ECAC Minutes, June 2022

The Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) met on 15 June 2022, 9:00am to 3:30pm at Te Wāhanga Atawhai Mercy Conference Centre, Wellington.


ECAC Members

  • Kelly Seaburg, Advocates for Early Learning Excellence
  • Toni Nealie (on behalf of Pauline Winter), Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA)Heather Taylor, Barnardos New Zealand
  • Simon Laube, Early Childhood Council
  • Lee Jones, Early Intervention Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (EIAANZ)
  • Raewyn Overton-Stuart, Home Early Learning Organisation (HELO)
  • Nicola Woollaston, Hospital Play Specialists
  • Cathy Wilson, Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand (MANZ)
  • Tere Gilbert, Ngā Puna Reo o Aotearoa
  • Bella Pardoe (on behalf of Allanah Clark), NZEI Te Riu Roa
  • Geena Fagan, NZEI Te Riu Roa
  • Bethany Fox, NZ Home-based Early Childhood Education Association
  • Susan Bailey, NZ Playcentre Federation
  • Karen Affleck, Steiner Education, Aotearoa
  • Annie Malir, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, NZ Correspondence School
  • Cherie Marks, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
  • Kathy Wolfe, Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood NZ ECAC Guests

Ministry of Education

  • Nancy Bell, Hautū, Te Mahau, Te Tai Runga (Chair)
  • Karen Walfisch, Associate Deputy Secretary Early Learning, Claims and Engagement, Te Pae Aronui
  • John Brooker, Group Manager, Education System Policy, Te Puna Kaupapahere
  • Siobhan Murray, Senior Policy Manager, ECE Policy, Te Puna Kaupapahere
  • Elspeth Maxwell, Manager ECE Operational Policy Design, Te Pae Aronui
  • Simon Mandal-Johnson, Senior Manager, Education Workforce, Te Puna Ohumahi Matauranga
  • Jane Ewens, Interim Manager, Early Learning, Te Poutāhū Ministry of Education Presenters
  • Graham Bussell, Chief Policy Analyst, ECE Policy, Te Puna Kaupapahere
  • Paul Scholey, Senior Policy Manager, ECE Policy, Te Puna Kaupapahere
  • Sarah Strong, Manager, ECE Operational Funding, Te Pae Aronui
  • Ann Pairman, Principal Advisor, Early Learning, Te Poutāhū Secretariat
  • Jessica Shaw, Senior Advisor - Office of the Deputy Secretary, Te Tai Runga
  • Catherine Wright, Senior Governance Advisor - Operations, Engagement, and Improvement, Te Pae Aronui


  • Pauline Winter, Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA)
  • Fiona Hughes, BestStart
  • Jenny Te Punga-Jurgens, Christian Early Childhood Education Association of Aotearoa
  • Calmar Ulburg, Early Childhood Leadership Group
  • Jill Bond, NZ Kindergartens Inc.
  • David Moger, NZ Playcentre Federation
  • Allanah Clark, NZEI Te Riu Roa
  • Hellen Puhipuhi, Pasifika Advisory Group

Welcome, karakia and introductions

Nancy Bell

  • Nancy welcomed the group and acknowledged being able to meet in person.
  • Elspeth opened the meeting with a karakia.Minutes have been circulated; no feedback.
  • Apologies were noted. Attendees introduced themselves.

Pay Parity Funding Review

John Brooker and Siobhan Murray

Guest: Graham Bussell, Chief Policy Analyst, ECE Policy, Te Puna Kaupapahere

John provided an overview of the Pay Parity Funding Review:

  • The Pay Parity Funding Review is progressing. This has involved input from the Expert Advisory Group (EAG), formed with ECAC’s assistance.
  • John discussed the key reallocation principles identified as re-working the existing and new funding to better resource the system.
  • Discussed other key assumptions, such as government funding for child hours and funding for teachers that connects to minimum regulated ratios.
  • The proposed approach for education and care services would see a new system that better allocates funding to actual salary costs, including changes over time. An overview for the home-based approach was outlined.
  • Regarding the financial survey analysis, John acknowledged that many services provided data which was intended to inform development of the approach. However, given the overall low completion rate, more data is needed to understand the impact for all services.
  • Pending Cabinet approval, the proposed approach is intended to be consulted on in the second half of the year, most likely around August/September. Member feedback and views on approaches to consultation is welcome and encouraged.

