ECAC minutes and presentations June 2018

The Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) met on 7 June 2018, 9am to 2pm at Mātauranga House, Wellington.


ECAC members

  • Marianne Kayes, Hospital Play Specialists Association of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Peter Reynolds, Early Childhood Council
  • Susan Foster-Cohen, Early Intervention Association Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Keith Newton, Barnardos New Zealand
  • Sandie Burn, NZEI Te Riu Roa
  • Raewyn Overton-Stuart, Home Early Learning Organisation
  • Kathy Wolfe Te Rito Maioha, Early Childhood New Zealand
  • Michela Homer, Montessori Aotearoa NZ
  • Karen Shields, Early Childhood Leadership
  • Helen McConnell, Te Kura – the Correspondence School
  • Ruth Jones, New Zealand Playcentre Federation
  • Thelma Chapman, Christian Early Childhood Education Association of Aotearoa
  • Clare Wells, New Zealand Kindergartens Inc
  • Susan Phua, New Zealand Homebased Early Childhood Education Association
  • Charmaine, Thomson NZEI Te Riu Roa
  • Jayne Franklin, Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand

Ministry of Education

  • Katrina Casey, Deputy Secretary for Sector Enablement and Support (chair)
  • Helen Hurst, Group Manager (acting) ECE Resourcing and Operations
  • Nancy Bell, Director of Early Learning, Early Learning and Student Achievement
  • Damian Edwards, Associate Deputy Secretary for Education System Policy
  • Siobhan Murray, Senior Manager, ECE Policy
  • Kathryn Burch, Senior Adviser, ECE Regulations and Planning (outgoing secretariat)
  • Amy Hunter, Senior Adviser, ECE Regulations and Planning (incoming secretariat)


  • Susan Bailey, New Zealand Playcentre Federation
  • Juvena Jalal, The Federation of Rudolf Steiner Schools
  • Hikitia Ropata, Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Cathy Wilson, Montessori Aotearoa NZ
  • Hellen Puhipuhi, Pasifika Advisory Group
  • Sandra Collins, Education Review Office
  • Suze Strowger, Associate Deputy Secretary Operational Delivery

Welcome, karakia and introductions

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

  • Katrina welcomed the group and Susan Phua opened the meeting with a karakia.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline

All actions are complete or underway.


Apologies, minutes and actions

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

  • Apologies, minutes and actions were previously circulated by email and confirmed.
No action items.    

Information sharing and data protection

Anne Broome and Andrea Nichols, Oranga Tamariki and Selena Smeaton, Ministry of Education

Information sharing:

  • The new information sharing provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 (external link) will come into force on 1 July 2019. The new provisions encourage proactive sharing of information, with the best interests of the child or young person being the paramount consideration; privacy considerations are secondary.
  • Oranga Tamariki will develop a draft Code of Practice. Oranga Tamariki will begin working with partner agencies from July to August 2018 with public consultation to start in December 2018. The code will be finalised before mid-2019.
  • Discussion on current information sharing provisions and notification process.  Where there has been a serious injury or incident involving a child attending an early learning service that is required to be notified to a specified agency (such as Oranga Tamariki, WorkSafe or NZ Police), the Ministry must also be notified at the same time. Links to notification requirements: HS34 Centre-based (external link) , HS33 Home-based (external link) and HS12 Playgroups (external link) .
  • There was also a discussion about protocols for communicating with other agencies such as Oranga Tamariki, e.g. ensuring people are who they say they are (verification), establishing local relationships and notification of change of Oranga Tamariki contact details and logos.
  • Anne and Andrea collected names of ECAC members so they can be kept informed of the consultation process and any upcoming events or workshops.

