Early Learning Regional News - 8 June 2021

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

Tai Tokerau Regional News

Kia ora koutou

New Staff at the Ministry of Education

We have welcomed four new staff to the Ministry team this term:

Riripeti Totoro Curriculum Lead – Whangārei
Lure Louw Psychologist - Kerikeri
Shiree Lee Special Education Advisor - Whangārei
Jacqueline Hohaia Special Education Advisor - Kaitaia

Playground Safety Training

Chris Lambert our ECE Advisor recently attended a playground safety training course. The course, held in our Hamilton Office, was led by no other than the esteemed Barbara Lingard. Barbara is the co-author of the Playground Standards NZS5828:2015.

The two-day course covered all areas of play safety which includes equipment, spatial space, surfacing components and ancillary items such as gates and fences, seats, shade structures, mud pits and water features. The content covered equipment heights, entrapment, obstruction, fall zones and the distinction between risk and hazard.

The course gave attendees a chance to look at a centre playground with fresh eyes as one can become accustomed to seeing the familiar space and become desensitised to deterioration. Areas to check are the finish of equipment. Are there any popping nails, rough or sharp edges, protruding nuts and bolts or unstable equipment? Is there anything too close to the fence that can be used to climb up on and give purchase for a child to get over the fence? Is there anything obstructing the fall space, bikes, tyres etc? Fall space is measured at 1.5m from a point directly below the elevated part of the equipment e.g. the edge of a movable box or from the point of the swing when stretched out.

Entrapment of the head and neck, fingers or clothing is another area to check. If a child’s legs and body can fit through a gap at height, then the head must also fit through. Bike helmets are for riding bikes and not to be worn while climbing as the strap can become hooked.

Surfacing requirements included so many options, impact absorbing surfacing, sand and pea gravel, bark and shredded timber interlocking tiles, rubber wet pour, synthetic grass, rubber tiles that grass can grow through, cork and natural grass.
Our second day attendees went out to two public playgrounds to look at them with the new information. Equipment heights and swings were measured along with entrapment areas. As expected, all areas complied however some areas for upgrading were noted such as impact surfacing.

The two days were very informative and intensive but also a lot of fun especially playing on the playground as of course we had to try out the equipment.

Adult on a seesaw

More information can be found on our website(external link):

A copy of the Playground Standards NZS 5828:2015 can be purchased from Standards New Zealand.

Standards New Zealand NZS 5828:2015(external link)

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 katoa

We trust you had a relaxing long weekend and hope you found the opportunity to take time out from your day to day mahi.

Ramadan celebration at a playgroup

Baitul Ilm Playgroup (Arabic for House of Learning) has been running twice a week in Central Auckland since 2006, catering mainly to Muslim children and families. The community has recently celebrated Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting from sunrise to sunset. Although children are not obliged to fast during Ramadan, they enjoy the extra social and learning opportunities during the month, such as making telescopes to search for the new moon and making Ramadan calendars.

Children celebrating Ramadan

Children celebrating Ramadan

Children at the Baitul Ilm Playgroup celebrating Ramadan

Funding Changes

You will be aware Funding Changes(external link) were announced in Budget 2021, with new funding rates taking effect from 1 January 2022. As we mentioned in the last Early Learning Bulletin, the rates are voluntary. This means that each service will need to assess their own situations and decide whether to opt in.

We encourage you to contact ECE.Funding@education.govt.nz with any questions.

I’ll be in touch with you again in July, if not sooner, and in the meantime please contact me or members of my team at any time – we are here to help.

Whaia te pae tawhiti kia tata, Whakamaua te pae tata kia tina!
Explore beyond the distant horizon and draw it near, take hold of your potential so it becomes your reality!

Ngā mihi nui

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

Waikato Regional News

Tēnā koutou e te whānau

Thank you for the well wishes and messages I received during my recent absence as I recovered from a medical event. I can happily report that I am on the mend and back on deck.

