Early Learning General News – May 2019

General news for the Early Learning sector for May 2019 including a new emergency contact system and Tamaariki launch.

New emergency contact system

The Ministry has been developing a new emergency contact system to provide quick delivery of text messages between the Ministry, early learning services and schools during emergency events.

The aim of this system is to improve communication during an emergency. This will reduce the time you spend notifying us of your operating status and enable us to respond faster with any support required.

Late last year, a group of 30 schools in Canterbury piloted the system. The pilot identified further development was required to improve the overall experience and this is progressing well. In May, a larger scale pilot is being organised through the Ministry’s Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast and Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu regions and will include schools and a small number of early learning services.

If the May pilot is successful, we will begin a roll out to all regions for use with schools and early learning services from June.

While this work is being progressed it was decided to implement an interim system, eTXT, to provide some limited communication on a large scale. This is now in place and we are able to message you through your mobile phone.

Please remember, emergency services such as Police, Fire and Civil Defence remain your first option for support in an emergency and your local Ministry office remains your key Ministry contact.

Tamaariki launched

The Ministry, working with Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust (TKRNT), launched a nationwide learning support awareness campaign in Hamilton on 16 April. The awareness campaign aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of mātua, whānau and kaiako to recognise, respond to and seek support in the areas of behaviour, communication and ASD.

In addition to this, TKRNT has developed a new learning support brand, Tamaariki. Tamaariki has been developed from the perspective of the kōhanga reo. This provides opportunities to review and further develop resources that can be accessed online by those needing help and information about learning support strategies. Tamaariki was launched in Te Teko on Wednesday 8th May at a regional wānanga.

The awareness campaign begins with a series of regional wānanga. Support for Tamaariki going forward will be provided by Ministry and TKRNT in local offices. The current focus of the wānanga is to provide relevant information on behaviour, autism, speech, language and communication.

More information is available on the Tamaariki website.

Tamaariki website(external link)

Measles outbreak

This is relevant to everyone, including staff and children.

New Zealand is still in the midst of a measles outbreak. Measles is a serious, highly infectious disease that is potentially life-threatening. It affects everyone: babies, children and adults.

Children with measles, or displaying symptoms of measles, must not attend early learning services.

Symptoms include a fever, a cough, red eyes and a runny nose, and sometimes small white spots on the back inner cheek of your mouth. A rash develops after about 3 days. Parents should contact their doctor for advice.

Further information:

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