Early Childhood Regulatory Review

Paul Scholey

Guest: Alison Mai, Programme Manager, Resourcing and Early Learning Delivery

  • Tranche 1 - Complete
  • Tranche 2 – Implementing which involves changes to home-based ECE which came into effect on 1 June 2022. Key focusses now are strengthening person responsible and regulating for 80% qualified teachers.
  • Tranche 3 - Scoping and planning is in early stages. Paul discussed the priorities and constraints that are expected during Tranche 3 and discussed member questions.

Network Management

  • High level principles have been established, subject to Cabinet approval of Priorities. We are now working on operational design and implementation.
  • Intend to continue engaging with sector throughout the process, with a start date of 1 February 2023.
  • National and Regional statements will outline government priorities. Currently considering the information that will be required by applicants as part of the application process.
  • Developing an online tool which will provide data and information that will help to inform assessment of applications. Draft Statements will be shared with the sector via the Sector Advisory Group in July-August.
  • Transition arrangements were discussed and those already underway have until midnight 31 January 2023 to submit their completed licensing application, for it to be considered under the current regime. 

Minister of Education

Hon. Chris Hipkins

Guest: Iona Holsted, Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Mātauranga | Secretary for Education

  • Minister Hipkins has had a change in portfolio, moving from Covid Response Minister to the Minister of Police.
  • Budget 2022 has had two key impacts on early childhood education, namely the further adjustment in increasing funding for ECE, as well as the next instalment of pay parity.
  • Work continues gazetting Te Whāriki. Regulatory Review work is advancing, as are conversations with the Sector on the overall future funding model for ECE.
  • As lead Minister for ECE, his involvement in early learning continues and the Minister acknowledged a desire to see the Pay Parity Funding Review through to completion.
  • The Minister discussed a range of member questions.

Curriculum update

Jane Ewens

Guest: Ann Pairman, Principal Advisor, Early Learning, Te Poutāhū

  • Jane gave an introduction on the Literacy Communication and Maths (LCM) Strategy and how this relates to early learning.
  • Ann provided an overview of the LCM Strategy.
  • An online version of the Strategy, which provides more information on the engagement and research that underpins it, can be found on Literacy & Communication and Maths Strategy
  • Te Whāriki online(external link) - A reminder that there is a multitude of resources on this page, including regular newsletters that will outline new developments and resources.

Workshop session

Nancy Bell

Guests: Professor Carmen Dalli, Chair, Ministerial Advisory Group & Professor Alex Gunn, Ministerial Advisory Group Member and Workshop Facilitator

  • Workshop was undertaken focusing on a deep dive on the Early Learning Action Plan.
  • Copies of the latest ELAP Dashboard and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework were shared.
  • Members analysed the various areas of the framework in groups and then provided feedback on the reporting measures.
  • It was acknowledged the ELAP includes many moving parts, and it is timely to reflect on how information can be best coordinated, communicated and accessed, to ensure all of the sector is well informed.
  • It has been suggested that more communication around the progress of the ELAP and visibility of how it is tracking would be useful. Nancy and the team will work together on what that might look like.
  • Today was an opportunity to introduce a more interactive ECAC hui. Reflection was that the workshop style was a great opportunity to collaborate, and we will look to include more externally facilitated sessions in our upcoming quarterly meetings. We will engage with members on ideas for these sessions.
  • Reminder that we are currently still meeting fortnightly for our operational hui; these may shift to monthly in the future. We welcome ideas for topics that could be covered during these sessions.

Meeting close

Elspeth Maxwell

  • Elspeth closed the meeting with a karakia.

 Action Items



 Network Management slides to be circulated to ECAC Members. Catherine Wright With minutes
Determine how to better communicate the ELAP’s progress and its overall visibility and accessibility. Nancy Bell September Hui
Engage with members for ideas on future workshops Nancy Bell Coming months


Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback