Early Learning Regional News - March 2017

Regional News / General News / Other News updates for March 2017 from the Directors of Education for each Ministry of Education region.

Tai Tokerau regional news

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou katoa

Welcome to Step Ahead, a new education and care centre operating in Kamo, Whangarei. We look forward to getting to know your team.

Congratulations to Hurupaki Kindergarten for their recent ‘Very Well Placed’ category 4 ERO report. An earlier report had noted the confidence and competence of learners, the support given to children with learning needs and the effective teaching practice. These positive aspects have been maintained. This consistency is what is looked for when awarding a category 4 report. Well done to all involved.

Communities of Learning I Kāhui Ako continue to be set up in Tai Tokerau. Being a formal member of a Kāhui Ako in the early stages means a service could be directly involved in setting Achievement Challenges and drafting the Memorandum of Agreement.

ECE services me ngā kōhanga reo (early learning services), schools and kura may connect and work together at any time about the Kāhui Ako and Achievement Challenges, whether membership is formalised or not.

If you would like to know more contact one of the ECE team.

Whananaki Playgroup

Whananaki Playgroup.

The Whananaki Playgroup whānau have achieved one of their long-term goals and facilitated the building of a new outdoor playground area in the North Whananaki community. The playground will create wonderful experiences and opportunities for its whānau and tamariki, benefit the community week after week, and the holiday-makers who come from far and wide during the summer season!

The whānau of the Whananaki Playgroup were interested in buying outdoor equipment for the tamariki who attend it to extend their development and play experiences outdoors. After receiving funding from the Ministry of Education (Special Grant for Playgroups), the playgroup’s whānau decided they needed to aim even higher and create an outdoor space that could also be used by the wider community. They applied for other grants and funding in order to get a larger playground structure that would be a permanent fixture on the community grounds. As a whānau group they dealt with the council, funders and other community groups to see their vision into reality.

The playground was then gifted to the Whananaki community in an opening ceremony held on Thursday 23 February 2017 where The Rt Hon Winston Peters opened the structure, praising the capability of the small community to improve and empower each other towards creating and maintaining an improved environment for their tamariki. Community members attended with their tamariki and were very thankful to the whānau of the Whananaki Playgroup for their efforts and vision in creating such a wonderful space for the tamariki to play in. The playground is located next to the community hall where the playgroup is located and the local library.

Congratulations to the whānau of Whananaki Playgroup. We can only wonder what goal they will aim for next!

Hira Gage
Director of Education Tai Tokerau
Phone: 09 436 8914
Email: hira.gage@education.govt.nz

Auckland regional news

Ta'alofa and mālō ni

Learning Support changes

You will be aware that there has been a significant change in the way the Ministry of Education is now structured in the regions.

That change has resulted in Learning Support being managed along with other Ministry teams to achieve an integrated Ministry approach in each of the 10 regions including ours. In Auckland, an integrated Ministry approach means that our Learning Support Teams will be aligned with our 6 geographic Education Teams, which in turn are aligned around existing Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

You will also be aware that a new Learning Support service model is being developed based on feedback received from the sector and parents during the Special Education Update consultation held early last year. The feedback identified several key issues and the new model is based on 4 key foundation goals aimed at addressing those issues:

  1. A single point of contact for parents, whānau and the school to access Learning Support.
  2. Local Learning Support Teams (LLSTs) to assess each learner’s needs and agree on the support they need. These teams might include RTLB, Ministry, Kāhui Ako staff, Special Schools and others as relevant.
  3. A Lead Practitioner who will be the single point of contact for each child and young person.
  4. Collection of individual student data related to Learning Support and achievement, so that over time we are able to ensure the services we provide are right for each student.

We plan to start by engaging with a small number of Kāhui Ako to develop the model with them. Over the course of the year we aim to engage with all schools and Kāhui Ako.

Children’s Team Update 

“Me ka moemoea ahau, Ko au anake, Me ka moemoea e tatou, Ka taea e tatou. One Team, One Dream, One place arriving together." Brownie Rauwhero, Counties Manukau Children’s Team (CMCT) kaumatua.

On 22 March the CMCT will celebrate its 1st birthday. Professionals and practitioners have been transforming the way we work together, adopting the Children’s Team approach. This means that there is one plan to ensure tamariki are thriving, engaged in education and belong to a successful, resilient whānau.

