22 June | Pipiri 2023
Heads-up | He kupu puaki
Winter funding rule update for home-based services
COVID-19 or respiratory syncytial virus outbreaks over winter
To recognise the pressure on homebased education and medical services during the winter months due to a COVID-19 or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) outbreak, we are making temporary changes to the following funding rules to help relieve the stress during this time. Note these changes are temporary, for the June to September funding period.
Homebased services may claim funding if an educator is unavailable to provide education and care due to COVID-19 or RSV. Funding is not available if the educator has chosen not to offer education and care. Funding can be claimed by marking children as being absent. Educator absences do not need to be recorded during the June to September funding period. This is similar to the emergency closure funding that would be available to a centre if they couldn’t operate because teachers needed to isolate or were unwell.
Absence rule exemption
As with centre-based services, in an event that a child is absent for more than three weeks due to COVID-19 or RSV, a service can apply for an exemption from the three-week rule to continue to receive funding. Under normal circumstances, to access this exemption, an EC13 form (supporting medical certificate) must be completed by a medical practitioner.
However, for the period June to September, an EC13 Form can be completed by the child’s parent or guardian, in the place of a medical practitioner, if a child is not attending because they are:
- unwell with a likely RSV infection
- vulnerable to respiratory illness, or
- advised by health authorities or medical practitioner to stay home due to illness in their household.
An EC12 must also be completed (absence rule exemption form) confirming the child’s enrolment details and both documents kept on file.
EC12: Application for exemption from absence rule for special and/or health needs Where absence due to COVID-19 or RSV continues for a period of six weeks or more, parents need to re-confirm the situation in writing. This can be done in the form of an email or text message. Parents do not need to re-sign the EC13. The maximum period a child can be exempted from the absence rules is 12 weeks. We encourage any services severely affected by RSV infections to contact their local Te Mahau office for support.