I would like to congratulate Marcus Freke on his appointment to the role of Director of Education, Waikato.

Marcus and I go way back from when I supported him as a first time principal over 20 years ago, following on from me as principal at Hautapu and now again as Director. Marcus will continue the great support that comes from the Waikato whānau from your Ministry and I wish him well.

To my awesome team at the Waikato office, I want to thank everyone of you for your support, guidance and awesome mahi and leadership. You are all in the right place, at the right time for the right reasons.

To my sector colleagues, thank you for your support and advice, your commitment to our ākonga, kaiako and whānau. I look forward to returning to my role as Tumuaki at Rhode Street and taking everything I have learnt to strengthen our profession and the positive relationships we can have collectively.

Languages Weeks

We often get asked by services how they can find out the dates for the various Pacific Languages Weeks. Information can be found on the Ministry for Pacific Peoples webpage and the dates are included below so that you can put these in your calendars for future reference. Resources to support the various language weeks can also be found on this webpage.

Pacific Language Weeks 2021 - Ministry for Pacific Peoples website(external link)

Kiribati Language Week 11 July – 17 July 2021
Cook Islands Language Week 1 August – 7 August 2021
Tongan Language Week 5 September – 11 September 2021
Tuvalu Language Week 26 September – 2 October 2021
Fijian Language Week 3 October -9 October 2021
Niue Language Week 17 October – 23 October 2021
Tokelau Language Week 24 October -30 October 2021

Don’t forget that Tapasā resources, tools and support for teachers of Pacific leaners is now available online. Find out more on the TKI website.

Tapasā - TKI Website(external link)

Emergency closure reminder

With the winter weather upon us, it is timely to review managing emergency closures in early learning services. You may not be able to meet licensing requirements due to an emergency situation such as:

  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Interruptions to essential services
  • Non-controllable health and safety issues
  • Civil defence emergencies

If you are in one of these situations, we suggest you follow these steps:

  1. Contact the Ministry of Education office on 07 858 7130 in the first instance stating the situation.
  2. You will then be asked to put the request in writing and this should be sent to ecewaikato.specialcircumstances@education.govt.nz.
  3. The Ministry will then send a letter confirming the emergency closure.
  4. This letter should be kept for auditing purposes.
  5. When filling in the service’s RS7, put the code ‘EC’ (for emergency closure) in the date(s) closed.


Is your service looking for resources and information to support upcoming Matariki celebrations? Matariki is a great opportunity for all New Zealanders to come together and learn more about local iwi stories and perspectives on Matariki. Both TKI and the Te Papa websites have some great Matariki information that early learning services may find useful.

Matariki – TKI Website(external link)
Matariki The Māori New Year – Te Papa website(external link)

Winter Illnesses

Unfortunately, winter is a time when many young children experience different forms of illness. Recently we have noticed an increase in the number of services reporting vomiting and diarrhea outbreaks. For further health and safety practices please see criterion HS23 and HS26 ‘Response to infectious illnesses’ and refer to the Pdf below for useful guidance from Public Health.

HS26 Response to infectious illnesses – Centre-based services(external link)
HS23 Response to infectious illnesses – Home-based services(external link)
Guidelines for the control of gastrointestinal outbreaks – Public Health Unit [PDF, 612 KB]

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

Bay of Plenty | Waiariki Regional News

Kia Ora and Talofa Lava

Firstly, my thoughts and prayers are with our colleagues and whānau in Canterbury affected by the floods. 

Samoan Language Week

I hope that you all participated in some activities to celebrate Samoan Language week last week. I thoroughly enjoyed the activities in each of this region’s offices and was proud to share information about my identity, language and culture with my colleagues.

This year the theme for Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa | Samoa Language Week 2021 is Poupou le lotoifale. Ola manuia le anofale which means strengthen the posts of your house for all to thrive.

When you are building a foundation for a fale it can’t have a weak foundation or posts. This is the same for the foundation of our families, schools and churches that play an important role in strengthening Gagana Sāmoa (the Samoan language). Language is important for the foundations of our overall wellbeing.

