An emergency closure occurs when circumstances beyond the control of an individual service means it is temporarily unable to house children (e.g. if the building is damaged by fire or flood).
A forced closure occurs when there is not an emergency but it is in the best interests of children for the service to be shut down for a period of time (e.g. such as when a child dies on the premises, the service has its licence suspended pending an investigation, or there is a fear of a pandemic and reason to believe that a child or adult has caught a disease that Health authorities are working to contain such as bird flu).
All ECE services should have insurance to cover loss of income due to emergencies and uncontrollable events.
The Ministry of Education can approve the continuation of funding of child subsidies so ECE services are not left out of pocket when there is an emergency or forced closure. However, funding is not normally paid to services choosing to close for other reasons, for example if not enough staff show up for work to meet the minimum adult-child requirement, or due to a community event such as a rugby world cup parade going through town.
Advice to parents
You can question the service if you are asked to pay fees when it is closed and not available to care for your child, but first check what you agreed to on the enrolment form you signed and the fees policy of the ECE service.