The Government is restarting childcare for workers in Alert Level 4 businesses and services, which was available during last year’s national lockdown, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

Workers who have children aged up to 13-years-old can access free care, so they are able to continue to provide the essential services we need during the current lockdown.

“Providing a free and flexible service to our essential workers is really important and one way to reduce their stress as they go about their vital work on behalf of us all,” Chris Hipkins said.

“We still don’t know for how long we’ll be in Level 4. We’ll know more tomorrow, but essential workers need to be able to plan and putting this service in place from tomorrow will give them some valuable peace of mind.”    

The scheme is for the workers in Alert Level 4 businesses and services, and other exempted services such as fire and emergency and border workers.

It is also only for those Level 4 workers who do not have childcare in place – parents are expected to use their own private arrangements where possible.

A list of 32 providers, with national coverage, will from today, be available for parents to contact.

“These providers may offer options for childcare under the scheme either in the child’s home, or in the carer’s home.  We’re aiming to provide as much flexibility as possible for those workers who need it. 

“Just like last lockdown, these are all licensed services that usually provide home-based early childhood education – so all the safety checks have been done. And, just like last time, each carer will be limited to caring for children from a total of one family only.”

Note: The funding is available for childcare provision where there is no other adult in the worker’s household who can care for the child, and the carer does not normally live at the same address as the worker. Access a provider here.