ECAC Minutes, December 2019

The Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) met on 4 December 2019, 9am to 2:00pm at Mātauranga House, Wellington.


Special guests

  • Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education
  • Iona Holsted, Secretary for Education
  • Carmen Dalli, Victoria University of Wellington

ECAC members

  • Arapera Royal-Tangaere, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
  • Nicola Woollaston, Hospital Play Specialists Association of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Peter Reynolds, Early Childhood Council
  • Shelley Hughes, NZEI Te Riu Roa
  • Jayne Franklin, Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Cathy Wilson, Montessori Aotearoa NZ
  • Susan Foster-Cohen, Early Intervention Association Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Jo Lambert, 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
  • Hellen Puhipuhi, Pasifika Advisory Group
  • Virginia Simmonds, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu
  • Sean McKinley, Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa - Playcentre Aotearoa
  • Melody Stuckey, Christian Early Childhood Education Association of Aotearoa
  • Jill Bond, New Zealand Kindergartens Inc
  • Susan Phua, New Zealand Home-based Early Childhood Education Association
  • Donovan Clarke, Early Childhood Leadership Group
  • Pauline Winter, Auckland Kindergarten Association.

Ministry of Education

  • Katrina Casey, Deputy Secretary, Sector Enablement and Support (chair)
  • Keith Newton, Group Manager, ECE Resourcing and Operations
  • Nancy Bell, Director, Early Learning, Early Learning and Student Achievement
  • Helen Hurst, Associate Deputy Secretary, Sector Enablement and Support
  • Damian Edwards, Associate Deputy Secretary, Education System Policy
  • David Wales, National Director, Learning Support, Sector Enablement and Support
  • Craig Jones, Deputy Secretary, Evidence, Data and Knowledge
  • Amy Hunter, Senior Adviser, ECE Regulations and Planning (secretariat)


  • Karen Affleck, Steiner Education Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Calmar Ulberg, Early Childhood Leadership Group
  • Angus Hartley, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
  • Sandra Collins, Education Review Office
  • Siobhan Murray, Senior Manager, ECE Policy, Education System Policy

Welcome, karakia and introductions

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

Katrina welcomed the group and Jill Bond opened the meeting with a karakia.

Welcome to Donovan Clarke attending for Early Childhood Leadership Group.

Susan Foster-Cohen is stepping down as the Early Intervention Association Aotearoa New Zealand representative on ECAC. Lee Jones will be the new representative from 2020.

Melody Stuckey is stepping down as the representative for the Christian Early Childhood Education Association of Aotearoa in 2020. The new representative will be Jenny Te Punga-Jurgens from 2020.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

Apologies, minutes, and actions

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

Apologies, minutes and actions were previously circulated by email and confirmed.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

ECE Fees data collection and teachers' remuneration

Craig Jones, Ministry of Education

ECE Fees data collection

The Ministry is proposing to collect information to understand the price and affordability of ECE to parents and whānau, and to help develop future policy advice.  The project will be co-designed and piloted with services, SMS vendors and early learning sector representatives.

Services will be asked to submit ECE fees information, and this data will be secured in EVa (the Education data vault). A very small number of technical staff would be able to access the raw data. Identifiable data is required to work out the true cost to parents (i.e. how many children per household) and then this data will be cleaned by developers. Policy Analysts will only have access to aggregated data.

Craig provided an overview of questions raised by ECAC members about the fees project and outlined the Ministry’s response to those issues.  ECAC members emphasised the need for the collection to capture information about fee discounts and write-offs as well.

Next steps are to visit a small number of services to understand how fee information is captured. ECAC members were invited to nominate services, with a preference to identify a mix of service types (those with simple fee structures, as well as more complex scenarios).

Teacher remuneration survey

To understand the teacher pay disparity, we need better information on pay rates for different roles and how these shift over time.

Craig outlined the Ministry’s intention to fund an ongoing survey on ECE teacher remuneration, and some of the key considerations around this work.

ECAC members supported the progression of this work, and expressed a sense of urgency for the information such a survey would provide. Survey design is expected to start in 2020.

Update on Motu ECE work

Motu is a New Zealand economic research institute. Craig provided an overview of Motu’s findings from their work looking into the early childhood workforce. The technical report ‘The characteristics of Early Childhood Education workers and their employment’ was released on their website in November 2019.

Motu website(external link)

The characteristics of Early Childhood Education workers and their employment(external link)

Next steps include identifying progression pathways for early childhood education workers (recognising the impact of movement within the sector, as well as into and out of the sector) and gaining greater clarity of the salary picture.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline

Send presentation out to ECAC members

Secretariat ASAP

ECAC members to nominate services to take part in ECE fees data collection pilot 

ECAC members ASAP

ECAC members to send other complexities as part of the ECE fees data collection to secretariat

ECAC members ASAP

Send Motu’s findings to ECAC members in the minutes

Secretariat ASAP
Invite Craig back to present on progress updates Secretariat March 2020

Bullying Prevention Advisory Group

David Wales, Ministry of Education

Bullying Prevention Advisory Group (BPAG)

The Bullying Prevention Advisory Group was established in 2013 and is chaired by Iona Holsted, Secretary for Education. Members of BPAG include New Zealand Police, Ministry of Justice, Accident Compensation Corporation, NetSafe New Zealand, the Children’s Commissioner and recently the Race Relations Commissioner.

BPAG have since set up the Bullying Free New Zealand website and produced the Bullying-Free NZ School Framework. The next phase of the work programme is to engage the early learning sector for representation. We are seeking ECAC representation on the work programme. Please send nominations through to the secretariat.

