Early Learning General News – November 2018

General news for the Early Learning sector for November 2018 including the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the Teaching Council elections.

Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy

From now until December, the Government wants to hear from as many people as possible to help ensure New Zealand is the best place to be a child. The Prime Minister and her Government have made this one of their top priorities.

A Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy is being developed and will set out actions the Government will take to improve the wellbeing of all New Zealand children and young people.

You can find out more and how to have your say on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s (DPMC) website.

Child and youth wellbeing strategy - DPMC website(external link)

There are a number of options, including online surveys and formal submissions. Also there’s a really simple online postcard to the Prime Minister.

Postcard to the Prime Minister(external link)

There are also a couple of video messages from the Prime Minister – one for general audiences and one especially for children and young people.

Have your say: Adults (Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy) - Vimeo(external link)

Have your say: Children & Young People (Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy) - Vimeo(external link)

The Healthy Heart Award

Please contribute to the conversation – every voice counts, particularly those of our children and young people.

After 16 years the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart Award for Early Childhood Education Tohu Manawa Ora – Kōhungahunga is still going strong. Around 20% of early learning services in New Zealand take part in the programme, reaching around 49,000 little hearts every year!

The Healthy Heart Award encourages healthy eating and physical activity in under-fives and offers three progressive award levels: Rito (Bronze), Whānau (Silver) and Pā-Harakeke (Gold).

Nutrition Advisors work in partnership with early learning services to guide achievement of the award. Each award has criteria relating to policy, nutrition education, food provision, physical activity and professional development. The programme reflects Te Whāriki – the Early Childhood Curriculum and receives funding from the Ministry of Health.

If you would like your early learning service to get started in the Healthy Heart Award programme, please see the Heart Foundation website.

Heart Foundation website(external link)

Hearty the Healthy Heart Award mascot with children

Hearty the Healthy Heart Award mascot with young learners 

Teaching Council elections – have your say

Nominations are now open for the Teaching Council elections next March.

This is a chance for teachers to have a say in who represents them on their professional body.

Voters working in 7 sectors will elect board members: one teacher and one leader from the early learning sector, one teacher and one principal from the primary and secondary sectors, and one teacher educator.

Nominations close on 25 January 2019.

A further 6 board members will be appointed by the Minister.

By now, eligible teachers should have received an email explaining how to nominate a candidate. Those who don’t have email addresses will receive a letter in the post shortly.

There are several things teachers and leaders can start doing now to prepare for the elections:

  • Think about who they’d like to nominate.
  • Ensure the Teaching Council has their current email address so they can vote electronically. They can do this on the Education Council website.
  • Make sure their practising certificate is up to date so they’re eligible to vote.

Notify us of a change of details - Education Council website(external link)

The Teaching Council will post regular election updates on its website and through social media.

Teaching Council Board Elections - Education Council website(external link)

Royal Commission on abuse in state care update

The Government has announced the full establishment of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-Based Institutions, following final decisions agreed by Cabinet on 12 November.

The announcement by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Affairs at a press conference with the Chair of the Royal Commission, the Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, also confirmed the expansion of the Inquiry’s terms of reference to include care in faith-based institutions and also in educational settings, including schools and early childhood education facilities.

Alongside feedback on abuse that occurred in faith-based institutions, the issue of examining educational settings featured strongly in the public consultation process.

The Inquiry will undertake two key strands of work:

  • Strand 1 – Looking Back: map the extent of abuse in state care and in the care of faith-based institutions (including, in both cases, educational settings), the impact of that abuse, and the factors which caused or contributed to the abuse.
  • Strand 2 – Looking Forward: review the current systems for preventing and responding to abuse, to test whether these are fit-for-purpose and identify what changes need to be made as a result.

The Inquiry can start to hear evidence from January 2019.

The final terms of reference are available through the Government’s Legislation website.

Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions Order 2018 - New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

Questions about the work of the Royal Commission, including how individuals can take part in proceedings, should be directed to the Commission through the website below.

Historical Abuse in State Care Royal Commission website(external link)

The Ministry of Education is working with other key agencies to coordinate and align efforts across the state sector to make sure agencies support the Inquiry’s work in an integrated, open, constructive and transparent way.

It is early days and the Royal Commission has yet to decide the details of how the Inquiry will proceed. We will keep the early learning sector updated as this becomes clearer.

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