Early Learning General News – November 2019

General news for the Early Learning sector for November 2019 including good news stories and opportunities.

He Māpuna te Tamaiti – new resource for early learning services

We have released He Māpuna te Tamaiti, an exciting new education resource that supports kaiako to develop the social and emotional wellbeing of young children they work with.

The resource supports Government’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, which focuses on children learning and developing the social, emotional and communication skills they need through life.

He Māpuna te Tamaiti draws on effective practices that enhance children’s social and emotional skills, their engagement and learning.

It has been created in collaboration with kaiako and others in the ECE sector and has practical and flexible strategies that provide a foundation of support and guidance for all children.

The resource material includes a book and quick tip cards to support kaiako in daily practice. It also includes a self-assessment tool for kaiako to reflect on, evaluate and develop intentional approaches. A series of five, two-minute video clips, PowerPoint and Google slides will be available in December on Te Whāriki Online, to support the use of He Māpuna te Tamaiti materials.

Content is organised around four approaches:

  • creating a supportive environment,
  • promoting emotional competence,
  • promoting social competence, and
  • supporting learning and engagement. 

Topics covered include establishing consistent routines, developing care and empathy for others, building resilience, fostering peer friendships and supporting children to manage their learning.

The resource will be of value to kaiako new to early learning, as well as those with significant teaching experience working in homebased services, playgroups, early childhood centres and junior classes in schools.

The underlying approach of He Māpuna te Tamaiti is caring and culturally responsive in line with Te Whāriki: He Whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa.

Over the next two weeks, all early learning services will receive a copy of the resource with an electronic version also available on Te Whāriki Online website.

For information and access to the resources visit Te Whāriki Online.

Te Whāriki Online website(external link).

Additional copies of this resource can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website or phone 0800 660 662.

Down the back of the chair website(external link)

Protect your early learning service and children from the risk of cyber-attack

Cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent and can affect anyone, not just large organisations and businesses. The education sector is not immune to these threats and some New Zealand schools have already been severely impacted. 

Last month, CertNZ conducted their annual nation-wide Cyber Smart Week campaign to highlight the importance of cyber security for all New Zealanders. 

To keep your information safe and protect children from harm, cyber security should be seen as more than ‘just an IT issue’ and treated as a risk for the whole organisation. As such, best practice would see it regularly discussed as part of your service’s agenda.

There are two main areas to focus on:

  1. Protecting your children from harm, to this end you should ensure that:
    1. your network has content filtering, or an equivalent capability, in place1
    2. children are made aware of how to keep themselves safe online2, 3, 4
  2. Protecting your information and information systems, from being compromised.

Here are some initial actions you can take to strengthen your early learning service’s information security and reduce your risk of cyber-attacks:

  • Use complex, hard to guess passwords (a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and symbols and/or phrases with a minimum of eight characters is best practice)
  • Do not use the same password on both work and personal systems
  • Backup important data regularly and store it securely
  • Update your software and devices as soon as patches become available
  • Install antivirus software on your organisation’s devices.

If you are part of a larger organisation with more complex IT systems, there may be a wider range of information and cyber security risks for you to consider.

Further information and assistance for your service

The links below are mostly school focused, however they are still relevant to early learning services and provide great advice.

  1. See what your network provider can do to help you manage network safety and security.
  2. Check out the information provided on our website about incorporating technology into play, which also has some links to some great resources, such as Hectors World.
    Play idea: Information communication technology (ICT) – Ngā rau tangotango
  3. Netsafe Kit for young people(external link) is a free set of resources which supports young people and educators to create a safe online environment.
  4. Our website has a digital technology safe use guide for schools.(external link)
  5. For further help on strengthening your service’s cyber security, including advice for reporting cyber security incidents, visit the Keeping your school network safe(external link) guide on the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) NZ website.
  6. If you have an incident or need support, please contact:

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