Welcome To Deana Rika - Lead Adviser – Whānau Engagement

Ko te whiu o te kōrero i whuia ki Tarimano ko Te Aongahoro ko te ruahine a Tawakeheimoa kia rere ki mua ko Rangiwewehi eHe uri nō Rangiwewehi tēnei e mihi kau ana ki a koutou o Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga.

Tis said Tarimano the foundation, Te Aongahoro the spouse of Tawakeheimoa, whose first born son was Rangiwewehi.I am a descendant of Rangiwewehi and extend my warmest greetings to you all.

By way of introduction I am Deana Rika the newly appointed Lead Adviser – Whānau Engagement for the Bay of Plenty – Waiariki region. I come from a background with strong iwi affiliations and a long but fulfilling teaching career in both Kura ā-iwi and Kura Kaupapa Māori.

It seems appropriate that these two life experiences have brought me to Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga to work in the iwi and whānau engagement space. Helping to build iwi capacity within education ticks all the boxes for me.

I acknowledge that my passion for Te Reo Māori, Tikanga Māori and education has been influenced greatly by my own whānau and iwi as well as the amazing kura I have had the privilege to teach at. I spent a number of years at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hurungaterangi and the last seven years at Te Wharekura o Ngāti Rongomai.

Throughout my teaching career I have witnessed both the successes and struggles for our tamariki Māori in education. Whānau and iwi involvement is integral in changing the narrative for our future generations. I am invested in working with whānau and iwi in my role as Lead Adviser – Whānau Engagement by helping iwi realise their potential and to fulfil their aspirations for their successors.

Nō reira e rau rangatira mā, kai tēnā pito, kai tēnā pito o te rohe tēnei au ka mihi ake.Tēna koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa.

I acknowledge all those from near and far across our region

Thank you.

Retirement of Alison Jones 

Alison Jones, Early Intervention Teacher based in Rotorua office, is retiring later this month.

Alison will be known to many of you and your staff as she has worked in education for many years. Alison started her career as a primary school teacher in various Rotorua schools. She then moved to what was known as the Child Potential Unit, now known as the Child Development Team, where she worked for 20 years. For the past ten years Alison has worked for the Ministry of Education as an Early Intervention Teacher in Rotorua and Taupō. During her career Alison has made a difference to the lives of many children and is very highly thought of by those parents and teachers she has been involved with.

In addition to her Ministry of Education life, Alison is a Marriage Celebrant, and a long-time member of Rotorua Little Theatre. In her retirement she is looking forward to spending more time with her husband Noel and is planning trips in their campervan. Go well Ali.

Trial of Mataara

Mataara is the Ministry’s texting service which is used in an emergency or other event where we need to communicate with a large number of schools, kura and early learning services quickly. The text message is sent to the mobile telephone number that you have supplied to us as the emergency mobile number. The message can request the receiver respond to questions about whether help or assistance is required and/or whether the school or service is open or closed. If we don’t get a response, we can then make individual contact to determine if assistance is required. 

In April we trialled Mataara with a group of 70 Eastern Bay of Plenty schools and kura. Our message was clearly identifiable as a test. Within the first 30 minutes we had an overall response rate of 55% and by the close of business that day we had an overall response rate of 77%.  While not perfect, we were pleased with the result and will carry on with further trials.

Recent Gazette Article

Education Gazette talks to members of Te Tai Whanake ki Tauranga Moana Kaitiaki Group about how schools and iwi are working together to create a localised curriculum resource that can be used across all schools, kura and early learning centres in Tauranga Moana.

Bringing local history to life in Tauranga Moana - Education Gazette website(external link)

Ministers visit to Kindergarten

Ministers Sio and Tinetti made time in their busy schedules to visit Tai o Fenua kindergarten in Tauranga just over a week ago. Several whānau members also called in to enjoy the lovely singing from the children and to see the staff all decked out in their costumes. After karakia, enthusiastically led by the tamariki, the Ministers enjoyed a lunch and were entertained by a group of students from Gate Pa School and Tauranga Girls’ College. Minister Sio spoke to staff and parents about the many opportunities and investment that the government is making to support Pasifika success.

