I am unsure how long MOE will take with approving applications to reopen given the sheer number of applications they'll receive from schools and ECE services. They'll also need the Civil Defence to lift their current regulation for all such places to remain closed for now.I can understand it taking time to get daycares up and running again. First, they have to ensure the safety of the building. Next, they have to make sure that there are enough staff still in town and ready to work that they can operate.
But I have no clue why the Ministry of Education needs to be anywhere involved in this process. Hey, Gerry, this could be one of your "Grand Poo-Bah of Earthquake" decisions. Let daycares reopen when they deem that they're meeting the usual guidelines on building safety and staff to child ratios. Check the records later to make sure all's kosher.
I also don't get why Civil Defence has a blanket ban on daycares being open. The best argument for bans is that it reduces the traffic load in town and consequently facilitates reconstruction. But there aren't earthquake related traffic jams everywhere. And daycares can make it an awful lot easier for folks in construction and emergency services to actually do their jobs.