Social Investment Agency (SIA) engagement:

  • SIA are developing a Data Protection and Use Policy that puts people at the centre by making better use of a wide range of evidence gathered from data, analytics and people’s experiences. See what the SIA do here (external link) .
  • SIA are engaging stakeholders across the country from now until August 2018. They are calling for participants from ECAC (or their nominees) to attend an Auckland Education Sector workshop, with the focus on complex social issues experienced in Auckland. 
  • SIA will be collating the input and publishing a summary of the themes by November 2018. The government will consider the final approach by end of 2018. Public consultation will begin early 2019 and feedback will be collated before the policy is finalised.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Clarify and circulate legislative and regulatory information sharing requirements. Secretariat ASAP
Send sector specific scenarios to support development of future guidance to ECAC members ASAP
Work together on sector specific tools, resources and guidance. Andrea Nichols (OT) and MoE representative TBC As work progresses
Send nominations for Auckland education workshop.  ECAC members ASAP

Learning Support Delivery Approach

Pamela Cohen and Megan Reid, Ministry of Education

  • The Ministry is making a shift from the special education approach to the learning support approach. The special education model was largely developed in the mid-90s. Various services were added on over time resulting in a fragmented model. 
  • Significant sector engagement was conducted in 2015-2016. Feedback received indicated that the specialist approach was too complex and difficult to access.
  • The new approach looks at all factors of a child’s learning capability; disability, disadvantage, behaviour challenges or not making progress. It’s about getting the right support, at the right time, and at the right place.
  • Work began in 2016 to modernise the way learning support is delivered. Pilot sites have delivered encouraging results so far. This new way of working has shown a reduction in wait times without additional resources being required.
  • There was some discussion about using the learnings from the pilots, adapting the model to local needs whilst maintaining national integrity. The group also discussed the Ministry’s facilitation role with services, schools and parents, and workforce implications.
  • A Learning Support Action Plan is being developed and will be ready for sector consultation by August 2018.
  • A video from one of the pilots was shown: Growing Teacher Capability. 
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

Budget 2017 Learning Support update

David Wales, Ministry of Education 

There was no time for this item so the group agreed to a written update being circulated after the meeting.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Circulate written update.  David Wales, Secretariat  7 June 2018

Open conversation with the Minister

Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education

The Minister gave a brief overview of some key strategic work. Members asked the Minister questions and he responded to these. Discussion points included:

  • Budget 2018.
  • Funding rate adjustment from January 2019.
  • 100% qualified teachers.
  • Learnings from the Education Summits in Auckland and Christchurch.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline

 No action items


Ministry of Education strategic work updates

Education Summit and Conversation website 

Emily Fabling, Deputy Secretary Strategy Planning and Governance 

  • A video collage of the Summit events was shown, this is available on the Education Conversation (external link) website.
  • The online survey remains open. ECAC members were encouraged to pass on the new website and promote the survey (external link) with the early learning sector. The survey is also available in paper form if needed.
  • More will be added to the Education Conversation website over time, including Summit speaker videos, resources for groups to support their own conversations, and future consultations and surveys. 
  • ECAC members provided positive feedback on the Summit events.

Strategic work programme

Andrea Schöllmann, Deputy Secretary Education System Policy

  • Andrea provided a brief overview of the education work programme.
  • The Independent Taskforce on Tomorrow’s Schools is currently meeting with sector stakeholders and unions on the Tomorrow’s Schools Review. The next step will be public consultation.
  • Minister Jenny Salesa and Minister Kelvin Davis will use insights collected from the Education Summit events to feed into their respective portfolios. They will host workshops focusing on Māori and Pasifika learning.  

Early learning strategic plan 

Nancy Bell, Director of Early Learning, Early Learning and Student Achievement

  • As members of the reference group ECAC will contribute to this work. To date one joint meeting has been held with the Ministry, the Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) and the reference group.
  • The MAG will be meeting more frequently now.  All ideas generated from discussions so far have been carefully collated and sorted into themes.
  • A public survey is expected to be launched on the Education Conversation website within the next couple of weeks.  Questions will allow for free text responses and are focussed around the three themes from the Terms of Reference – quality, equity and choice.  Nancy asked ECAC to encourage their members to complete the survey.
  • All MAG chairs are meeting today to discuss how their programmes of work connect.
  • The draft strategic plan is expected to be ready for consultation in September/October 2018.