Over 330 children from Manurewa and Papakura have been referred and 31 Lead Professionals have been assigned to them. These professionals coordinate a Child’s Action Network (CAN), which is made up of the child, their parents or caregivers, practitioners and professionals involved with providing support and services. Membership of CAN has proven to be flexible and often changes to support the children and their family, all working to one plan.

Tying this all together is a centralised database. The sharing of key information has proved to be crucial in helping children and their family access the right support. The Vulnerable Kids Interface (VIKI) provides a forum for all professionals working with the Children’s Team to store and share the information, regardless of the agency they work for. Information about online training modules for those who need access to VIKI will be sent out soon.

Referrals from the education sector have increased over the year across all age groups, and any professional working in the sector can make a one. To make a referral, please contact the Vulnerable Children’s Hub on 0800 367 687.

For more information on the Children’s Team visit www.childrensactionplan.govt.nz (external link) .

This month’s manager profiles

Last year we highlighted changes in our Auckland office structure and began introducing our new managers. This month we continue with 2 more of our Education Managers from the West and North teams.

Grant Malins – Education Manager West Auckland

Grant Malins

Grant started with the Ministry of Education in 2000 in the Waikato office for Special Education. Grant worked across a wide range of Ministry functions including non-enrolled and excluded students, Youth Justice and the Severe Behaviour Service.In 2007, he joined the Auckland office in the role of Service Manager, Severe Behaviour Service.

In 2010, Grant was appointed Manager, Regional Behaviour Services and led the roll out of the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) Action Plan. In 2016, he was appointed Education Manager, West Auckland.

Grant is married and has 3 children, 2 dogs and is a recreational fishing legend – in his mind at least!

Rachael Laurenson – Education Manager North Auckland

Racheal Laurenson

Before joining the Ministry, Rachael was involved in secondary school education for 20 years, including as Deputy Principal at Mount Albert Grammar and Avondale College. Just before joining the Ministry she worked for Team Solutions at the University of Auckland as Facilitator Māori Achievement and Community.

In 2013, Rachael joined the Youth Guarantee Team and in 2016 was appointed to the role of Education Manager North Auckland. Rachael is married and has 3 children aged between 7 and 25 years old.

Using Appreciative Inquiry to improve outcomes: a case study

SELO (strengthening early learning opportunities for children, whānau, families and communities) is a professional development programme for early learning. H-Education Ltd is one provider that the Ministry of Education contracts to facilitate SELO programmes with early childhood services. H-Education worked with 12 early childhood services in 2016, and this case study will profile their work, with YMCA Early Learning Centre Manurewa using a strengths-based approach for their professional inquiry/self-review process.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a positive 4-stage approach to organisational change (The 4 D’s) that focuses on developing data-driven decision-making to create sustainable improvements to practice. This approach is a holistic, collaborative process that promotes deeper teacher inquiry. AI leverages the strengths and philosophy to create innovative improvements and solutions to enable better outcomes for children.

Shannon Keane, YMCA Early Learning Manurewa, describes the process from the perspective of the centre:

“We wanted to focus on enhancing risky play. The introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 created an opportunity for us to review our policies at an organisational and centre level. Change is good, and we aimed to ensure that the experiences provided in our risk-taking environment were still challenging for our tamariki.

This was around the same time we were invited to participate with H-Education on an amazing journey using their AI review. We were able to achieve change at a revolutionary level, and the whole process released us from looking at what was going wrong but enhancing what we were doing well.

Teachers have released their fears of ‘cotton balling’ children and being ‘helicopter’ teachers by working with children to learn how to make safe choices for themselves and others. Rain, hail or shine … ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.’ Children learn what they need in order to keep themselves and others safe and healthy in different weather. We discuss, negotiate and plan together.

Our proudest achievement is having our local bush visits in Manurewa. It’s a little secret place that our tamariki have called ‘our bush’. Every Tuesday you will find us there learning about how to be great leaders and extend our ideas around what it means to be a leader. With a leader-stick in hand we are discovering the joy of nature through playing games, problem solving, finding patterns in nature, hunting and gathering, drawing and writing about our experiences and truly connecting with everything available." 

 Children playing in Our Bush

Visit our website for more information about the SELO professional development programme.

