ECAC Minutes, July 2020

The Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) met on 29 July 2020, 10am to 11.04am via video conference (Zoom).


ECAC members

  • Arapera Royal-Tangaere, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
  • Peter Reynolds, Early Childhood Council
  • Jayne Franklin, Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Cathy Wilson, Montessori Aotearoa NZ
  • Lee Jones, 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
  • Virginia Simmonds, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu
  • Jenny TePunga-Jurgens, Christian Early Childhood Education Association of Aotearoa
  • Jill Bond, New Zealand Kindergartens Inc
  • Susan Phua, New Zealand Homebased Early Childhood Education Association
  • Calmar Ulberg, Early Childhood Leadership Group
  • Pauline Winter, Auckland Kindergarten Association
  • Karen Affleck, Steiner Education Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Nicola Woollaston, Hospital Play Specialists Association of Aotearoa New Zealand

Ministry of Education

  • Katrina Casey (chair), Deputy Secretary, Sector Enablement and Support (SE&S)
  • Nancy Bell , Director, Early Learning, Early Learning and Student Achievement (ELSA)
  • Helen Hurst, Associate Deputy Secretary, Sector Enablement and Support
  • Keith Newton, Group Manager, ECE Resourcing and Operations, SE&S
  • John Brooker, Group Manager Funding, ECE and Budget teams, Education System Policy
  • Siobhan Murray, Senior Manager, ECE Policy, ESP
  • Cathryn Ashley-Jones, Group Manager Evidence, Synthesis & Dissemination, EDK
  • Kirsty Macdonald, Senior Policy Analyst, ECE Policy, ESP
  • Jace Mowbray, Senior Policy Analyst, ECE Policy, ESP
  • Amy Hunter (secretariat), Senior Adviser, ECE Regulations and Planning, SE&S


  • Angus Hartley, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
  • Hellen Puhipuhi, Pasifika Advisory Group
  • Sean McKinley, Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa - Playcentre Aotearoa
  • Sandra Collins, Education Review Office
  • Shelley Hughes, NZEI Te Riu Roa

Ministry of Education operational updates

2019 ECE Complaints and Incidents Report – Keith Newton:

  • Keith advised the 2019 ECE Complaints and Incidents Report will be released mid-August. ECAC members will receive an embargoed copy prior to release and we welcome feedback on the report findings.
  • The total number of complaints received is slightly down on 2018 and the total number of incidents has increased - although the increase in incidents is not as significant as the movement from 2017-2018. We upheld 58% of all complaints investigated in 2019 (up slightly on 2018).

Minimising food-related choking in young children licensing & certification update – Keith Newton:

  • In October 2019 we publicly consulted on licensing and certification criteria amendments to minimise the risk of food-related choking by requiring early learning services to follow Ministry of Health guidance in the preparation and serving of food.
  • We received over 2500 responses to the consultation and the responses required analysis and interpretation. The analysis is now complete and we are working to complete the recommendations document by October 2020, with any changes to come into effect November 2020. Any recommendations will be aligned with Ministry of Health’s guidance on preparing and serving food for young children.

Teacher Remuneration Survey – Cathryn Ashley-Jones:

  • Just a reminder that the Teacher Remuneration Survey will run from 10 August to 28 August.

Urgent Response Fund – Katrina Casey:

  • The Government is providing a $50m Urgent Response Fund for centre-based early learning services, schools and kura to support the wellbeing needs of learners and ākonga over the next 11 months. Ministry of Education Regional Directors are meeting to discuss the distribution of the funds as the decision sits at a regional level, not at the national level.
  • ECAC members asked to be kept in the loop in terms of the utilisation of the fund i.e. what is being claimed by centre-based ECEs, successes or achievements from ECEs due to this funding. ECAC members also asked for clarification of the qualifying criteria to access this fund. Katrina advised there will be an article on the Urgent Response Fund in the 4 August 2020 Early Learning Bulletin.

Budget – John Brooker:

  • The last of the Budget announcements will be made by 10 August. Katrina asked for a list of all ECE related Budget announcements to be provided to ECAC members.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Provide a list of all ECE-related Budget announcements John Booker August ECAC Zoom 

Early Learning action plan draft dashboard

Nancy Bell, Ministry of Education

Nancy asked ECAC members to look over the proposed draft Early Learning Action Plan dashboard and asked for feedback regarding the concept and content. The dashboard is in 3 parts: indicators, milestones/upcoming actions and the implementation progress relating to the actions in the plan. Nancy welcomed questions regarding the dashboard.

  • The indicators can be updated quarterly by EDK.
  • ECAC members suggested the indicators would be better placed under the applicable objectives.
  • ECAC members wanted the focus to be more on the implementation progress (this is currently on page 2 of the dashboard).
  • ECAC members asked if the dashboard could be made public on the Education Conversation. Katrina agreed to this but advised commentary will be required to provide public with context.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Send feedback on the draft dashboard to Amy to collate  ECAC members ASAP
Send the draft dashboard to ECAC members Secretariat ASAP
Web publication of the ELAP dashboard and commentary Nancy Bell As work progresses

Regulatory Review

Siobhan Murray and Kirsty Macdonald, Ministry of Education

Siobhan provided a recap of the purpose of the Regulatory Review. The review will be undertaken in three tranches to ensure high priority issues are prioritised:

  • Tranche one – targets regulatory gaps (i.e. poses a degree of risk to H&S and wellbeing of children).
  • Tranche two – progresses regulations required by the Early Learning Action Plan and the Review of Home-based ECE.
  • Tranche three – to focus on broader policy work and engagement with the sector.

Public engagement for Tranche one of the Regulatory Review will be conducted over 8 weeks, including a discussion document and draft regulations for feedback. Tranche two and three will each involve two rounds of public engagement –the first on policy ideas and the second on draft regulations.

Siobhan asked for nominations from ECAC members interested in engaging in more depth on the Regulatory Review and meeting with the Ministry on this outside of regular ECAC meetings. The first meeting will be within the next 3-4 weeks. The Ministry will be updating all of ECAC regularly as the Review progresses.

  • ECAC members asked for a separate meeting on managed network provision. Siobhan will reassess the timeline for the Regulatory Review and then be in touch to book meeting.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Send the Regulatory Review slides to ECAC members Secretariat ASAP
Send nominations for Regulatory Review working group ECAC members ASAP
Schedule meeting to discuss managed network provision Siobhan Murray As work progresses

Other items and wrap up

Helen Hurst, Ministry of Education

  • The next monthly zoom meeting is scheduled for 20 August 2020. Agenda to be finalised shortly.
  • The next quarterly ECAC meeting is scheduled for 2 September 2020.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Finalise the August zoom meeting agenda Secretariat ASAP 
Send out call for agenda items for September ECAC Secretariat ASAP

Meeting closed 11.04am

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