Early Learning Regional News - 3 November 2020

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

Tai Tokerau Regional News

Kia ora koutou katoa

Celebrating Northland Tamariki Conference

The Celebrating Northland’s Tamariki conference occurs every two years and is held in Whangarei. It is organised by a multi-agency/ECE service group of volunteers which includes the Ministry of Education, Northland District Health Board, Northland Kindergarten Association, Educare Early Learning Group, Avenues Educare, Te Rito Maioha, and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.

This exciting day of learning provided Northland's best opportunity for Professional Learning and Development to network, discuss and share developments in education for the benefit of our taonga, ngā tamariki.

This year’s theme was Whakamanatia-Whakahonotia-Whakakahatia, Empowering – Connecting – Strengthening.

The keynote speakers were Dr Alex Gunn, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Otago College of Education and Nancy Bell, Director, Early Learning and Student Achievement (ELSA) Ministry of Education of New Zealand.

Participants also enjoyed a selection of seminars and workshops throughout the day.

Nancy Bell with ECE staff from the Whangarei office.

Urgent Response Fund - Update

The urgent response fund enables us to prioritise resources to support communities who have been impacted by COVID-19.

I want to acknowledge the Regional Advisory Group that have guided our decisions around the allocation of the Urgent Response Fund.

The fund will close off on 13 November 2020 and reopen again on 15 February 2021.

Ngā mihi nui

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

Auckland Regional News

Tēnā koutou

It has been a busy last couple of months since the last Regional update.

Urgent Response Fund

You will have received an update on the Urgent Response Fund from me on behalf of the Regional Governance Group recently – just a reminder that applications for 2020 funding need to be submitted by 13 November.

Key licencing dates

As the end of the year is rapidly approaching, we thought it might be useful to advise you of the deadlines for submitting applications for new services to the Auckland office.

 Deadline for completed applications to the Ministry
To licence a new service by the end of January 2021 Friday 11 December 2020
To amend a licence prior to 11 January 2020 Monday 7 December 2020

Please contact us on ECEAKLicensing@education.govt.nz:

  • to amend a licence by Monday 7 December
  • or if you think that you might require a licensing visit for any other purpose such as a temporary relocation or building alterations in January or early February.

Once a completed application has been sent into us, we can start on the licensing process of a new early learning service. A ‘complete application’ means that all documents to support the application, as listed on the application form, have been submitted. Please remember that a completed application is required before we can confirm a visit date.

Applications need to be submitted at least 30 working days prior to the date you wish the licence to take effect from. Note that the Ministry office is closed between 24 December and 5 January and are not considered ‘working days’.

Belong Aotearoa

Belong Aotearoa operate four Safari Playgroups across Auckland providing initial education experiences to children and parents, especially in the refugee and migrant community.

These families face many barriers including language, as well as sometimes not having the ability or confidence to access educational and other services. The lockdowns were another obstacle for these families.

Belong Aotearoa were able to create and deliver “Stay at home play kits” to families before the first lockdown started. As you can see these were well received by the parents and children.

Child sitting and looking at contents

Doing a stock take


Three children painting at a table

Exploring with colours

It’s great to see the children getting stuck in!

Working with young children is always busy work, and this time of year is no different! If you need additional support or have ‘success stories’ to share, please don’t hesitate to contact your Education Adviser at any time. I am always happy to hear about your experiences in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Take care

Ngā mihi nui

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

Waikato Regional News

Director’s Korero

Tena koutou e te whānau o Waikato

I would like to take this opportunity to genuinely thank you all for the mahi you do in our ECE / Kōhanga Reo services throughout the Waikato region. Especially in these recent challenging times post-COVID, I have seen first-hand how important your roles are in providing safe and reassuring nurturing environments for our tamariki and their whānau. As a koro of five mokopuna myself and until recently a Tumuaki of 20 plus years’ experience in the primary sector, my connections with your worlds is relevant and insightful.

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the next few months and supporting you and your tamariki and whānau as much as I support my own.

Mauri Ora
Shane Ngātai
Director of Education (Waikato) And proud of it.

Regional News

It is great to be able to share news from our region with you all again. We acknowledge that early learning services, ngā kōhanga reo and playgroups have had a lot of information to process throughout this year with key messages, changes in Alert Levels and health guidelines being regularly updated. Here in the Waikato regional office we have enjoyed connecting with services and hearing about the wonderful work you are doing to ensure the well-being of all learners and their whānau.

Urgent Response Fund

If you do have children who require additional social, emotional wellbeing or learning support as a result of being impacted by COVID-19, we strongly encourage you to submit an Urgent Respond Fund application through to the Ministry. The fund is available to licensed early learning services me ngā kōhanga reo, Playcentre, ngā puna reo, kindergarten education and care services and home-based early learning services (excluding au pair).

Urgent Response Fund application - Survey Monkey(external link)

Early Childhood Education during COVID-19 Lockdown

The events brought about by COVID-19 resulted in unique and innovative ways for early childhood services throughout the Waikato region to connect and provide continued educational guidance to families and whānau. As we spoke to early childhood services, ngā kōhanga reo and playgroups around the region during this time, it was wonderful to hear stories of maintaining and strengthening relationships with whānau through social media platforms, interactive zoom meetings, phone calls and emails. This was certainly an extraordinary time in history and services in our region have done an amazing job of responding to challenges that have arisen. Thank you to the services who were kind enough to share glimpses of the ways they worked with tamariki and families during this time, one of which is shared included below.

K’aute Pasifika

K’aute Pasifika playgroup in Hamilton encouraged on-going education with their families during lockdown. Bulletins from the Ministry were shared regularly with families via their messenger page as were resources such as When the world stayed home and Stay-at-Home Care Package. Thanks to K’aute Pasifika for the lovely photos of their tamariki busy at home.

When the world stayed home [PDF, 866KB](external link)
Stay-at-Home Care Package - Big Life Journal website(external link)