Early Learning Regional News - 1 December 2020

Regional News / General News / Other News updates from the Directors of Education for Ministry of Education regions.

Tai Tokerau Regional News

Tēnā koutou katoa

Well we made it!! As this is the last regional bulletin for the year, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank you all for your dedication and hard work throughout this very unusual and challenging year.

This year must be scripted in the record books starting with the most severe drought on record then along came Covid-19 lockdown and finally ‘one in 500’ year floods across the region. Throughout these times of uncertainty and unpredictability your support for tamariki has been unwavering and we have utilised adverse circumstances as an opportunity to come together across the region alongside hapu and Iwi to support our communities. We want to continue this collective approach going forward into the future.

I wish you all a well-deserved restful Christmas break with whānau and friends – Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete o te Tau Hou

National Education and Learning Priorities – (NELP)

The NELP took effect from 13 November 2020 and gives licenced early learning service providers a set of priorities to consider as part of the Governance, Management and Administration (GMA) Standard.

The NELP focuses on areas that will have a significant positive impact for tamariki and should be used to help every learner/ākonga progress and thrive by:

  • Ensuring that they are safe and inclusive and free from racism, discrimination, and bullying
  • Strengthening the quality of teaching learners receive to provide the skills they need to succeed in education, work and life
  • Collaborating more with whānau, employers, industry and communities
  • Taking account of learners’ needs, identities, languages and cultures in their practice
  • Incorporating te reo Māori and tikanga Māori into everyday activities.

Additional information on the NELP priorities can be found on the Education website.

The Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) and the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES)

An update from our Education Advisor Māori Engagement

Des Tipene, took up the position of Education Advisor Māori Engagement in Te Tai Tokerau last year.

Des has been busy developing a programme to further strengthen effective engagement with Māori.

Ngā manaakitanga

Hira Gage
Director of Education Tai Tokerau
Phone: 09 436 8914
Email: hira.gage@education.govt.nz

Auckland Regional News

Tēnā koutou,

Brasileirinho NZ

The Brazilian community group, Brasileirinho NZ, operate two playgroups in Saint Heliers and Albany. These playgroups focus on their Portuguese language and culture.

Amongst other activities, the children enjoy songs and puppet shows highlighting Brazilian culture and folklore.

The aim is to empower children with a strong sense of identity and belonging, and ready them to embrace Aotearoa New Zealand’s cultural diversity.

For more information about Brasileirinho NZ you can email info@brasileirinho.org.nz.

The Incredible Years Parenting Programme

The Ministry has been facilitating the Incredible Years Programme (IYP) now for the last 16 years, for parents and teachers of children aged 3 to 8 years old.

The most recent programme started during lock down as Zoom sessions. A few parents dropped out, but in the end ten families completed the course and the impact for those ten families was overwhelmingly positive.

Here’s what some of our parents have said from the most recent Incredible Years Programme:

  • It was a well organised program with lots of information and helped me build more confidence in parenting. Learnt strategies that did not come in my mind before. Smooth transition and building relationship with children.
  • The techniques taught are very effective at prompting positive behaviour and discouraging negative behaviour and reducing stress within the household.
  • It greatly helped with not only overall parenting but also understanding my child and other people around me, being a good parent and a great person overall.
  • It helped me to understand children, adapt to people and environment, set limits, rules, embrace difference between people and culture, manage behaviour without upsetting children, help parents to became scientist for their children, give attention and praise children.

Parenting does not come with a manual but programmes like the IYP can guide and support parents in a positive way. One participant commented that she didn’t think she needed the programme until they actually started and realised how much she had learned.

For more information about the programme, you can find it on the Te kete ipurangi website.

Incredible years parent – Te kete ipurangi website(external link)
Incredible years teacher – Te kete ipurangi website(external link)

Ngā mihi nui,

Isabel Evans
Director of Education Auckland
Phone: 09 632 9333
Email: isabel.evans@education.govt.nz

Waikato Regional News

Director’s Kōrero
2020 has been a year like no other in my lifetime. Like you, I am looking forward to taking a break at Christmas to catch my breath and spend quality time with my whānau. Especially my mokopuna three of which I will catch up with and enjoy the opening of new books, games and the odd toy. Sadly, my other two moko are in Australia and I haven’t been able to see them to hold and kihi over the past two years. But with FaceTime and regular calls, that will have to do for now.

COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work, but it hasn’t changed what is most important, whānau and family. At this time of year, please take the time to spend it wisely with your whānau and families. Look forward to 2021 with the positiveness I know you all will have, as you do for the many tamariki, whānau and families you support and serve.