Home-based review

Damian Edwards, Associate Deputy Secretary Education System Policy

  • The Ministry has met with other government agencies and with home-based peak bodies.
  • The focus has been on gathering information about models of provision.
  • The Ministry plans to have public consultation on proposed changes to home-based in August 2018.

Workforce strategy

John McKeefry, Associate Deputy Secretary Education Workforce

  • The Education Workforce strategy is planning for the workforce for the future as well for now.
  • The Quality Teaching and Wellbeing Working Group is being retitled The Education Workforce Strategy Governance Group and early learning sector representation is being provided for.
  • The current state and the environmental scan is underway, and workforce strategy workstreams are being considered by the Workforce Strategy Governance Group looking at other jurisdictions, Initial Teacher Education (ITE), pathways, and connections with other strategic work.
  • The plan is for the high level strategy out to 2032 will be ready by the end of this year, with implementation plan finalised by March 2019.
  • The ECAC workforce data sub-group are meeting this afternoon to discuss next steps for data gathering via the census.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

Budget 2018 overview

Damian Edwards, Ministry of Education

An overview of Budget 2018 and what the allocation covers for the next four years of learning support initiatives:

  • $104.8m in cost adjustment to the ECE subsidy and the 20 Hours ECE subsidy. This is a 1.6% increase to funding rates from 1 January 2019. Note: $2.3m has been set aside for the cost adjustment for home-based providers to support quality improvements. This cost adjustment will be applied at the same time as for other providers, but the criteria will be determined once the home-based review has concluded.
  • $483.2m to meet the increasing demand for early learning.
  • $21.8m for early intervention services to help with demand pressures. This means in 2018/2019 an extra 1750 children will receive support from the Ministry’s early intervention staff. There will be 63 additional study awards and scholarships provided over the next 4 years to build the workforce required.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

Budget 2018 Learning Support update

David Wales, Ministry of Education

David provided a detailed overview handout of Budget 2018 specific to learning support for the next 4 years:

  • $21.5m for early intervention services to address the growing demand and decrease the waitlist time.
  • $34.5m for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to address the higher numbers of migrant students in primary and secondary schools.
  • $133.5m for Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) to support schools and teachers to respond to the learning needs of students with the highest learning needs.
  • $30.2m for sensory schools and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) to respond to demand pressures from population growth.
  • $59.3m for teacher aide funding rates. This funding provides teacher aide support for approximately 18,000 students.
  • $4.8m for Te Kahu Tōī Intensive Wraparound Service to support children aged 5 – 15 with social, behaviour and/or learning needs that are highly complex. 
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

Complaints and incident reporting

Elspeth Maxwell, Ministry of Education

  • Elspeth provided an overview of the complaints and incident data release for 2016.
  • Work is on track to release 2017 complaints and incidents data by end of June/early July 2018.
  • ECAC members were positive about the process and information being shared. Further feedback on the reporting process is welcome, email
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Circulate Elspeth’s contact details to ECAC members for feedback.  Screteriat ASAP

Other items and wrap up 

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

  • The group agreed that in future, unless ECAC were being consulted on a particular matter, other advisory group reports were for noting only and do not need to be a specific agenda item.
  • Katrina invited ECAC members to make requests for the next meeting agenda.
  • Helen Hurst explained that there is funding available over the next three years to increase early learning service participation in Kāhui Ako | Communities of Learning. The Ministry is keen to work with sector representatives to ensure the process for distributing funding is practical and fit-for-purpose.
  • Kathryn Burch has held the role of secretariat for ECAC over the past four years and is now stepping down. She has been an important conduit between ECAC members and the wider Ministry. We would like to thank Kathryn for all her contributions.
  • Amy Hunter, Senior Advisor of ECE Regulations and Planning, will be stepping into the role of the secretariat. Amy’s contact email is

Susan closed the meeting with a karakia.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Send nominations to work on framework for distribution of funding.  ECAC members ASAP

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