Early Learning General News – April 2018

General news for the Early Learning sector for April 2018 including a reminder for the June ECE Census and an update about measles.

Reminder for the June 2018 ECE Census

The annual Early Childhood Education (ECE) Census collects information on children’s participation in ECE, teaching staff, languages used, waiting times at services and teacher:child ratios. The information contributes to a comprehensive information base on ECE in New Zealand and is used in the development of policy and monitoring of ECE.

The annual ECE Census week this year is 18 to 24 June 2018 and the information is due to the Ministry by 11 July 2018. Please ensure that:

  • All children are allocated a national student number (NSN)
  • All enrolment and attendance data is up to date
  • All staff details (qualification and certification information for each staff member) are current before beginning the ECE Census.

Funding may be withheld for services that do not submit a completed and accurate ECE Return by the due date.

We will provide a more detailed update in the next Bulletin. In the meantime, if you have any queries on the June 2018 ECE Census please email: ece.statistics@education.govt.nz.


In mid-April, the Ministry of Health issued a reminder about the risks of measles and the importance of immunisation. There have been five confirmed cases of measles in Queenstown, Wanaka, Canterbury and Nelson-Marlborough.

With many people travelling around New Zealand during the school holidays the risk of measles spreading is higher. Please pass on this reminder from the Ministry of Health to parents of children at your service(external link).

For further information on measles and measles immunisation, visit the Ministry of Health website(external link) or the Immunisation Advisory Centre website(external link), or call the Immunisation Advisory Centre toll-free on 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863).

Please refer to the article in He Pānui Kōhungahunga in April 2016 on how to Manage measles at your early learning service or kōhanga reo(external link).

Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction

On 31 January 2018 the Government established an Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. The goal of the inquiry is to improve the mental health and addiction outcomes of New Zealanders.

The inquiry is wide-ranging. It has been asked to look at how to promote and support good mental health in New Zealand, and how the support and services currently in place respond to the needs of people experiencing mental health and addiction challenges. The Inquiry Panel wants to hear from a wide range of communities and stakeholders to gain as many perspectives as possible.

We know the early years are a critical time for the promotion of good wellbeing, including positive mental health. If you are interested in contributing your views, experiences and ideas to the work of the inquiry, please email mentalhealthinquiry@dia.govt.nz or visit The Department of Internal Affairs website for more information(external link).

Complaints about early learning services

In April, the Ministry of Education published information on complaints and incident notifications we received about early learning services in 2016.

Services are required to have a complaints process so that anyone, including staff working at the service, parents, caregivers and members of the community, can raise a concern with the service.

We encourage anyone not satisfied with how a concern has been handled by their early learning service, to raise the concern/complaint with their local Ministry of Education office.

We assess and take all complaints we receive seriously. Anonymous complaints can be made and we act on these with the complainant’s permission. Find out how to raise a complaint on our Parents’ website(external link).

Checking for hazards after storms and other civil emergencies

We have had a number of storms recently, and in some cases these can create potential hazards, like damage to trees and structures. After each big event, like a storm, it is important to do a thorough health and safety check of your premises and facilities. Check that your premises and equipment are safe and suitable and that your hazard, risk management and supervision plans and practices are up-to-date. The licensing criteria guidance on our website will help you do this.

Check your premises, equipment and surfacing

Check that your indoor and outdoor items and surfaces, furniture, equipment and materials are safe and suitable for their intended use and self-closing mechanism on all gates and doors are working correctly. Your outdoor activity space must be safe, well-drained and suitably surfaced.

Read the hazard and risk management guidance for centre-based services, kōhanga reo, home-based services, hospital-based services and playgroups. There is also specific guidance to help home-based services meet supervision requirements.

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