Isabel Evans
Director of Education Auckland
Phone: 09 632 9333
Email: isabel.evans@education.govt.nz

Waikato regional news

E rau rangatira mā tēnā koutou katoa

Learning Support Update

Nationally, we’re making some changes to how Special Education and support for students with additional learning needs works.

Across the country, Special Education will be transforming into Learning Support. This change is being implemented progressively from the end of February 2017. The changes in the area of Learning Support are important for you and the children you work with because they are about being timelier in the service we provide and less bureaucratic. You can learn more about these changes on our website.

We’ve got a pilot running in the Bay of Plenty area which we will be able to learn from, but we will also begin to make some changes here in the Waikato based on what we have seen works and your feedback from the sector engagements in 2015. This is a really exciting period for the Ministry and broader education sector. If you have any questions about the Learning Support Update please email learning.support@education.govt.nz or phone 0800 622 222.

Have you looked at this exciting opportunity?

In last month’s He Pānui Kōhungahunga – The Early Learning Bulletin there was information about the Teacher Led Innovation Fund (TLIF). This fund supports teams of qualified teachers from early childhood education (ECE) services me ngā kōhanga reo (early learning services), schools and kura to collaboratively develop innovative practices that improve learning outcomes.

It is exciting that this fund is now available to early learning services and we hope to hear of successful applications in our region. All qualified early learning service teachers can now apply directly to the TLIF with their inquiry project.

This website link gives clear instructions about what the fund is for, how and when to apply, and a timeline for when applications need to be in by: ECE Teacher-Led Innovation Fund Opportunity.

Expressions of interest closed on 16 March 2017. Applications close on 17 April 2017.

Resource Consent / Compliance Schedule / BWOF / Certificate of Licence

We would like to alert you to the potential for some discrepancies between these documents in relation to building occupancy numbers.

All early childhood applications for a licence must be accompanied by evidence that the premises comply with the Building Act 2004, if this applies, in respect of their use as a centre (Reg 9 and PF 3).

Section 100 of the Building Act 2004 may also require a Compliance Schedule to be issued and then an annual Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) (s108). Note that:

  • For new service applications: it is important to check that approved occupancy numbers for staff and children are aligned on both the Compliance Schedule and the Resource Consent and take note of this when you are submitting your application for a licence.
  • For existing services: one of the requirements of the Amendments to the Building Act 2012 was to provide additional information on the Compliance Schedules. Every council was required to re-issue all their Compliance Schedules with as much information as was available and that information is required to be transferred onto the BWOF documents. Please check your current BWOF to ensure that any occupancy numbers stated on that document align with your approved Resource Consent and your current Ministry of Education Certificate of Licence.

You may need to refer back to application documents for Resource and Building Consent applications if there are no numbers stated on the BWOF.

If you have any concerns please call Mere Lawson-Nuri, Manager Education, on 07 858 8960 or 027 284 8686.

Paula Rawiri
Director of Education Waikato
Phone: 07 850 8924
Email: paula.rawiri@education.govt.nz

Bay of Plenty – Waiariki regional news

Talofa lava and kia ora koutou

Children’s Day

Children's Day celebrated in the Redwood Forest
Children's Day event in the Redwood Forest.

On Sunday 5 March 2017 the Rotorua Lakes Council organised for Children’s Day to be celebrated in the Redwood Forest. This was a great day and what a great place to hold such an event. In the afternoon I took my family of 5 children along to join in the activities. Many organisations, including the Ministry of Education, were represented. It was good to see children enjoying the many activities that were set up amongst the trees, which included hut building, painting and games. It was also a great opportunity for our staff to talk to children and their whanau about our role, early childhood and schooling.

If you have questions about anything in this Bulletin, don’t hesitate to talk with Aroha, Gina or Michelle in the first instance or contact me directly at the email address below.

Ngā mihi

Ezra Schuster
Director of Education Bay of Plenty – Waiariki
Phone: 07 349 8309
Email: ezra.schuster@education.govt.nz

Hawke’s Bay – Tairāwhiti regional news

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou

Ngā mihi nui Te Kapa Haka o Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti who were named the Te Matatini champions – so proud to have a group from our region win! I’ll make sure the Directors of Education in other regions take note. It was a privilege to attend for 3 of the 4 days of this competition. I was in awe of the calibre of all the performances, as well as the huge turnout of 50,000 people, many of whom visited our Ministry of Education stand.