Mauri Ora,

Shane Ngātai
Director of Education (Waikato) and proud of it

Reminder of key dates

Our office closes for Christmas break on 24 December 2020 and reopens on 5 January 2021.

The January to June playgroup funding round opens 1 January 2020. Please log in at https://ers.education.govt.nz/(external link). If your group has had a change of funding administrator or approver, please contact tracey.martin@education.govt.nz to organise a visit to sign up the replacement person.

If your early learning service, nga Kōhanga Reo or playgroup has a story of success or celebration that you would like to share with the wider Waikato region, please email it through to linda.baxendine@education.govt.nz. We are always happy to receive contributions.

Shane Ngātai
Director of Education Waikato
Phone: 07 858 0124
Email: Shane.Ngātai@education.govt.nz

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu Regional News

Kia ora,

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa

As the year draws to a close, I want to thank staff in each early learning education service and Kōhanga Reo for your work and commitment in 2020. Especially through COVID-19 and the support you provided to children, families and whanau through this challenging year.

Christmas and New Year Closure Dates

Our regional offices in New Plymouth, Whanganui and Palmerston North will be closed from 4.30pm Thursday 24 December 2020. They will re-open 8.00am Tuesday 5 January 2021. When we return in the new year, there will be education advisors back on board from this date to continue to support the needs of the sector.

SELO – Inclusive Practice Delivery

We hosted a successful professional learning and development opportunity through SELO during November involving over 200 teachers from across the Taranaki and Manawatū regions.

The Inclusive Practice conference, organised by LEAP Education explored the way we view the child, unconscious bias as well as walking us through He Māpuna te Tamaiti. These keynote presentations were followed by a series of workshops for kaiako, managers and leaders.

Dr Lesley Rameka presented a keynote to open our minds to the role of teachers and leaders in education. Reminding us of the social and political context we live in, both here in Aotearoa New Zealand and more globally. Anneke Pati from Learning Support walked us through He Māpuna te Tamaiti. Unlocking the code and inviting us to engage more fully in self-assessment and consistent, intentional use of teaching strategies to improve outcomes for children.

Thank you to all the teachers and leaders who attended the sector forums in both New Plymouth and Palmerston North. We hope you all found this valuable and inspiring, supporting teaching teams to continue working on unpacking He Māpuna te Tamaiti. We encourage you to practice some of the amazing teaching strategies that we saw demonstrated.

The Whanganui hui has been planned for the new year. Further information on this will come out in due course.

We are very happy for you to contact us if you have any follow up questions or feedback for the Ministry specifically about SELO. Thank you to those who have already followed up with questions regarding safety checking children’s workers.
Our SELO providers spend many hours planning the SELO contracts and events for us, which we greatly appreciate. Along with individual and cluster SELO provision, we like to offer the opportunity for larger hui as we all benefit from collaborative learning, building relationships with others in the early learning sector and sharing quality practices.

Key dates for licensing over the Christmas period

As a reminder with Christmas rapidly approaching, we advise the following timelines for licensing over the Christmas period.

To amend a licence The deadline for completed applications
Prior to Thursday 24 December 2020 Friday 11 December 2020

To help with our planning please let us know if you think that you might require a licensing visit for any purpose (including temporary relocation, alterations or amendments) in January or early February 2021. Please email ece.twm@education.govt.nz.

Have a restful and happy holiday season. I look forward to working alongside you in 2021.

Ngā mihi,

Marlene Clarkson
Director of Education Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū
Phone: 06 349 6304
Mobile: 027 275 1450
Email: marlene.clarkson@education.govt.nz

Wellington Regional News

Kia ora tatou,

The COVID-19 cases in the Greater Wellington region last month have reminded us that COVID is still with us. It is an important reminder for us all to continue to use the NZ COVID tracer app or keep a record of where you have been. Maintain good hand hygiene and stay home if you are unwell. Please remind your communities of this and to follow the advice of the Ministry of Health. These types of clusters are likely to become a common feature, and we all need to be prepared to respond appropriately.

I realise this has been a challenging year for us all, and I really hope that you find some time to recharge before the new year. Merry Christmas to you all.

Attendance and Engagement – Urgent Response Fund

Urgent Response Fund applications have closed for 2020. We will process the final payment runs for early learning services on 10 December.

In 2021, we will restart the Urgent Response Fund application processing on 14 January 2021 with the first payment runs to early learning services me ngā kōhanga reo on 22 January 2021.

I want to acknowledge the Regional Governance Group for its help with processing these applications. Your expertise has really guided our decision-making and we have really appreciated your time.

If you require help refining your application or if you wish to submit a joint application, you are welcome to contact your Education Advisor.

For further guidance on the URF application process visit the Education website.

Urgent Response Fund

To apply for the URF, please visit the URF page on the SurveyMonkey website.

