Early Learning General News – March 2019

General news for the Early Learning sector for March 2019 including the measles outbreak.

Measles outbreak

This is relevant to everyone, including all staff and children

There is a measles outbreak which looks to be spreading, with reported cases in Canterbury and Auckland to date. The Canterbury District Health Board confirms there are now 27 confirmed measles cases in Canterbury.

Measles is a serious, highly infectious, potentially life-threatening disease and affects everyone; babies, children and adults.

Symptoms include a fever, a cough, red eyes and a runny nose, sometimes small white spots on the back inner cheek of your mouth; then a rash which develops after about three days. About one in ten people with measles need to be hospitalised and 30% will develop complications.

Parents should contact their GP for advice. Children should not attend early learning services to prevent putting other people at risk, particularly vulnerable people including babies and pregnant women.

The Ministry of Health provides detailed information regarding measles on its website.

Information about measles on the Ministry of Health website(external link)

If someone develops symptoms at your service

If someone develops symptoms at your service, separate them from others to minimise the spread of infection. We also recommend services call Healthline on 0800 611 116 immediately for advice.

The licensing criteria require service providers to exclude children or adults from a service if they have an infectious disease. All early learning services must keep an immunisation register, which must record the name of each child and whether or not they are fully immunised. This is a requirement of the Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995.  Services should contact their local Ministry of Education office if they have any concerns.

Local Ministry of Education offices

Funding for absences

Chapter 6: Recording Enrolment, Attendance and Absence of the Funding Handbook explains funding for absences that are longer than a day.  

The absence rules allow services to claim funding for hours that permanently enrolled children do not attend, providing that certain conditions are met.  These rules recognise that absences do occur and services should not be unreasonably penalised because of this.

Funding Handbook - Chapter 6.4 Absence rules

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