Children’s Day

‘Connecting communities to help Gisborne families thrive’ was the theme for the Children’s Day extravaganza held in Gisborne. Our Ministry exhibition space was abuzz with interactive play and literacy activities.  Ministry staff were there to share information and answer questions about early learning and schools and distribute books to children and whānau. These were much appreciated and affirmed the value of reading in homes. A huge thank you to the local businesses and volunteers who got involved and helped make the day a celebration of our tamariki.

Learning Support changes

You will be aware there has been a significant change in the way the Ministry of Education is now structured in the regions. That change has resulted in Learning Support being integrated with other teams in each of the 10 regions including ours.

You will be aware that a new Learning Support service model is being developed based on feedback received from the sector, parents and whānau during the Special Education Update consultation held at the end of 2015. The feedback identified several key issues and the new model is based on key foundation goals aimed at addressing those issues:

  • A local Learning Support facilitator who will coordinate access to services that best meet the needs of each child and young person, from across the Ministry, the Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako and other relevant agencies.
  • A flexible, tailored and dedicated learning plan.
  • The collection of individual student data relating to Learning Support and achievement.

We hope to start by engaging with a small number of Kāhui Ako to develop the model with them to support the achievement of at-risk learners. Over the course of the year we aim to engage with all Kāhui Ako.

Tips for Autism course

We are hosting a Tips for Autism course in Gisborne from 23-25 May. The course is an opportunity for teams to spend time together learning and developing plans for their children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The course is free for participants and available to teams supporting primary school-aged children with ASD. Applications meeting the criteria are accepted on a first-in, first-served basis, so teams are advised to get their applications in as soon as possible to secure a place on the course. To apply and for more information please see the attached application form [DOCX, 214 KB]. For queries about the course and team make up please phone 06 364 0545 or email team@tipsforautism.co.nz.

Finally, please read the Hawke’s Bay Child Interagency newsletter – Tamaiti tū, tamaiti ora [PDF, 2.1 MB].

Roy Sye
Director of Education Hawke’s Bay – Tairāwhiti
Phone: 06 833 6898
Email: roy.sye@ducation.govt.nz

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu regional news

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa

Learning Support Update

You may be aware that a new Learning Support service model has been developed based on feedback received from the sector, parents and whānau during the Special Education Update consultation held at the end of 2015.

We have started the next stage in our transformation journey in enhancing the support we provide to children, students, early childhood services, kura and schools with the integration of Learning Support into our regional structure.

Many of you will have worked with staff in Special Education who previously were part of the Central South. These staff now report through to the Director of Education.

This is a great opportunity for all of us to learn, grow and develop. I am really looking forward to working with you and our colleagues in other regions and the national office to work out how we can support you. Our strength comes from the combined expertise and commitment of our people and I would like to thank everyone for their support as we worked through the change process.

If you would like to find out more about the Learning Support Update visit the Ministry’s website.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

In Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu we began 2017 with 15 Kāhui Ako. Eight of these were approved by the Minister on 5 December. This includes 31,000 learners from 133 schools and 4 Early Learning Centres.

The Inglewood Kāhui Ako has 4 Early Learning Centres and it is expected that a 5th centre will join in the next tranche. Inglewood Play Centre, Inglewood Kindergarten, Inglewood Community Childcare Centre and Top Kids Inglewood have full representation in this Kāhui Ako. This representation includes a member from that the Early Learning Group being part of the Key Leadership Group, as well as on the selection panel for the Lead Principal recruitment. This Kāhui Ako is currently working on their Achievement Challenge. All of the challenges being considered are inclusive of the learners across the system.

Significant ECE engagement has also occurred in the Palmerston North East Kāhui Ako where the Ruahine Kindergarten Association is providing resources for Across ECE Teachers to work with the Across School Teachers. As has occurred with this Kāhui Ako, we are finding that there is increased engagement with the early learning sector once the Lead Principals have been appointed. This is providing a key contact person with the Kāhui Ako. Lead Principals are in a good position to collaborate with all types of ECE providers to consider the best strategies for Kāhui Ako engagement across the sector. Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu is expecting many more ECE providers to be members of their Kāhui Ako in 2017.