He Māpuna te Tamaiti: Supporting Social and Emotional Competence in ECE

He Māpuna te Tamaiti is a new Ministry resource that includes a range of practical and flexible strategies such as establishing consistent routines, developing care and empathy for others, building resilience, fostering peer friendships and supporting children to manage their learning.

He Māpuna te Tamaiti has an underlying approach that is caring and culturally responsive, the resource is in line with Te Whāriki: He Whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa.

All early learning services are being sent a copy of He Māpuna te Tamaiti and services can order additional copies from Down the Back of the Chair(external link). Alternatively, electronic copies of the complete book and self-assessment tool can be found on the self management and regulation page in Te Whāriki Online, or on the He Māpuna te Tamaiti page on our website.

Self management and regulation - Te Whāriki Online website(external link)

He Māpuna te Tamaiti

The Ministry will produce more collateral to support the release of He Māpuna te Tamaiti.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Provide the link to the He Māpuna te Tamaiti resource online Secretariat ASAP
ECAC members to nominate representative for BPAG ECAC members ASAP

Early Learning Action Plan

Professor Carmen Dalli, Victoria University of Wellington, and Nancy Bell, Ministry of Education

Professor Carmen Dalli, Victoria University of Wellington, is the chair of the Ministry Advisory Group and led the thinking behind the development of the early learning action plan.

Professor Dalli thanked the Reference Group members and Ministry of Education for their input towards the strategic plan. Nancy provided printed copies of He taonga te tamaiti – Every child a taonga to ECAC members and invited ECAC members to discuss the action plan. Copies of the early learning action plan will be mailed to all early learning services in the new year.

He taonga te tamaiti – Every child a taonga [PDF, 3.19MB](external link)

ECAC members thanked Professor Dalli for her leadership in the development of the early learning action plan. ECAC members acknowledged the engagement with the sector and the feedback process was open and transparent.

The resources for the early learning action plan are available on the resources page.

Early Learning Action Plan resources - Kōrero Mātauranga website(external link)

Consultation on the draft plan - Kōrero Mātauranga website(external link)

Please send any questions on the early learning action plan to mailbox:

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Provide link to the consultation feedback in minutes Secretariat ASAP 
Provide ECAC members with the email address for questions on the action plan Secretariat ASAP
Provide an update on the implementation of the Early Learning Action Plan to ECAC Nancy Bell March 2020

Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister for Education, and Iona Holsted, Secretary for Education

Minister Hipkins opened the session with an overview of the following work items:

  • Launch of the Early Learning Action Plan.
  • Education and Training Bill(external link), which was introduced to Parliament on 2 December 2019 to allow for legislative changes required by the Early Learning Action Plan. Submissions are now open.
  • Tomorrow’s Schools Review.
  • A richer picture on the data of early childhood participation.
  • Allowing primary trained teachers to be person responsible in teacher-led, centre-based services.
  • Funding for top priority actions from the Early Learning Action Plan.
  • A special edition of the Early Learning Bulletin was released following Minister Hipkins’ announcement of the launch of He taonga te tamaiti – Every child a taonga, Future of early learning in New Zealand(external link).
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Publish He Pānui Kōhungaunga the Early Learning Bulletin, a special edition on the Early Learning Action Plan Keith Newton ASAP
Send the link to the Education and Training Bill in minutes Secretariat ASAP

Review of ECAC terms of reference

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

Katrina asked ECAC members to think about the following:

  • ECAC membership
  • ECAC’s role, especially given the release He taonga te tamaiti – Every child a taonga.

Separate to the terms of reference review, ECAC members requested for time at the end of the day without Ministry attendees to discuss early learning sector matters. Katrina advised ECAC members are welcome to use the room following the close of ECAC. 

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Provide further feedback on ECAC’s membership and ECAC’s role to the secretariat ECAC members February 2020 

Tomorrow's Schools review update

Ben O'Meara and Peter Mellor, Ministry of Education

Ben provided an overview of some of the key decisions in the Tomorrow’s Schools Review announcement:

  • More frontline support for schools through the new Education Service Agency (ESA), as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education.
  • More support for principals and school boards, including the Teaching Council being invited by the Government to establish a Leadership Centre and establishing leadership advisor roles.
  • New independent disputes panels for parents and students.
  • Management of school property simplified and/or transferred to the Ministry to free up boards’ time.
  • Enrolment zones to be managed locally, not by each school.

Tomorrow's Schools Review cabinet paper [PDF, 481KB](external link) 

Key changes impacting the early learning sector is the establishment of the ESA. Design work for the ESA will begin from 1 July 2020, with a goal that the ESA will provide responsive, accessible and integrated local support to early learning services.

Find more information about the Early Childhood Education Services and Kōhanga Reo(external link)

Ben invited ECAC members to provide positive experiences from Kāhui Ako and also feedback how Kāhui Ako can be improved. Please send feedback to Ben O’Meara, Ben.O'

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Provide Kāhui Ako experiences and feedback to Ben  ECAC members December 2019 

Other items and wrap up

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

Katrina thanked ECAC members for their contribution towards the Ministry’s various strategic work programmes.

Jill Bond closed the meeting with a karakia.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Confirm next year’s meeting dates with the Minister’s Office Secretariat ASAP
Send out 2020 ECAC meeting dates to ECAC members in minutes Secretariat ASAP

Meeting closed 2:00pm

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