Education When Your Child Is In Hospital

Education When Your Child Is In Hospital

Your child's continuing education is important when they are in hospital or sick at home for an extended period of time.

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Key points to remember about education when your child is in hospital

  • your child's continuing education is important when they are in hospital or sick at home for an extended period of time
  • most hospital play specialist services provide early childhood education programmes for children who are patients
  • if your child usually goes to school and is in hospital or ill at home for more than 2 weeks, a teacher from one of the 3 regional health schools can work with your child

Can my child have early childhood education in hospital?

Most hospital play specialist services provide early childhood education programmes for children who are patients. Their brothers and sisters can usually take part too.  

Play specialists can continue your child's regular early childhood education. There is no charge for this service.

How can my child continue their education if they are ill and can't go to school?

If your child usually goes to school and is in hospital or unwell at home for more than 2 weeks, a teacher from one of the 3 regional health schools in New Zealand can work with them.

Check our suggestions for preparing your child for hospital.

The Northern Health School, the Central Regional Health School, and the Southern Health School provide qualified teachers who can develop individual learning plans to suit your child's needs. There is no charge for this service.

Health school teachers can work with your child if they:

  • are unwell and cannot go to their regular school for an extended period of time, or
  • are in a health-funded mental health programme, or
  • need support returning to their regular school after being away for an extended period of time

Getting health school support

To get health school support, your child needs to:

  • have been away from school due to ill health for 10 or more days in a row, or
  • have been in hospital 6 times or more in 1 year, or
  • have been, or likely to be, unable to go to school for more than 40 days in 1 year because of illness, or
  • be recovering or rehabilitating at home after being unwell, or
  • need support returning to school after being unwell

If these criteria do not apply to your child, then their regular school is responsible for providing educational support. Speak to your child's teacher about providing school work.

Support when your child has left hospital

To get health school support if your child is no longer in hospital, you will need a medical certificate from a specialist that explains:

  • your child's diagnosis
  • their treatment plan
  • how the diagnosis affects your child's attendance
  • a timeframe for returning to their regular school

You can find forms to request these certificates on each of the health school's websites.

This page last reviewed 01 December 2020.

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