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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Dear Whanau,

The COVID-19 pandemic became a big reality for us all yesterday with the necessarily sudden closure of our centres. We learnt of these unprecedented developments as you did. Please be confident the steps taken by the Government to combat the spread of COVID-19 are in the best interests of us all. We all have our part to play by maintaining our family's isolation from others. Our best defence in preventing the spread continues to be handwashing, handwashing, handwashing, covering our mouths when coughing and sneezing and more handwashing. Your children have been taught how to wash their hands correctly and the importance of doing so. Please keep this up at home. 

Children have proven to have a low risk to this virus while the elderly, particularly those with a pre-existing health concern, are most at risk.

This sudden change in our routines will result in some pressures and tensions as we adjust to the very close living. At this time, it is important to establish a routine that everyone works to: Routines are very reassuring for both children and adults. Routines include regular meal and snack times, outdoors time, study time, TV time etc. Your children are accustomed to centre routine, and using some of these practices will help provide your children with a sense of normality during this challenging time. These routines will help to reduce stress for everyone. 

Kids Counts will support you as best we can with the provision of age-related packs for your children today, and updates provided on the centre's Facebook each week throughout the closure. Our family support service will maintain contact for those families with whom they are in close contact and offer links to agencies who will continue their services over this time. Keep an eye on the centre Facebook for updates, helpful tips and tricks on keeping your children occupied. 

We will provide weekly updates with any information we receive from the Government. At this stage, we have been advised that the closure is in effect for at least four weeks, including Easter. 

Many bogus news sites are making scary and false statements. Please refer to the Ministry of Health website or the official NZ Government Covid-19 website, , as they provide the most accurate updates as to the status of the virus. If you are feeling overwhelmed over this period, please reach out to Parent Helpline as they offer a fantastic service for parents. Parents can call up any time between 9 am-9 pm and speak to a trained counsellor. You can also arrange sessions via Skype or Zoom. The Parent Helpline number is 0800 568 856 the website is: 

Take care and stay well, 

Mary and Anthony McLeod


List of Centre Facebook pages

Kelvin Road

Lenore Road

Marne Road


Rotorua (private page)



Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hello to everyone- as we work through this period of isolation we need to adopt the attitude of a half full glass.

We have no choice but to stay at home and look after ourselves and those near and dear to us- not a great ask but over time we are likely to get irritated and annoyed by little things.

Why not take the opportunity to invest a little time and effort in yourself and your family.

There are no takeaway options- so eat more healthily and plan, cook and eat your meals as a family.

We don't have to travel to and from work and many of us don't have to commit a great deal of time to work so take this time to put an exercise program in place.

Do your exercise as a family.

Plan your day to include this exercise.

Commit to some of the goals in the Health and Fitness program (download here) created for Kids Count by Scott Logan.  Share those commitments with your family and workmates and keep each other honest.

A little about Scott. Scott is a member of New Zealand High Performance Team and is currently the fitness and strength trainer for the New Zealand Men's Hockey team. His program is designed to give you the maximum results for the minimum effort ie it targets muscle groups and it is deceptively simple plus it gets you moving, out of the house and into the fresh air.

The program has options for all fitness levels and can cater to all of your family members.

Combine the exercise with a healthy diet and a few positive lifestyle changes and you could emerge from this isolation as a fitter and healthier person who sleeps better, has more energy and has the family in a positive routine.

Post notes on your progress on your centre's Facebook page- give challenges out to others- make the most of this time and look after yourselves.


Cheers Mary McLeod

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