Talking together | Te Kōrerorero

This resource is our most recent in early learning. It promotes effective teaching practices so kaiako and kaimahi can strengthen how they support oral language development for tamariki.

The resource has two sections: 

  • Talk information – where you will find oral language progression, underpinning theories, monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual pathways. 
  • Talk tools – where you will find practical approaches and strategies for building oral languages. 

We keep talking about not leaving learning to chance, and oral language development is no exception. Please take the time to have a look at the online resource and see how this key document can support your service’s curriculum:

Te kōrerorero | Talking Together - Te Whāriki Online website(external link)

Remember to keep scanning at every possible opportunity.

Feel free to email me at ezra.schuster@education.govt.nz or call me on 07 349 8309 if there is anything you’d like to discuss.

Ia Manuia

Ezra Schuster
Director of Education Bay of Plenty – Waiariki
Phone: 07 349 8309
Mobile: 027 296 8196
Email: ezra.schuster@education.govt.nz

Hawke’s Bay | Tairāwhiti Regional News

Tēnā koutou e ngā rangātira. Nga mihi o te tau hou ki a koutou

Pacific Education

Sue Sauia, Lead Adviser Pacific Engagement, started in early May working with Pacific service providers, education providers, community groups and organisations supporting Pacific families to identify their education aspirations and supporting the building of stronger relationships with education.

Initially work has begun in some Hawkes Bay schools that do not currently have a Pacific education plan for their Pacific learners. Schools have reached out to Sue for support in getting this off the ground. Meetings with School principals and staff provided information on the Government’s Pacific Education Action Plan.

A few schools have voiced initial challenges of engaging with the families of their Pacific learners. Part of the Lead Adviser Pacific Engagement’s role is to broker relationships between education providers and the Pacific families/communities for the betterment of the Pacific students. Family Fono held obtained the voices of Pacific parents/caregivers about what they want to see in education for their children in their school community.

The Pacific Education Innovation Fund is a fund for projects developing innovative practices to meet Pacific learner wellbeing and curriculum needs. Projects funded included designing programmes and initiatives that specifically responded to the learning and wellbeing needs for Pacific learners and families with a focus on language, culture, and identity. One of our successful innovation fund applicants from Tranche 1, used funding to bring Aoga Amata early learning services in Hawke’s Bay together. They celebrated Samoan language week and put on a performance for their families and community. A few of our staff were fortunate to attend as guests and partook in traditional Samoan rituals.

Early learning services can contact Sue Sauia for information or support by emailing sue.sauia@education.govt.nz

Early Learning Curriculum Lead – Nui Beamsley

The Hawke’s Bay Tairāwhiti curriculum team of three staff are focused on guiding and supporting Kaiako/teachers to design great learning for ākonga. They have developed a three-step process of Karanga/Request, Kōrero/Discuss and Kōtahitanga /Collaborate to guide them in engaging with kaiako. Nui has started working in collaboration with early learning Kaiako/teachers to design great learning for ākonga in their services. If you are interested in receiving curriculum support/information you can email Curriculum.LeadHBT@education.govt.nz.

Special Grants

Playgroup Special Grant applications can be submitted all year round. Grants are for costs you can’t meet from your operational funding. Please give our Education Adviser Christine Single a call on 06 8336746 if you would like to discuss Playgroup Special Grants.

Incredible Years Parent Programmes

A new round of Incredible Years Parent programmes will start in Term 3 in Gisborne, Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay. This free programme is designed for parents and caregivers of tamariki aged 3 to 8 years to develop positive whānau relationships, empower parents to make change and to manage challenging behaviours. It’s delivered by trained facilitators in fun, weekly sessions - with a focus on building confidence and supporting parents to develop new skills to deal with behaviour which is causing stress in families.

