Early Learning General News – July 2018

General news for the Early Learning sector for July 2018 including an update on the Education Conversation.

Recent incidents where children have been injured

We’ve recently been notified of two incidents at early learning services where children have unfortunately been injured and required medical treatment in hospital. In one instance a child had their finger caught between a door and door frame when the door was being opened. In the other a child was injured when they were playing with a stick while on a swing. WorkSafe have been notified and are investigating.

We are letting you know about these incidents so that you can consider your own procedures and practices for hazard management, supervision and positive guidance. Records should be regularly analysed so that your procedures and practices can be improved.

There is good guidance alongside the licensing criteria on our website.

Contact a regional licensing adviser if you need support.

‘Growing up in New Zealand’ study reports on transitions to school

The Transitions to School(external link) report was released in June. It looks at what helps children to get a positive start to school. The findings were encouraging for early learning:

  • almost all the children in the study (98%) had attended early learning during the 6 months before starting school
  • transitions went well when the children felt ready to start school, were happy to go to school, or excited about starting school
  • almost one-fifth of the children had a visit to their school with their early learning service before starting.

B4School checks identified hearing or vision difficulties for 1 in 10 of the children in the study. Getting help early means children can get the most out of school. Read more about how early learning services can support B4School checks.

Read more in the Education Gazette(external link).

The Education Conversation | Kōrero Mātauranga 

Release of initial report

Over 14,000 New Zealanders have had their say via the online survey. They have expressed what they think is needed for every learner to be successful and about the changes in education they want to see. So far responses have been received from around 4,370 parents, 3,800 teachers, over 1,300 primary and secondary school students, and 488 principals.

You can see the initial report on the main themes from the survey responses at Kōrero Mātauranga Survey – Initial Analysis(external link). The survey remains open so people can still send their thoughts on the future of learning via the Education website(external link).

Update on Education Work Programme

In addition to the 14,000 New Zealanders who have completed the Education Conversation survey, a number of people have replied so far to the NCEA Review: 2,000 to the Curricula Progress and Achievement Survey; 1,525 to the Early Learning Strategic Plan; and over 700 to the Tomorrow’s Schools Review.

These activities are all part of the Education Work Programme. Most of the programme's discussions and consultations will run for the next few months. This includes the NCEA Review Team and the Independent Taskforce on Tomorrow’s Schools. The Taskforce are out and about around the country holding numerous meetings and engagements.

This work programme is wide in scope. Looking at the education system as a whole gives the opportunity to ensure that any changes fit across it all. We all want an education system that allows students to easily move through education into adult life and work. Reviewing much of the system together gives all of us the chance to do that.

Joining up this work and the steps that follow will be critical. We are particularly interested in hearing your views and working with teachers and leaders.

Go to Education Work Programme(external link) to find out more about the programme, what it’s made up of and how you can get involved.

Incredible Years autism teacher programme

The Ministry of Education recently introduced a new programme to the Incredible Years suite. The new programme is specifically designed for teachers of children aged 2 to 5 who are on the autism spectrum. The programme covers communication, positive social interaction, school readiness, emotional literacy and self-regulation.

The Ministry has contracted Massey University to deliver the programme. Teachers meet weekly or fortnightly for 6 half-day sessions to develop and implement goals based on the developmental needs of the children they support.

Programmes are currently being offered in:

  • Tauranga
  • New Plymouth
  • Napier
  • Nelson
  • Christchurch.

So far, programmes have been completed in Christchurch and New Plymouth. Following the programme, teachers spoke about the value of the resources provided and the confidence gained to bring activities to the children they work with. In particular, teachers were grateful for the opportunity to discuss and build ideas from other teachers in their small groups.

Teachers interested in signing up for the programme can visit the Te Kete Ipurangi website(external link) for more information.

The Ministry has also introduced the Incredible Years autism parent programme for parents of children aged 2 to 5 who are on the autism spectrum. More information can be found on the Te Kete Ipurangi website(external link).

Mid-Central District Health Board prototype

We are working with colleagues from the Ministries of Health and Social Development and the disability sector as they develop a new way to support people with disabilities.

A prototype, led by the Ministry of Health, will be launched across the Mid-Central District Health Board region later this year, covering Palmerston North and the Horowhenua, Manawatū, Ōtaki and Tararua districts.

The aim is to ensure disabled people and their whānau have more options and decision-making authority about their lives and support. This includes children and young people with disabilities, their families and whānau. The prototype involves improving connections across government, streamlining funding and making the system more welcoming and responsive to individual needs.

We have been working on how we as a ministry can support the prototype, and how they might join up with work currently underway to strengthen the provision of learning support.

Read more about the project(external link).

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