Survey is now closed.

Department of Corrections Community Engagement and Reintegration Adviser

The Senior Adviser – Community Engagement and Reintegration role at the Department of Corrections works to ensure public understanding about how people with high and complex offending needs are managed in the community.

On occasion the Senior Adviser will work with communities when an offender returns to the area to ensure people understand how Corrections practices and processes are designed to keep everyone safe.

Corrections has nine Senior Advisers around the country who focus on community engagement and the reintegration of people who have sexually offended.

The Senior Adviser will:

  • be able to discuss concerns or questions during any community notification process
  • talk to interested groups generally about the work they do to manage people safely and effectively
  • support communities, other agencies and Corrections staff involved in managing people and safeguarding the community.

If you are interested in hearing more about this then please contact Kat Douglas, from Corrections on 027 3808634.

New children’s book in Pacific languages

Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens have published a new children’s picture book in seven languages about starting school.

There is a shortage of books in Pacific languages particularly for the smaller Pacific communities in New Zealand. This book will help fill that gap.

The book ‘I am going to school’ is in Māori, Samoan, Cook Island Māori, Tongan, Tokelauan, Niuean, and Tuvaluan. It is designed so that teachers and families can easily read it to children.

It features four year old Atanise Marsters Lotomau who attends Toru Fetu Kindergarten in Cannons Creek, Porirua, and her extended family. One of the editors Caroline Mareko, says starting school can be an anxious time for children and parents. This book can help prepare for the big day. “We wanted to show the experience as positive and happy for children and families.” Maraeroa School in Porirua East also features in the book.

Caroline says the publication could open the door for publishing books featuring other cultures. “There’s a shortage of literacy materials for young children in different languages. It’s also important for children to see their community and their experiences reflected in books.”

The book was launched at Atanise’s kindergarten in February this year. Reverend Falkland Liuvaie blessed the book, and children from Toru Fetu and Nuanua Kindergartens performed.

For further information please contact Chanelle Huia-Rutten at on the Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens website.

Kindergarten Education and Care - Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens website(external link)

End of year close down and licensing application cut off dates

Our regional offices in Lower Hutt, Masterton, Porirua and Ōtaki will close at 5pm on Thursday 24 December 2020. The regional offices will re-open again at 8:30am on Tuesday 5 January 2021. Please be mindful of the key dates for licensing and applications as outlined below.

To licence a new service, we should receive a complete application at least 30 working days prior to when you wish the new licence to be effective from. The closure period over Christmas for the Ministry of Education is not counted as ‘working days’. As an example, if a service is required to be open by 25 January 2021, then the application should be submitted to us by 4 December 2020.

If you think you might require a licensing visit for any purpose (including temporary relocation, alterations or amendments) in January or early February, please let us know by emailing: earlylearningenquiries.lowerhutt@education.govt.nz.

Roy Sye
Director of Education Wellington
Phone: 04 463 8668
Email: roy.sye@education.govt.nz

Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast Regional News

As we head into these last weeks of the year, I want to take the opportunity to wish you all a very restful and relaxing break over the upcoming Christmas and New Year period. Enjoy time with family and friends as we say goodbye to 2020 and welcome in 2021.

Key dates for licensing over Christmas period

With Christmas fast approaching it is important to advise you of the timelines for licensing requests.

To licence a new service or to amend a licence

To be completed and received by 4 December 2020
Open for completed applications from 11 January 2021


The final Tapasa fono for the CORE Education led SELO for our Motueka area services is coming up on 7 December. The teams have been enjoying their learning with Justine and Ruta and this final fono is their opportunity to share their stories about their participation in the programme and the outcomes for themselves and the children and families in their communities.

Nelson Tasman Kindergartens are offering SELO in the Westport, Greymouth, and Blenheim areas in 2021. This SELO is designed for whole teams to explore and strengthen their service’s curriculum to support and inspire the learning of diverse cultures. This SELO will lead you to examine how your service can best meet the needs of our ever-changing communities. It will specifically cover strengthening services’ understanding of the two different sections of Regulation 43/C6: Respect and support the right of each child to be confident in their own culture and encourage children to understand and respect other cultures. Opportunities to participate will be sent directly to services in these areas.

MoE Workshops

The regional Ministry early learning advisers will be offering workshops in the New Year for groups of ECE leaders/managers on Person’s Responsible, ratios, and safety checking. More information will be out to services about these in January 2021.

Requests for changes to Operating Conditions: EC8

Please be aware that for any changes to operating conditions, completed EC8 forms and all supporting documents must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date of intended changes. We need all required information before an application can be considered.

Early submission of requests will ensure that applications can be processed in time and prevent delays in the issue of an amended licence. This is particularly important for change of management requests if continuity of operation is to be maintained.