For more information, please see the attached flyer [PDF, 958 KB]. Expressions of interest to the programme can be made by either the parent/caregiver or by others involved in supporting the whānau (with parent permission) by completing this form and sending it to one of our regional Ministry offices.

Upcoming SELO PLD opportunities

The following SELO funded professional learning and developed opportunities will be advertised in the coming months:

  • Child Protection Advocacy
    Facilitated by Eric Hollis, on 22 to 24 July 2021, information available at Upcoming Events | Sexual Abuse Education - Say NO! to sexual abuse. Bookings will be available later this month.
  • Teaching Standards, Professional Growth Cycle
    Making the Teaching Standards come alive: understanding them, practising them, and realising the relationship between professional practice and learning outcomes. Date to be confirmed.
  • Ngā Ara Whai Hua - Evaluation for Improvement
    Understanding Ngā Ara Whai Hua: Quality Framework for Evaluation and Improvement in 2020, the Education Review Office approach to evaluation in early learning services. Date in October to be confirmed.

Keep an eye out in your inbox for more information.

As always, please feel free to email me at daniel.murfitt@education.govt.nz or call me on 06 833 8475 if there is anything you’d like to discuss or if you have any good news stories you would like us to share.

Ngā manaakitanga

Daniel Murfitt
Director of Education Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti
Phone: 06 833 8475
Email: daniel.murfitt@education.govt.nz

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū Regional News

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa

Kia ora Koutou, welcome to this month’s bulletin. I hope you are keeping healthy and warm as we head to the shortest day of the year on 21 June 2021, signalling the welcome return of additional daylight.

Ministry of Education - Licensing Zoom Hui Date Changes

Last month we sent out information to services to join the TWM ECE Team to discuss a range of topics relating to the Licensing criteria, 2008. There has been a change of date, please see the new dates below. Invitations with zoom links will be sent closer to the time to all ECE services in the TWM region. We look forward to you joining us. 

Tuesday 15 June 2021, 7.00pm - 9.00pm: Children’s Act 2014:

  • GMA7A/GMA6A - Safety Checking, HS31 - Child Protection

Wednesday 30 June 2021, 7.00pm - 9.00pm: Record Keeping:

  • HS17 - Excursions, HS12 - Hazard and Risk Management

Thursday 15 July 2021, 7.00pm - 9.00pm: Record Keeping:

  • HS27 - Medical Assistance and Incident Management, HS28 - Medication Recording

Tuesday 27 July 2021, 7.00pm - 9.00pm:

  • Governance and Management for Community based services, committees, and boards

Wednesday 11 August 2021, 700pm - 9.00pm:

  • Feedback about the previous hui and requests for topics to be discussed in Term 3 2021

Playground and Equipment Safety in Early Learning Services 

As we move into the colder months, it is a good time to complete another regular check of your services premises and equipment to ensure they are safe and suitable for use by children.

Check that your indoor and outdoor items and surfaces, furniture, equipment, and materials are safe and suitable for their intended use. This will ensure that all items used by children are of a standard that is considered safe. Outdoor activity space must be safe, well-drained and suitably surfaced.

The Playground Equipment and Surfacing Standard (NZS5828:2015) is a tool that can be used to review outdoor playgrounds. The standard specifies general requirements for playground equipment and surfacing, and promotes and encourages playgrounds that are well-designed, well-constructed, well-maintained, innovative, and challenging. 

The standard can be purchased from Standards New Zealand(external link) and used to assess your equipment by yourself. If you don’t wish to purchase this standard, there are alternatives, such as engaging a playground safety expert.

Further information regarding Playgrounds(external link) that is relevant to your service can be found on our website. 

