Early Learning General News – September 2018

General news for the Early Learning sector for September 2018 including good news stories and opportunities.

Updates to education legislation

Education Amendment Bill (No 2)

The Education Amendment Bill (No 2) has been introduced into Parliament. Early learning services may be interested in the proposed changes to the rules for cohort (group) entry. The Bill would change the requirements for cohort entry so that children can still start school in groups, but only after they have turned five.  This is in line with the recommendation of the 2015 Advisory Group on Early Learning.  The other key change is that there will be two entry points each term – one on the first day of term and the other at a mid-point during the term.   Schools would need to consult with their communities, including early learning services, before adopting a cohort entry policy. 

You can find out more here on the Education website.

Education Amendment Bill (No 2)

Education (Teaching Council of Aotearoa) Amendment Bill

The Education (Teaching Council of Aotearoa) Amendment Bill was passed on 18 September. The Bill increases the number of council members from nine to 13 – with seven members elected by their peers to represent the teaching profession, including the early childhood education sector, and six members appointed by the Minister of Education. The new Council’s membership will be in place within a year. It also changes the name of the Education Council to the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

You can find out more on the Education website.

Education (Teaching Council of Aotearoa) Amendment Bill

Mental Health Awareness Week 8 - 14 October

Mental Health Awareness Week is a good opportunity to focus on the ways we can, and do, support the social and emotional wellbeing of our children. Creating a positive, safe learning environment promotes a culture of wellbeing. This can lead to greater engagement in learning, and a reduction in negative behaviours such as bullying.

The Mental Health Foundation has developed resources for schools to mark Mental Health Awareness Week; many of these can be used with pre-school children. 

Mental Health Foundation resources(external link)

Early learning teachers may also be interested in the Sparklers activities, designed to help teach children things they can do to stay calm, manage worries, be kind and feel good. 

Sparklers activities(external link)

A story on Enviroschools reminds us of the positive links between direct experiences in nature and children’s mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing. A teacher from Nature Kindy in Auckland talks about the restorative benefits of nature and helping children learn to manage fear, risk and uncertainty.

You can read these stories the Mental Health Awareness Week’s website.

Mental Health Awareness Week website(external link)

This is also a good opportunity to remind parents and whānau of the things they can do at home to support their child’s wellbeing. The Mental Health Foundation’s five ways to wellbeing focuses on five actions to build into day-to-day lives for the wellbeing of individuals and families, and is a great resource to share with your community.  

Five ways to wellbeing(external link)

Consultation period extended – review of Home-based ECE

The review of Home-based ECE consultation is well underway.

As of 24 September, the Ministry has held 14 hui in South Auckland, Central Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin. Approximately 35 to 100 people have participated in each hui.

As of 21 September, we have received 1,340 responses to the short survey.

In response to feedback we are extending the deadline for the survey to 30 September. We encourage everyone with an interest to give their feedback. We want to hear from all stakeholder including providers, educators and parents.

An additional Educator Meeting for South Auckland at the Ministry of Education office in South Botany has been scheduled on Wednesday 26 September from 7pm to 8.30pm

Please find more information, including links to both the quick and detailed surveys on the Education Conversation website(external link)

New Zealand ShakeOut coming in October

18 October drill and tsunami hīkoi

New Zealand ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is happening at 9.30am on 18 October 2018.

Taking part is a great way for early learning services and kohanga to learn the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake, and to practice your tsunami hīkoi (evacuation walk) if you are in a coastal area.

Practice your tsunami hīkoi (external link)

Do the ShakeOut

Doing the ShakeOut is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Sign up now. (external link)You can sign up everyone in 2 minutes.
  2. Spread the word. (external link)Tell your friends and family, share on social media, put up posters etc.
  3. Do the ShakeOut! (external link)Drop, Cover and Hold at 9.30am on 18 October 2018, followed by a tsunami hīkoi if you’re in a coastal area.

Note: If you cannot do the drill at 9.30am on 18 October 2018, you can choose a time to suit you within 2 weeks of the drill (and still be counted).

There’s also a colouring competition and lots of resources on the ShakeOut website.

Find out more at the Shake Out website(external link)

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