Early Learning General - March 2018

General news for the Early Learning sector for March 2018 including what’s new on Te Whāriki, Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards Judges and more

Results from the June 2016 and June 2017 annual Census of early learning services now available

We are pleased to announce that we have released results from the June 2016 and June 2017 annual census of early learning services.

The results provide statistics on key aspects of the early learning sector and trends over the previous years. Topics include participation(external link), number of services(external link), staffing(external link) and language use in ECE(external link).

For the past four years data from early learning services have been transitioning to a new electronic data collection method. In 2017, data was collected through the Early Learning Information (ELI) System for 3,478 services and through the RS61 paper collection method for 983 services.

Some highlights for the 2017 Census include:

  1. 202,772 enrolments/attendances in licensed early learning services and kōhanga reo and the enrolment/attendance rate for 0-4 year olds was 65.5%
  2. 30,674 teachers, a 3.9% increase since 2016
  3. 55% of teachers were full time
  4. 68.6% of teachers were qualified, a 0.9% drop since 2016
  5. 66.7% were registered, a 1.3% drop since 2016
  6. 795 teachers were male, a 19% increase since 2016
  7. Te reo Māori was reported as a language of communication in 94% of services
  8. Pasifika languages were reported as a language of communication in 14.9% of services, up slightly since 2016.

Reminder: Is your centre required to register under the Food Act 2014?

The Food Act 2014 and its regulations apply to early learning services and ngā kōhanga reo that provide food to children.

If you are providing food at your service or kōhanga reo, you may need to register under the Food Act(external link) by 31 March 2018. If you do not charge fees, you won’t have to register but just make sure the food is safe and suitable.

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) ‘Where Do I Fit’(external link) tool is a great way to find out if the Act applies to you and how to start your registration.

MPI also has a fact sheet [PDF, 384KB](external link), with examples of who needs to register under the Food Act 2014.

There’s also a fact sheet on fundraising [PDF, 616KB](external link) and helpful videos(external link) about the Food Act 2014 and case studies of businesses operating under it.

If you have further questions please contact info@mpi.govt.nz or phone 0800 00 83 33.

Register early and avoid a last minute rush.

Guidelines for outdoor activities involving soil

You might have seen some recent media coverage about soil toxicity in regions around the country. This is a timely reminder to ensure that your early learning service is following best practice guidelines for any outdoor activities involving soil.

The advice from public health officials is that negative effects on health from soil are very rare in urban and residential areas. However, it is always worth making sure that all steps are being taken to reduce this risk further.

Early learning services can take the following steps to ensure safe outdoor play:

  • Maintain good grass cover in areas where children play
  • Avoid letting children play on bare soil
  • Keep bare soil covered with bark or mulch
  • Make sure children wash their hands after playing outside and before eating or drinking
  • Regularly wash toys used outside
  • Build a sandpit with a lined base and fill with clean sand. Put netting or a cover on at night to keep cats and other animals out.

If early learning services are maintaining gardens the following advice should also be observed:

  • Cover the garden area with clean materials such as uncontaminated soil, compost, manure or peat moss
  • Adjust your soil pH so that it is near neutral
  • Build raised beds with clean soil at least 30 centimetres deep or grow vegetables in pots that contain clean soil or potting mix
  • Don’t use CAA-treated (chromated copper arsenate) timber for raised beds because this may contaminate the soil even more
  • Don’t grow fruit and vegetables directly next to old buildings where lead levels from old lead-based paint are likely to be highest
  • Reduce dust and bare soil surrounding the garden from contaminating produce by maintaining grass or other ground cover plants.

Keep soil out of indoor spaces by removing shoes at the door, mopping floors regularly, and keeping windows closed on windy days to prevent soil from being blown indoors.

If you’re concerned about the soil at your early learning service speak to your Education Advisor.

If you or a family at your early learning service have a specific health concern you should visit your family doctor. You can also call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

Further advice on general precautions to take to minimise health risks from soil contaminants can be found on the Ministry of Health | Manatū Hauora website(external link).

What’s new on Te Whāriki online?

Update on Te Whāriki professional learning and development

CORE Education are continuing to provide professional learning and development (PLD) to kaiako to support the implementation of Te Whāriki. The curriculum champions have now established 69 networks of pedagogical leaders who are exploring a range of curriculum inquiry areas. Pedagogical leaders are being supported to undertake this work through an internal evaluation process. This approach will enable pedagogical leaders to evaluate the effectiveness of their practice and develop a deeper understanding of the curriculum area being investigated. In time, many of these stories of practice will be shared on Te Whāriki online.

Find out more about the curriculum champions at Te Whāriki online(external link).

Te Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo

The appointed Kairaranga i Te Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo are continuing to deliver PLD wānanga throughout the motu and are receiving excellent feedback.

The appointed Kairaranga i Te Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo are continuing to deliver

What’s new on Te Whāriki online?

In the meantime, new content is always being made available on Te Whāriki online(external link), including PLD resources, teaching strategies and teaching resources, and guidance on weaving Te Whāriki.

Recordings of Te Whāriki webinars are available as videos at Te Whariki online(external link). You can watch videos of the previous webinars, download the slides and register for upcoming webinars.

Once you have viewed a webinar, join the discussion on the Te Hono online community of Practice(external link) to broaden and deepen your thinking about the Te Whāriki webinar topics. If this is your first time on edSpace, register and then search for the group ‘Te Hono’ in the search bar.

Sign up to the Te Whāriki online newsletter

Visit Te Whāriki online(external link) for information about PLD and to sign up to the Te Whāriki onlinenewsletter, which is published twice a term. In these newsletters we keep you up to date with what's on Te Whāriki online and pass on other information that you may find useful.

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