- PRE-BOOKED NEW ENROLMENT TOURS: There will be no tours during Level 3. Once in Level 2, parents booked in for a tour must be asymptomatic and must use our hand sanitisers or wash their hands on site before starting the tour. We will maintain a 1m distance rule as per requirements here https://covid19.govt.nz/. New parents being toured will not need to touch/contact anything (our enrolment forms are now completely online). Once enrolled, rules #1- #13 continue to apply for the foreseeable future.
- GREETINGS: Friendly “East Cost waves” and respectful “Salutes” will be practiced at our centre from now on (who knew the Military had picked a future trendy contactless greeting for all of society!).
We are fortunate that our teachers, our parents, our whanau and our immediate contact communities all responded quickly and seriously to this, and nobody connected with our centre has been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed as having COVID-19.
With the above established elevated practices and strict rules to safely transfer between home bubbles and our centre bubble, these give us the highest confidence in our practices, principles, policies, procedures, and philosophies governing our overall health and safety framework for our precious tamariki and dedicated teachers.