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Au Pair COVID-19 Information

Please find below Playschool Au Pair’s latest information regarding Coronavirus. We will be updating this page regularly, so check back for further updates.

it’s important that you follow the recommendations and regulations made by the New Zealand government plus know the facts! Refer to this website for up to date information www.covid19.govt.nz or call the free government helpline on 0800  779 997 (8am – 1am, 7 days a week).

Protecting yourself and your whaanau

The Ministry of Health lists some simple steps to take to protect yourself & others from COVID-19:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cough or sneeze by covering your mouth and nose with tissues, if you don’t have a tissue then cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people – a 2m distance is recommended. This includes personal contact, such as kissing, shared cups or food.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have ANY symptoms, have been overseas and returned within the last 2 weeks or have been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case.

Level 4 COVID-19 Alert which starts at 11:59pm on March 25 and will continue for 4 weeks. 

What does this mean for me?
New Zealanders not working in essential services must stay at home and stop all interactions with others outside of your household – this is an essential part in eradicating the disease.

What can I do during this time?
You may go for a walk or exercise – you must always keep a 2m distance from people. Remember, you can always only spend time with the household family members while keeping a distance from all others.

Food and medicine will continue to be available.

All schools and Early Childhood Centres will be closed.

All indoor and outdoor events including social gatherings such as birthdays, funerals, or weddings cannot go ahead.

Healthcare for those that need it will be available – If you need to see a doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first. Phone consultations will now happen over the phone (or via video). If a face to face meeting is required, then a doctor or other medical professional will organise this for you. If you are severely unwell, contact emergency services (dial 111).

Travel in New Zealand is limited and not advised unless essential. Public transport will only be available for those working in essential services, for medical reasons or to get to the supermarket.

If you have COVID-19 related concerns, please call Healthline (0800 258 5453) for advice before you travel.

Playschool is open for business as normal with staff working from home. You can stay connected with us through our email updates, phone or text plus through our social channels – Facebook and Instagram. Also don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email if you have any questions or concerns.

Q & A – COVID-19

I can no longer afford to pay my Au Pair the agreed upon amount outlined in the placement agreement, but I still want to keep them – What do I do now?
Talk to your Au Pair today! With each family the situation is different – knowing in advance what changes are being made to their working situation is important but in this unprecedented time we understand things are rushed and potentially last-minute decisions are being made. Explain the new family situation with your Au Pair and how things will look for the next 4+ weeks – Your au pair will then have to decide if they are happy to be flexible with your family during this lockdown period.

I want to finish the placement early – what is the next step? (Families and Au Pairs)
Talk to your host family or Au Pair today! Due to the lockdown situation in New Zealand we urge you to keep your placement going but understand that your situation may have changed. We will support you as much as we can with the decision, but you need to text, call or email us so we know what is happening and we can then go from there! If you are an Au Pair that has been asked to finish early – we can rehome you for the remainder of your placement. Please note: if we are unable to rehome the Au Pair and due to the current government lockdown you may need to accommodate your Au Pair/Host family until a rehome or flight is available  – this may result in a much longer stay than originally planned. Get in touch so we can discuss your individual situation.

The job description has changed – how will this impact the placement? Firstly, we understand that things are changing at a fast pace, but you MUST talk to your Au Pair as soon as you have an idea of the changes. Especially if it means greater or lesser hours, change to the type of care required and if the pocket money is affected. This also means that with schools and Early Childhood Centres shutting down that the children will be kept at home for longer periods of time than normal. Has your work situation changed? Are you are now working from home? Explain how this will work. We recommend setting up a new schedule, roster and routine – write it down and explain how it will work. It will be a trial and error type of situation and each family is different so you will have to find what works for you!

I am searching for an Au Pair but with the lockdown what now?
Seen as New Zealand has gone into lockdown as of the 25th of March at 11:5pm there will be no incoming Au Pairs until the current travel restrictions are lifted. We will be proceeding with interviews and placements for July onwards as normal.

I am an Au pair registered for a flight back to my home country –
I have missed out and will need to stay in New Zealand. What are my options now?
Playschool will endeavour to help you find a family to live and work with for the lockdown period and beyond. Due to the lockdown restrictions, you are unable to travel outside of your area so please get in touch and let us know where you are currently and then we can start the matching process. If we do not have a family in your area, then you will need to be aware of your other available options.

Please note: If you have chosen to leave your family and are now stranded, we will provide emergency accommodation at the cost of $30 per night in Auckland. You will need to make your own way to the homestay and then to the airport or new host family. This is not the responsibility of Playschool. Also be aware that if you have been in contact with a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 including the possibility that you have been travelling around before the lockdown was started, you may be required to self-isolate for the minimum of two weeks. Self-isolation guidelines can be found here – https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-health-advice-general-public/covid-19-self-isolation.

We are continuing to monitor the situation – please refer to the www.covid19.govt.nz website for regular updates and information. If you have any specific questions regarding your current or future placement please do not hesitate to contact out team on +64 9 478 4990 or at [email protected]