Early Learning General News - August 2019

General news for the Early Learning sector for August 2019 including record keeping requirements.

Canterbury Lockdown Review

Following the tragic events that occurred in Christchurch on Friday 15 March 2019, the Ministry of Education felt it was important to undertake a review of our emergency guidance. We wanted to ensure we were providing the appropriate support and guidance to our schools and early learning services.

KPMG was engaged to complete a comprehensive review of how Canterbury schools and early learning services:

  • their lockdown policies and procedures, 
  • to identify any opportunities to improve future national preparedness, and
  • how they responded to the lockdown.

The review report is now publically available on our website.

Ministry of Education welcomes independent report on the lockdown by schools(external link)

Learnings from this review are likely to be applicable nationwide and we will work with schools, early learning services and NZ Police to implement these over the coming months.

As well as actions for the Ministry, the report highlights the opportunity for all schools and early learning services to review their current lockdown policies and procedures.

Emergency plans needs to be pragmatic, support adaptive leadership, and have child wellbeing at the centre of all planning and preparation. Schools and early learning services know their own environment and context the best. Therefore are best placed to design emergency plans that meet their needs.

Schools and early learning services should continue to work with their local NZ Police, Fire and Civil Defence group to ensure that their emergency management plan follows best practice and that they have enough supplies to support an extended emergency response.

While we will be completing a review of the content on the Education website, the existing Ministry emergency management guidance and templates provide very useful support for you to review and develop your plans.

Preparing for emergencies and traumatic incidents

First Learning Support Coordinators allocated

Learning Support Coordinators are a key priority in the new Learning Support Action Plan 2019-25.

On 2 August 2019, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced the allocation of the first tranche of 623 Learning Support Coordinators. These coordinators will support 1052 schools and kura working in 124 learning support clusters.

Learning Support Coordinators will be an integral part of the new approach to providing learning support through the Learning Support Delivery Model. This model is now being implemented across New Zealand. They will also play an important role in connecting with early learning services and kōhanga reo.

You can read more about this on the Education Conversation website.

Learning Support Coordinators - Education Conversation website(external link)

You can read the Minister’s media statement on the Beehive website.

New Learning Support Coordinators to help in schools - Beehive website(external link)

Record keeping requirements

All early learning services must meet record keeping requirements as detailed in the ECE Funding Handbook and licensing criteria.

The Ministry may withhold funding if a services’ records cannot be audited, or are not available for audit.

The Ministry is authorised to conduct unannounced visits to services to review and take evidence pertaining to any records required to be maintained. For example attendance records and excursion forms.

  • Attendance records must be kept for each child attending an early learning service. The Ministry must be able to verify that children have attended the service as claimed, to identify when a child is absent, and to verify that the absence rules have been applied correctly.
  • Excursion records must also be kept when children are taken on a trip outside of the service. Forms should specify the dates, times and location of the excursion.

Early learning services are responsible for keeping accurate records and making sure record keeping procedures are followed. These records must be provided to the Ministry on request.

Further information

You can find further information about record keeping requirements on the Education website.

ECE Funding Handbook chapter 6: Recording enrolment, attendance and absence

ECE Funding Handbook chapter 11: Record keeping

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