Early childhood relief teachers aren't being paid in lockdown, forcing some to burn through retirement savings just to get by.
Their employers - public funded kindergarten associations and trusts - aren't eligible for the wage subsidy, but also can't afford to pay the relief staff.
They are under no obligation to either, and it appears ministers have no plans to find a solution.
In this story, RNZ has changed some names and removed locations to protect identities.
Here's political reporter Katie Scotcher.