We are committed to working with you to support better outcomes for children and Kāhui Ako are very much the mechanism by which we see this happening. If you would like more information about, or support to engage with, Kāhui Ako please do not hesitate to contact your ECE Education Advisors or Jude Fawcett and Cathie Newton, the 2 Lead Kāhui Ako Advisors in Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu.

Nicole Hobbs, Education Advisor - nicole.hobbs@education.govt.nz
Leigh Owen, Education Advisor - leigh.owen@education.govt.nz
Jude Fawcett, Lead Kāhui Ako Advisor - jude.fawcett@education.govt.nz
Cathie Newton, Lead Kāhui Ako Advisor - cathie.newton@education.govt.nz

You can also find out more about Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

Opportunities at the Ministry

Have you ever wanted to work at the Ministry? We have a number of opportunities for Education Advisors coming up. For a confidential enquiry please contact Marlene Clarkson (Marlene.Clarkson@education.govt.nz) for further information.


Do your staff know that they can receive He Pānui Kōhungahunga – The Early Learning Bulletin directly? They just need to email earlylearning.bulletin@education.govt.nz and ask to be added to the distribution list.

You may also be interested in reading the Bulletin for School Leaders | He Pitopito Kōrero which is published fortnightly on the Ministry’s website.

Jann Marshall
Director of Education Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu
Phone: 06 349 6352
Mobile: 021 229 7685
Email: jann.marshall@education.govt.nz

Wellington regional news

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou katoa, ngā mihi nui ki a koutou

It’s hard to believe we are now well and truly moving into autumn. Where did the summer go?

While keeping our tamariki healthy and safe is important all year round, the rise in illnesses (especially respiratory conditions) in the winter months brings this into sharper focus. With winter ahead, it is timely to be thinking about some of the things you can be doing in your service to help keep you and your tamariki well as the colder months approach.

Good ventilation and how to get it

I would like to thank our colleagues at Regional Public Health for providing us with the key messages about ventilation below as an effective way to help control the spread of infection in early childhood environments.

Having natural or mechanical ventilation that allows fresh air to circulate is a requirement of licensing criterion PF12. There must be adequate ventilation in every room in the centre that is used by children. Good ventilation is particularly important for sleep rooms, nappy change areas, bathrooms and rooms where unwell children are isolated and looked after temporarily.

Inadequate ventilation can result in a damp atmosphere in your service. Dampness allows infections to spread more easily and can exacerbate asthma in children or staff. It is really important that sleep rooms have movement of air. Without ventilation sleep rooms can become stuffy and airless, increasing the risk of respiratory infections and glue ear. Ventilation is still needed even in cold, wet weather.

  • Have opening windows on opposite sides of the building.
  • If windows and doors cannot be opened due to poor weather conditions then mechanical ventilation is necessary.
  • Ceiling fans aid in air circulation. These can be reversible, so that air can be either drawn up to the ceiling (good in summer to remove heat) or the air is pushed down (good in cold weather to circulate warm air).

If you want more information about providing healthy environments for your tamariki (and staff), please contact the Early Childhood Public Advisors for the Greater Wellington Region at 027 8078 544. You can also visit Early Childhood – Regional Public Health (external link) .

I hope you all get to enjoy a well-earned break over Easter.

Suze Strowger
Director of Education Wellington
Phone: 04 463 8668
Mobile: 027 229 4009
Email: suze.strowger@education.govt.nz

Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast regional news

Nelson hospital early childhood service opening

Early in September 2014 Jane Kinsey (the then Service Manager of Child, Women and Youth) and Craig Vercoe (Senior Education Advisor for Nelson Tasman Kindergartens) met. They discussed the possibility of integrated services through the establishment of an early childhood facility within the hospital as a way of improving services for young children, especially in the paediatric unit.

A Memorandum of Understanding was developed and NTK would supply the staffing, professional practice leadership and policies, while NMDHB would provide the facility and utilities attached.

The Ministry of Education then supported the initiative with licensing and funding and Te Whare Manaaki opened in the paediatric ward at Nelson Hospital in late November.

the fun begin. From left to right: Claire Pawley, Craig Vercoe, Sue Fahey, Trish Casey, Jane Kinsey
Let the fun begin. From left to right: Claire Pawley, Craig Vercoe, Sue Fahey, Trish Casey, Jane Kinsey

Jane Kinsey said the health board had been working towards providing the service for the last 10 years, noting that a bad experience with the health system at a young age could often put a person off seeking treatment later in life.

