Early Learning General News – September 2019

General news for the Early Learning sector for September 2019 including upcoming consultations and vaping at school and early learning services.

Shaping a Stronger Education System with New Zealanders

Have your say on the draft Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) and Tertiary Education Strategy (TES)

The Statement of NELP and TES translate the vision and objectives for education into priorities for places of learning, from early learning through to tertiary education. For the first time, we are taking an integrated approach to set the direction for the education system.

Those in governance positions in the early learning and the compulsory education sectors must have regard to the NELP. 

Further information about the NELP and TES, including the proposed priorities, is available in the discussion document.

Sharing a stronger education system with New Zealanders – discussion document [PDF, 1.9MB](external link)

Consultation details

We want to know what you think about the proposed priorities. Consultation on the NELP and the TES has started, and will close for the TES in late October, and for the NELP in late November. You can provide feedback via the online surveys, submissions, social media, and targeted face-to-face consultations. 

ECE Funding and Fees

You may have heard that we are looking at collecting information later this year about fees charged by early learning services. We know that the cost of early learning is a barrier to some families and whānau but we need more information on this.

Currently, we can’t identify from either our own data or that of other agencies, what parents and caregivers pay compared with what the Government pays. Without this information we don’t know how affordable early learning is for parents in different areas across New Zealand.

This information will help inform policy decisions designed to enhance support available to families and whanau.

We’re intending to work with the Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) to finalise our approach and plan before coming to you. We expect to be able to provide further information on what this collection will look like, and the timeframe for doing so on our website in the coming weeks and in our October bulletin.

Learning Support Satisfaction Survey

We will be releasing the next Learning Support Satisfaction Survey at the start of Term 4 2019 (14 October).

We will email the survey to parents, caregivers and educators whose child or student either received a Ministry provided learning support service for the past 12 months, or had a learning support service end during Term 3 2019.

In most instances, we will email educators’ surveys to the school or early learning service main email address.

The Learning Support services that will be surveyed are:

  • Behaviour Support
  • Communication Support
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Early Intervention (for children under 5)
  • Intensive Wraparound Service (Te Kahu Tōī)
  • Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)
  • Physical Disability Support.

Your feedback will help the Ministry understand what aspects of service delivery we are doing well, and areas for improvement.

Data from the survey will also present a coherent picture of educators’ perceptions of the quality of service delivery across service types and regions. Responses will identify where there are high levels of satisfaction and what is and isn’t working well. This information will support the sharing of practice across Ministry regions and teams.

Assistance with completing the survey

Parents or caregivers may contact you to help them to complete the survey. Please assist if you can. Alternatively, you can direct these queries to clientsatisfaction.survey@education.govt.nz.

Vaping in schools and early learning services 

Under the Smoke-free Environments Act (SFEA), schools, kura, early learning services and kōhanga reo must be smoke-free both indoors and outdoors at all times.

Smoke-free Environments Act(external link)

While formal changes to legislation are currently being considered, early learning services may in the meantime, wish to consider aligning their vaping policy with their smoke-free policy.

The Ministry of Health has advised that until the SFEA is amended, retailers should continue to trade responsibly and, in particular, not advertise or sell vaping products to children and young people under the age of 18.

We have updated our promoting healthy lifestyles page. This will support early learning services in considering whether they wish to institute a vaping policy. This page can be found on the Education website.

Promoting healthy lifestyles - Education website

You may also wish to visit the Vaping Facts website which may help clarify myths about vaping.

Vaping Facts website(external link)

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