Early Learning General News – August 2018

General news for the Early Learning sector for August 2018 including public consultation for the review of home-based ECE.

All staff must act to stop mistreatment of children

The recent deregistration of an ECE teacher after a tribunal found she had mistreated children is a critical reminder that every member of staff at a service must intervene whenever they see or suspect a child is being mistreated.

The tribunal found that the manner in which the teacher had treated children amounted to physical and psychological abuse.

In her defence, the teacher in question claimed she didn’t know what she was did was wrong and that no other member of staff at the service had intervened to inform her otherwise.

It is vital that service providers as well as all staff know they have a duty of care towards children that goes beyond their own actions, and that they have a legal obligation to report any instance they see where a child being mistreated.

Staff should also report any behaviour they suspect may be a form of mistreatment to their managers, even if they’re not absolutely sure.

The process for reporting such concerns must be clearly stipulated in a service’s child protection policy and understood by all staff and attending adults. A comprehensive child protection policy is a condition of retaining a licence to operate.

If any services have any doubts about what behaviour is or is not acceptable at a service, they need to contact their local Ministry of Education office immediately to discuss it further.

Local Ministry of Education office

Public consultation underway for the review of home-based ECE

A review of home-based ECE is underway. The review will consider a range of proposals to support quality early learning, including investigating the introduction of qualification requirements for educators.

The Minister has released a discussion document outlining the proposals for change. Public consultation on the proposals will run from 21 August until late September. Service providers and the wider public can offer their perspective on the Education Conversation website, by completing a short survey or making a detailed submission. Online feedback will be supplemented by regional hui in Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch and Hamilton.

A new Early Learning Strategic Plan is also being developed at the same time as this review. The Plan covers the whole early learning sector, including home-based ECE. Any changes arising from this review will be incorporated into the Early Learning Strategic Plan.

The survey and submission form can be found on the Education Conversation website.

Education Conversation website(external link)

Further information on the regional hui can be found on the Education Conversation website.

Education Conversation website(external link)

Consultation on school terms and half days for 2021

The Minister of Education sets the term dates and the number of half days that schools must be open. In 2021 setting 4 fairly even terms is not possible due to the late Auckland Anniversary Day and an early Easter. 

The Ministry of Education wishes to avoid causing inconvenience for schools and communities by breaking for Easter and then returning to school for 3 days before the school holidays. So Term 1 will need to be longer or shorter than usual, and correspond with a shorter or longer Term 4.

The Ministry of Education is therefore undertaking a consultation with the school sector via a survey, seeking feedback on the 2 options for term dates and half days for 2021. Information about the survey was included in the Monday 13 August School Bulletin | He Pitopito Kōrero.

Survey: Consultation for 2021 school terms and holidays for state and state-integrated schools(external link)

Monday 13 August School Bulletin | He Pitopito Kōrero [PDF, 2.6 MB]

New Zealand ShakeOut coming soon

Drill on 18 October

New Zealand ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is happening at 9.30am on 18 October 2018.

Taking part is a great way for early childhood centres and kohanga to learn the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake and to practice your tsunami hīkoi (evacuation walk) if you are in a coastal area.

Practice your tsunami hīkoi(external link)

Do the ShakeOut

Doing the ShakeOut is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Sign up now.(external link) You can sign up everyone in 2 minutes.
  2. Spread the word.(external link) Tell your friends and family, share on social media, put up posters etc.
  3. Do the ShakeOut!(external link) Drop, Cover and Hold at 9.30am on 18 October 2018, followed by a tsunami hīkoi if you’re in a coastal area.

Note: If you cannot do the drill at 9.30am on 18 October 2018, you can choose a time to suit you within 2 weeks of the drill (and still be counted).

There’s also a colouring competition and lots of resources on the ShakeOut website.

Find out more at the Shake Out website(external link)

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