Kinsey said she was not aware of any other health boards that had partnered with an early childhood education (ECE) provider in the same way. This partnership will help children develop skills to get through their health journey while maintaining their education. Children are able to spend time becoming more familiar with the hospital setting and relax before treatment.

Nelson Tasman Kindergartens have employed Sue Fahey, a fully qualified early childhood teacher, as the head teacher. She comes with a wealth of experience in both education and health. The role provides an amazing opportunity to use that experience to support children, families and clinical teams.

Often children in hospital are quite nervous before having treatment. Sue says, "We are hearing anecdotally from the nurses that already the children are more relaxed prior to theatre. They come in and see things that are familiar to their world in a really different environment."

This whole experience has been a wonderful display of cross-sector collaboration between health and education, which has already had a dramatic effect in improving outcomes for children and their families.

Erika Ross
Director of Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast
Phone: 03 539 1533
Email: erika.ross@education.govt.nz

Canterbury regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora

On 22 February we remembered the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake 6 years ago. I would like to pay tribute to all of you and acknowledge your support which helped so many children and families.

The February fires in the Port Hills have again tested the spirit of those who live in Christchurch, and yet again those involved in education have stepped up to the mark. A big thank you to all the early childhood services who provided support and care for affected families in their areas – I am deeply heartened by the incredible kindness shown by you all.

Support in the event of a traumatic incident

It may be helpful to remind you where you can access support when a traumatic incident or unexpected event occurs. The Ministry of Education have a number of tip sheets which can be downloaded on the Education website.

These have been written with an earthquake focus, but the key advice remains the same for any unexpected situation or event, whether that is for a manager of staff or information to support parents of children and young people.

The Ministry of Education also has Traumatic Incident Teams who can:

  • help you develop appropriate processes for dealing with an incident to ensure the safety and well-being of your children/young people and staff and to return your ECE centre/school to normal operations as quickly as possible
  • help you understand the emotional and psychological impacts of a traumatic incident and the effects such impacts can have on how people behave, and advise you on things you can do to support people who have been involved in a traumatic incident
  • advise you on how to communicate about the incident appropriately with your children/young people, staff, parents and the community, including the media
  • link you with other appropriate services where necessary.

Our staff do not provide counselling, but they may be able to help direct you to suitable counselling services.

To contact the team phone 0800 TI Team (0800 848 326).

The AllRight campaign (external link) also provides resources and psychosocial messaging for communities.

For those needing additional support the Canterbury Support Line on 0800 777 846 is available. For additional support for stress and anxiety (either for themselves or their child) they should contact their GP.

School enrolment schemes

Enrolment schemes are implemented by schools to prevent the risk of overcrowding. Decisions about enrolment zones are always made in the context of the wider network and involve consultation with neighbouring schools. We support this process by providing analytics and data on current and projected school rolls, as well as information on the expected impact of the enrolment zone on the local school network. This information is shared with all schools in the area to support a transparent decision-making process, and to ensure the scheme does not disadvantage any part of the community or other schools. Not all schools will have an enrolment scheme.

You can find a school’s enrolment scheme on the TKI website (external link) .

Futures Network

This network is open for anyone involved in early childhood education (ECE) and is attended by both centre leaders and teachers. Early childhood services or individuals can be added to the network database by emailing viv@evolutionece.com.

At the meeting on 1 March, Juanita Davidson (Service Manager – Learning Support) spoke about the update in the delivery of learning support for children enrolled in ECE services. She covered the vision for the update, how to make a request for support, and information about education support workers.

A new request for support form has been developed which can be used for all requests. If you need support you can phone our office on 03 378 7300 to ask for a form to be sent, or to talk to one of the Service Managers. For regional areas these are:

South East of Christchurch – Juanita Davidson
North West of Christchurch – Rachael Vink
Mid-Canterbury from Christchurch South - Bill Pullar
North Canterbury - Fiona Cook
South Canterbury / Timaru - Atholea Shanks.

Key features of the new service delivery model include solutions that are collaborative, flexible and tailored for individual children.

