Playdough, water play and other messy activities will be banned from a Hawke's Bay early childhood education centre, as others ponder reopening under alert level 3.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that schools and early childhood centres will open for children from next Wednesday, the second day after the country leaves level 4 lockdown at 11.59pm on Monday, April 27.
Rockmybaby, which provides childcare solutions through ECEs, babysitters, nannies, au pairs and homebased educators, will restrict the types of play at their centre.
Managing director Ursula Maidens said they would ideally not open under alert level 3, but the sector Is "adaptable and ready to reset".
"As per our pandemic plan, playdough, water play, messy play or any other type of play that can easily spread germs will not be available," she said.
"Obviously, we would prefer to open back up at level 2, but we have to accept and trust Ashley Bloomfield and the Government's judgment.
"We have to rise to this challenge and put our own emotions aside and do what we have to do. It's time for teachers set up and help support the country and enable the workers to be able to get back and work and get the economy moving."
Rockmybaby has one ECE centre in Hawke's Bay, located on Porter Drive, Havelock North, and three homebased networks.
Maidens added: "This brings a huge amount of responsibility in regard to the Health and Safety aspect, but these are already in place in our centres and homebased environments and we just need to ensure these are done tenfold."
The decision follows a similar announcement from Rotorua-based The Ole Schoolhouse early childhood centre.
The centre announced it would be splitting into two separate bubbles of up to seven, each with three staff members – entering through separate entrances.
The Ole Schoolhouse early childhood centre would remove access to any toys that could not be regularly cleaned, including soft toys, playdough and the sandpit.
Every person would have their hands sanitised and temperature checked before entering - with parents asked to give assurances their child had not had Pamol or medication that might bring down a high temperature.
Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds said questions remain unanswered regarding the call to open ECE centres under alert level 3.
"There's an alarming lack of evidence that opening centres won't contribute to community transmission of Covid-19, and a complete lack of engagement with the ministries of health and education," he said.
"How can we reassure parents their children are safe with us?"
In Monday's Ministry of Health's coronavirus update, Ardern acknowledged that the Cabinet followed the advice of director general of health Ashley Bloomfield when making the decision to open ECE centres in level 3.
Reynolds said: "We're deeply concerned this doesn't match up with mounting evidence that children can carry, die from, and pass Covid-19 on, and that the ministries of health and education are unwilling to engage with our sector on this issue."
Reynolds said until their concerns are addressed directly by the ministries, they will continue to advocate for centres to remain closed until alert level 2.
Maidens added: "Rockmybaby teachers and homebased educators are ready to see the children and help support our families."
Napier Kindergartens general manager Helen McNaughten said their 16 centres will open only if there is a demand from parents.
"We're in the process of determining from our parents what the demand for each kindergarten to be open is. Where there is no demand, those kindergartens will remain closed.
"Our children are being supported by their teachers through a range of teaching mechanisms and will continue to be supported in this way."
McNaughten added: "We're also mindful that some of our employees are vulnerable in terms of Covid-19, and will be working to ensure they are not placed at further risk."
Meanwhile, Heretaunga Kindergarten Association say they are ready to reopen on Wednesday, April 29.
Association general manager Fiona Mason said if parents can keep their children at home, then they should continue to do so.
"However, the key message from us is that we are here for those parents and caregivers who have to work and can't leave their children at home or those that need their children to return now," she said.