ECAC minutes June 2019

The Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) met on 5 June 2019, 9 am to 2 pm at Mātauranga House, 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
  • Sandra Collins, Education Review Office
  • Heather Taylor, Barnardos New Zealand
  • Charmaine Thomson, NZEI Te Riu Roa
  • 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, New Zealand Playcentre Federation
  • Melody Stuckey, 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

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
  • Damian Edwards, Associate Deputy Secretary, Education System Policy
  • Siobhan Murray, Senior Manager, ECE Policy, Education System Policy
  • Ross Clapcott, Chief Advisor, Chief Executive Office
  • Amy Hunter, Senior Adviser, ECE Regulations and Planning (secretariat)


  • Karen Affleck, Steiner Education Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Jayne Franklin, Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Cathy Wilson, Montessori Aotearoa NZ
  • Susan Foster-Cohen, Early Intervention Association Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Angus Hartley, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
  • Suze Strowger, Associate Deputy Secretary, Operational Delivery
  • Lee Jones, Early Intervention Association of Aotearoa NZ (EIAANZ)

Welcome, karakia and introductions

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

Katrina welcomed the group and Nicola Woollaston opened the meeting with a karakia.

Welcome to Heather Taylor (Acting General Manager, Barnardos NZ), Karen Affleck (Steiner Education Aotearoa New Zealand) and Virginia Simmonds (Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu).

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    

Budget 2019 overview

Damian Edwards, Ministry of Education

Previous years’ Budget bids have been solely education led. This year’s Budget bid required interagency collaboration for joint bids.

Government’s Budget priorities

  • Building a Productive Nation
  • Improving Child Wellbeing
  • Investing in New Zealand
  • Supporting Māori and Pasifika Aspirations
  • Transforming the Economy
  • Taking Mental Health Seriously

Education overview

  • Substantial new funding allocated to meet price and demand pressures:
    • An extra $1.2 billion in capital funding over 10 years.
    • An extra $877 million in operational funding over four years.
  • Delivering the government’s commitments:
    • $266 million of extra funding for schools to replace parent donations.
    • $217 million (plus $95 million of capital) for learning support coordinators.
    • $95 million to continue increasing teacher supply ($24.5 million for all ITE providers to meet Teaching Council’s strengthened expectations).

ECE cost adjustment helps services to maintain volume and quality of provision.

Benefits approximately 4,200 services and 190,000 children.

  • $131.036 million extra funding over 2019/2020 to 2022/2023.
  • 1.8% increase for all ECE subsidies (except for home-based services on the standard funding rate).

Learning support will receive an extra $81.318 million over four years.

The funding will help children and young people with learning support needs to receive timely and quality support.

The Government is moving towards all educators to hold at least a level 4 ECE qualification in home-based ECE.

  • $5.874 million covers the cost to government for supporting an additional 1,700 educators.
  • $1 million of additional funding for tertiary providers to translate programmes into languages widely used in home-based services.

Minimum wage adjustment

  • $3.058 million top up funding for Equity A services over four years from 1 November 2019 (back dated to 1 July 2019). Equity A services are located in low socio-economic communities.
  • On average, approximately 1,690 services will receive an extra $420 in 2019/2020.

Demand growth

Every year the Budget includes funding to cover projected demand for children in ECE. The forecast changes in Vote Education address changes in anticipated demand and funds core educational services.

Lower growth in the forecast period than what was projected in Budget 2018. This reduces expenditure by $39.624 million over 2019/2020 to 2022/2013 period.

Te Kōhanga Reo

As a result of discussions on the Wai 2336 claim and subsequent Tribunal report, the Crown is providing funding to address immediate cost pressures faced by nga kōhanga reo:

  • $21.5 million for staffing costs.
  • $2.5 million for ICT needs.
  • $8.5 million for property-related costs subject to an independent condition assessment.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline

Send presentation our to ECAC members

Secretariat ASAP

Discuss cross-agency ECE wellbeing work

Katrina, Damian and Nancy September ECAC

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

The Minister acknowledged the demand for additional funding following the Budget 2019 announcements. The Minister gave a brief overview of some key strategic work. ECAC members asked the Minister questions and he responded to these. 

Discussion points included:

  • Budget 2019.
  • Draft Early Learning Strategic Plan.
  • Tomorrow’s Schools Review.
  • Early learning teacher supply and Education Workforce Strategy.