Please note that the dates and times for the Futures Network for the rest of 2017 are Tuesday 13 June, Tuesday 26 September and Tuesday 14 November – all 9.30am to 11.30am. Details of topics and venues for June will appear in the April Early Learning Bulletin.

Mā te wā

Coralanne Child
Director of Education for Canterbury
Phone: 03 378 7345
Email: coralanne.child@education.govt.nz

Otago-Southland regional news

Kia ora koutou and warm Pasifika greetings.

I am sure your staff and the children have appreciated some of the late summer weather, no doubt with water play, sand pits and sunhats in hot demand!

Learning Support changes

Learning Support now comes under our local Otago-Southland umbrella as of 27 February 2017. As the first stage of the update, a new leadership structure within the Ministry will support the subsequent changes in service delivery to be trialled over this year.

Gary McClintock has been appointed to the new position of Manager of Learning Support across Otago and Southland. He has been the Otago District Manager for the last 3 years and has extensive experience in the Ministry as an Educational Psychologist. As Head of Learning Support for 10 years at Motueka High School, and with teaching experience in primary, intermediate and secondary schools, Gary brings a practical problem-solving approach to his leadership. He is looking forward to meeting and working with principals, especially in building new relationships in Southland.

Julianne Watson (Service Manager Southland) and Christine Menzies (District Manager Southland) are both retiring. We will appoint a new Manager Site and Service Delivery in Invercargill, and a Performance and Quality Lead who will work across Otago and Southland. This will set the leadership structure in place for new ways of delivering Learning Support to the Otago and Southland Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, clusters of ECE providers and services. We hope to start by engaging with a small number of services and Kāhui Ako to develop the model with them to support the progress and achievement of at-risk learners.

New Strategic Advisor Māori

Paulette Tamati-Elliffe  Strategic Advisor Māori Otago-Southland
Paulette Tamati-Elliffe, Strategic Advisor Māori Otago-Southland

On 27 February we welcomed our New Strategic Advisor Māori, Paulette Tamati-Elliffe, to the Ministry. She brings a wealth of experience in community work, in Te Reo language revitalisation for Ngāi Tahu, and in supporting schools to develop culturally responsive engagement with tamariki and whānau. We are delighted to have someone with her knowledge of local tikanga and established iwi relationships working with us across the Otago-Southland region. Paulette is keen to meet with ECE representatives and visit centres and kohanga reo.

Please contact Paulette on paulette.tamatiellifffe@education.govt.nz if you would like to meet with her.

Clutha District Early Childhood Education (ECE) Project

For the last year, the Clutha District has had a higher number of children not attending early childhood education (ECE) than other areas of Otago-Southland. The ECE participation rate for the Clutha District is 94.7% compared with the Otago-Southland region of 98.1%. The reasons that families cannot access ECE can be wide and varied and include rural isolation, transport issues or limited ECE options in such a large geographical area as the Clutha District. The Ministry is focused on working alongside and within communities, gaining local intelligence and knowledge as a key to understanding what individual response is needed.

The Methodist Mission in Dunedin was contracted in 2016 by the Ministry to provide an individual service in the community for up to 10 families called the Clutha ECE Project. The service has engaged a local resident from Milton as coordinator. The coordinator, who works from the Tokomairiro Community Hub in Milton, links with ECE services, social services and (most importantly) the local community to identify, engage and support parents who may not have children attending ECE.

One of the major changes in today’s environment in engaging parents is using online opportunities such as Community Facebook pages. More and more families use social media as a way of keeping connected to their local community and therefore allowing direct links and connections from services to families’ needs. Currently the service has engaged 8 children who have been, or are currently being supported, into some form of ECE.

The coordinator supports the families to make the right choices for them on which ECE option they wish for their children. The coordinator is also a vital link between ECE services and school when a transition to school is required. The Clutha ECE Project is a valuable link to understand and support this community at a local level and enables the value of early learning to be shared with parents and children in their future educational pathway.

Clutha District ECE Project team

Right: Clare Healy, Coordinator; Middle: Charles Pearce, Practice Leader; Left: Sue Clarke, Operations Leader.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss any issues or ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ngā mihi mahana

Julie Anderson
Phone: 03 471 5217
Mobile: 027 836 4846
Email: julie.anderson@education.govt.nz


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