Professional Development Opportunity - Teacher Talk, Online 

Speech Language Therapists are delivering an online training session called Teacher Talk. It is for teachers in Taranaki working with children from 0-6 years in early childhood or school settings. You will learn research-based strategies for helping children build language, emergent literacy, and social skills. The strategies can be easily woven into everyday activities making language and literacy learning a fun and natural part of the day. The training commences on 10 August and runs online on Tuesdays for six weeks from 3.30pm to 6pm. To find out more information or register email jemma.bridge@education.govt.nz or maria.cunningham@education.govt.nz.

Feedback from Language Workshop 

Language workshops focusing on the recent Talking Together, Te Kōrerorero materials released to the sector have taken place in Stratford. These workshops were well attended and received positive feedback. Another workshop will be held in North Taranaki later in the year.

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 koutou

Hard to believe that we are so far into 2021 already. I realise that 2020 was a challenging (and tiring!) year for you all so I hope that 2021 is going well so far. My apologies that our regional content has not appeared in the past two Early Learning Bulletins – this was a technical issue and not a reflection of the importance of you as a sector!

In this issue I wanted to focus on our staff who work across early learning and what services we provide. As part of our leadership team we have Education Managers Annie Chenery, Lisa Rangiaho and Mandy Bird that have oversight of the Education Advisers who are your day to day relationship managers. Kayne Good, Manager Learning Support, oversees the Learning Support Service Managers and their staff that provide specialist learning support services such as early intervention, speech language and occupational therapy to name a few.

For our region, we have just under 22,000 children attending approximately 500 licensed early learning services that include organisations such as Kōhanga Reo, Playcentre Aotearoa, Kindergarten Associations and multiple large service providers. Our role in early learning is focused on increasing participation, regulating services, and improving the quality of provision. We also manage complaints we receive from parents, whānau and communities.

Aimee Richards - Staff Profile

Aimee RichardsKia ōrāna koutou. Ko Aimee Richards tōku ingoa. Ko Kuki Airani te enua. Nō Tongareva mai matou. Nō Te Awakairangi ahau. I am the Education Adviser Early Learning Pacific Services. This is a new role in the Ministry of Education, and I will be engaging with pacific early learning services in the Wellington Region to build trusted relationships that support the aspirations and goals of the services for their learners and the aspirations and goals of the families and communities. I am based in the Lower Hutt regional office and sit within the Porirua, Kapiti, Horowhenua regional team.

I have leadership experience in the early learning sector across a range of settings including my most recent role as a Visiting lecturer for Te Herenga Waka Victoria University. I have four children and enjoy outdoor sports including boating, fishing and fitness.

You can contact me at aimee.richards@education.govt.nz or call 04 463 Or 027 284 7078

Staff Contact Details May 2021

We’ve had a few movements and new staff start with us recently. If you have any early learning enquiries you can contact your Education Adviser. Updated contact details are provided for you below.

Education Team contact details:

Porirua/Kapiti/Horowhenua Area
Team Member Contact Details
Annie Chenery
Manager Education
Marnie Hainsworth
Lead Adviser
Tiffini Campbell
Curriculum Lead
Trina Maxwell
Senior Adviser - Licensing
Phone: 04- 439-5031
Mobile: 027-562-9048
Michelle Unuia
Senior Adviser – Licensing
Phone: 04-439-5044
Mobile: 027-205-8846
Aimee Williams
Senior Adviser – Pacific Services
Phone: 04 439-4672
Mobile: 027-284-7087
Kaya Grace
Adviser – Playgroups
Phone: 04-463-7021
Mobile: 027-886-2493
Anna Wysocki
Senior Support Officer
Phone: 04-463-7029
Lower Hutt/Wairarapa/Tararua Area
Team Member Contact Details
Mandy Bird
Manager Education
Angela Coutts
Senior Adviser – Licensing
Phone: 04-439-4629
Mobile: 027-801-6386
Sharee Ormond
Senior Adviser – Licensing
Phone: 04-439-4683
Mobile: 027-231-9232
Emma Barber
Senior Adviser – Licensing
Phone: 04-439-5090
Mobile: 027-247-4660
Doreen McKenzie
Adviser – Playgroups
Phone: 04-463-7033
Mobile: 027-886-2496
Wellington/Upper Hutt Area
Team Member Contact Details
Lisa Rangiaho
Manager Education
Julia Buckley
Senior Adviser – Licensing
Phone: 04-463-7027
Mobile: 027-886-2494
Tom O’Carroll
Senior Adviser – Licensing
Phone: 04-439-5021
Mobile: 027-224-2905
Doreen McKenzie
Adviser – Playgroups
Phone: 04-463-7033
Mobile: 027-886-2496