ECAC members expressed concern that the content and progress of the Education Workforce strategy was not meeting their expectations. This was acknowledged and noted.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Communication to sector on an update of the draft Early Learning Strategic Plan Nancy Bell ASAP

Early Learning Strategic Plan update

Nancy Bell, Ministry of Education

An update on the draft Early Learning Strategic Plan (the Plan) was provided by Minister Hipkins.

  • The timeframe for completion of the Plan has been extended to allow additional time for work to be completed to ensure the coherence of the whole Education Work Programme is maintained.
  • A final version of the Plan is being developed within the context of the Education Work Programme. This is being designed to fit together well so the different parts of the programme complement each other. It is expected that the Plan will be ready later in 2019.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

ERO Methodology and Assurance reviews

Sandra Collins, Education Review Office (ERO)

A summary of why ERO is updating their methodology for reviews in early childhood services:

  • New research and evaluation evidence.
  • Update of Te Whāriki in 2017.
  • Changes in the early learning sector (growth, ownership, staff turnover and participation).
  • Most services (75%) received a “well placed” review in 2017/2018.
  • ERO’s data identifying non-compliance.
  • Some new services are failing to maintain licensing requirements.
  • Media reporting of issues and concerns in the early learning sector.
  • ERO strengthening its accountability role.
  • Aim for all services to be on a pathway of ongoing improvement.

The new draft quality framework, Ngā Ara Whai Hua, is being designed. The draft quality framework comprises of three focus areas: Assurance Reviews, Quality Evaluations, and Case Study Evaluations of excellence and innovation.

Assurance Reviews

  • From February 2019 – June 2019, up to 90 services will have taken part in the Assurance Review trials. The services included in the trials include: services having their first ERO review, services previously found to be ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’.
  • As of May 2019, Assurance Review reports have been confirmed for 43 services. The trends include:
    • 31 out of 43 services were found to be taking reasonable steps to meet the regulatory standards.
    • 9 services were identified with regulatory standards non-compliances, 3 services had regulatory non-compliances that were unacceptable risks to children. These services have been referred to the Ministry of Education for follow up.

Next steps for July – December 2019

  • Complete the Assurance Review trial and refine the approach to Assurance Reviews based on trial feedback and internal evaluation findings. Implementation in Term 3, 2019.
  • Draft indicators ready for trial and feedback.
  • Using the draft indicators to develop an approach to evaluate quality in selected services.
  • Refine draft indicators and prepare Ngā Ara Whai Hua for implementation in 2020.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Send presentation out to ECAC members Secretariat ASAP 

Complaints and Incidents Report, ECE Funding Handbook refresh

Keith Newton, Ministry of Education

Complaints and Incidents Report

  • A brief summary of the 2016 and 2017 Complaints and Incidents Report was provided.
  • There has been an increase in the number of complaints and incident notifications received in 2018, and the Ministry intends to publish the 2018 Early Learning Complaints and Incident reports in June 2019.
  • ECAC members will be provided with an embargoed copy of the report and summary tables a day before public release.

ECE Funding Handbook refresh

  • In the May 2019 issue of He Pānui Kōhungahunga | The Early Learning Bulletin, the Ministry announced the ECE Funding Handbook is being refreshed.
  • ECAC members were asked to submit their feedback by 14 June 2019 to the ECE Funding mailbox:
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

Sector consultation on licensing criteria

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

  • Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Education (the Ministry) have written to all early childhood education services, providing a reminder of the MOH guidance on food-related choking in young children.
  • In June 2019, the Ministry will begin consultation with ECAC and the wider sector about proposed amendments to licensing and certification criteria. Proposed amendments will focus on health and safety criteria. The intention is to introduce clear criteria so that the risk of children choking on food while at early learning services is minimised or eliminated.
  • The draft Early Learning Strategic Plan (the Plan) signals regulatory changes. Once the Plan is finalised, the Ministry will formally begin a review of the ECE regulatory system.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Formation of a licensing consultation subgroup Katrina June
Send Katrina's talking notes on the consultation to ECAC Secretariat June

Wider work programme

Ross Clapcott, Ministry of Education

ECAC members were given an overview of the Ministry’s Education Work Programmes. ECAC members were invited to ask questions and engage in discussion.

See here for more on the Education Work Programme Overview(external link).

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

Other items and wrap up

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

Katrina discussed the potential for a cross-agency September ECAC agenda focusing on the ECE wellbeing work. 

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Book adjacent meeting room (2.02) for September ECAC Secretariat ASAP
Book room 2.01 for June 2020 ECAC meeting Secretariat ASAP

Meeting closed 2:00pm

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