Evolve confirms network closure as NZ issues school and ECEC shutdown directive
Evolve Education Group have confirmed that as of midnight 25 March 2020 all of their early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres will be closed for a period of four weeks as New Zealand moves to Level 4 in their COVID-19 Alert Level structure.
The directive, which was issued in the Ministry of Education’s 23 March 2020 Early Learning Bulletin, confirmed that “Government funding will continue as normal. It will not be cut or clawed back.”
The directive went on to note that “Funding paid on 2 March 2020 that was enrolment based may not reflect actual attendance through to 31 May 2020. If the actual number of children who attend is less than enrollment numbers, you will not be required to pay this back. If your service has higher attendance during this period you will claim the funding through the usual wash-up process.”
Evolve, however, in light of the uncertainty around collection of the parent portion of fees known as the “gap” fee during the forced shutdown, has moved to withdraw its FY/CY 2020 earnings guidance.
In a separate announcement the company confirmed that the Special Meeting scheduled for 9:00am, 26 March 2020 will proceed but through a virtual meeting platform as opposed to in person, a measure put in place due to the implementation of COVID-19 Level 4 rules.