We will do our best to consider your application within 30 working days of receipt.

Andrea Williams
Director of Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast
Phone: 03 539 1511
Email: Andrea.williams@education.govt.nz

Canterbury | Chatham Islands Regional News

Kia ora,

As we reach the end of an extremely unusual and at times difficult year, I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks pride and admiration of everyone. How you have worked together in the face of the immense challenges. I hope you get to enjoy a well-deserved break with family and friends and may it be a time of forming many happy memories for you.

Before the end of the year there are a couple of things, I would like to share with you:

Ministry of Education Christmas close down and licensing application cut off dates

As the end of the year is rapidly approaching, I thought it would be useful to advise you of the cut off dates for submitting applications into the Christchurch office for licensing new services during January 2021. Our office will be closed from 5pm Thursday 24 December 2020 and will re-open on Tuesday 5 of January 2021.

Licensing applications for January 2021

The Ministry of Education has a statutory responsibility to make a decision on a licensing application within 30 working days of receiving a complete application. A ‘complete application’ means that all documents to support the application, as listed on the EC/8, EC/1C or EC/1HB form, have been submitted. This needs to happen before a visit date can be confirmed. Any application for licensing needs to be submitted at least 30 working days prior to the date which you wish it to be effective from.

To licence a new service in January, a complete application needs to be received in our office up to 30 working days prior to when you wish the new licence or amendment to take effect. The closure period for the Ministry of Education is not counted towards ‘working days’.

If you think that you might require a licensing visit for any purpose (including temporary relocation, alterations or amendments) in January or early February, please let us know by emailing ece.canterbury@education.govt.nz.

If an application is received outside these timeframes, we cannot guarantee a licensing decision will be made by your ideal opening date. Please contact one of our Education Advisers should you have any questions about this.

Redeveloping the outdoor area at Conductive Education Canterbury

Story submitted by Rebecca Courtney, General Manager at Conductive Education Canterbury

In 2016 we initially started our journey with exploring the prospect of upgrading the outdoor area, however due to unforeseen circumstances this did not occur. Fast forward to 2018, we were involved in a major fundraiser and met some amazing people wanting to support our centre and the development of a new playground for the wonderful children who attended Conductive Education Canterbury, a centre based Early Intervention Specialist Provider operating also as an Early Childhood Provider.

Our current strategic direction has a strategic goal focusing on Teaching and Learning. One of the objectives;

“The environment, indoor and outdoor creates a sound platform to underpin and support children’s learning and the planning for learning”.

In 2018 it was decided that we would once again begin the journey of trying to turn the development of the outdoor area into a reality. As part of initial data gathering, we decided that including our whānau, staff and the local community in sharing what they would like to see in an outdoor environment. With a specific focus on access and providing an environment that was accessible to all learners was key.

We also approached a few local playground designers. This step required us to find the right person to support the vision of our centre and someone who was willing to work alongside the local community in making this outdoor area a reality. After meeting and consulting with Emma Woods from Woodland Escapes we knew we had found the perfect fit and we began to gain her input also on key things and possibilities for this new area.

Ongoing consultation with our whānau, staff and local community on Emma’s and our ideas were key to the development of this new outdoor area. Every step of the process we were included in and consulted with by the team Emma was beginning to pull together.

Centre staff began to focus on approaching local businesses, fundraising and applying for grants to support the outdoor area. We had money tagged from a fundraising event and also had money put aside that had been left to the centre through bequests from individuals that had supported us over the 27 years of operation. It was decided that our children deserved the best outdoor area, so we were going to reach for the stars with our ideas and the plan.

In the 2019 October school holidays, we were excited to see the breaking of the ground as the new outdoor area was started, with it being completed at the start of term 4, 2019. Staff were initially concerned about how the children would cope with such a dramatic change however the first session outside was calm. The children quickly fitted back into their patterns of moving around and exploring outside. There were lots of new areas and challenging surfaces and equipment. We plan to continue to monitor and evaluate how the area is being used and discuss what we are seeing in the outdoor area.

We are excited to share this space with the children the Addington Playcentre Playgroup and invite groups from Addington Te Kura Taumatua over to enjoy this area. We received the best review from a past pupil when she came over. She loved the sand table and was able to access it while in her wheelchair, commenting “this is so much easier to play in the sand”.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss any ideas or issues. You can always call me on 03 378 7345, 0274 200 251 or email coralanne.child@education.govt.nz. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mā te wā,

Coralanne Child
Director of Education for Canterbury | Chatham Islands
Phone: 03 378 7345
Mobile: 0274 200 251
Email: coralanne.child@education.govt.nz

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