Retirement of Jim Greening

Some of you may know that Jim Greening, Education Manager for Porirua, Horowhenua, Māori Medium and Kāpiti has made the decision to retire. Jim’s last day with us was 12 May 2021.

Jim has had a distinguished career in education and has come a long way from his long-haired early teaching days on the West Coast!

Jim has been a principal of several primary schools, worked at Canterbury University, spent time in Minister’s offices, national office and most recently our regional office. He has been at the forefront of many educational initiatives and been there at some of the tricky times in New Zealand’s recent educational history. His calm, steady approach, voice of reason and smile (even when he is disagreeing with me!) has been truly appreciated. We will all miss Jim and we wish him and Prue all the best for the next chapter of their life in Taupō.

Ventilation in Early Learning Services

With winter ahead it is timely to be thinking about things you can be doing to keep the environment healthy for tamariki and staff during the colder months. Ventilation is important and is required even in cold, wet weather.

Thank you to our colleagues at Regional Public Health who have provided information around ventilation, which helps control the spread of infection in early learning environments.

Having natural or mechanical ventilation that allows fresh air to circulate is a requirement of licensing criterion PF12*. There must be adequate ventilation in every room in the centre that is used by children. Good ventilation is particularly important for sleep rooms, nappy change areas, bathrooms and rooms where unwell children are isolated and looked after temporarily.

Inadequate ventilation can result in a damp atmosphere and this allows infections to spread more easily and exacerbate asthma in children or staff. Without ventilation sleep rooms can become stuffy and airless and increase the risk of respiratory infections and glue ear.

Good ventilation and how to get it:

  • Have windows that open on opposite sides of the building – ventilation is still needed in cold, wet weather
  • If windows and doors cannot be opened due to poor weather conditions then mechanical ventilation is necessary
  • Ceiling fans help with air circulation. These can be reversible so that air can be either drawn up to the ceiling (good in summer to remove heat), or air pushed down (good in cold weather to circulate warm air).

If you want more information about providing healthy environments for your tamariki and staff, early childhood public health advisers for the greater Wellington region can be contacted on 027 8078544 or visit: Early childhood centres - Regional Public Health website(external link).

*PF12 regulation – ventilation (natural or mechanical) that allows fresh air to circulate (particularly in sanitary and sleep areas).

Urgent Response Fund (URF)

Thank you to all who applied for the Urgent Response Fund (URF). We have been really pleased to see the calibre of applications coming through and the ways that you’re supporting our tamariki. This fund came about following COVID-19. As shared previously we have now exhausted our regional allocation and are no longer accepting any further applications. In the next regional section of the Bulletin I will share with you an updated summary of the spread of spending across the region.

Roy Sye
Director of Education Wellington
Phone:04 4638668
Email: roy.sye@education.govt.nz

Te Hurihanganui | Nelson Regional News

Te Hurihanganui will support communities to work together to address racism and inequity so that they can accelerate the achievement and wellbeing of ākonga Māori and their whanau. Te Hurihanganui is about mobilising communities. It acknowledges that addressing racism and inequity is everybody’s responsibility; and that ākonga, whānau, hapū, iwi and communities have as much of a role to play as early learning services, schools and government policy makers.

Here in Nelson we are fortunate to be one of six communities chosen to engage in the kaupapa. The early childhood centres participating are:

  • Victory Square Kindergarten
  • Nelson South Kindergarten
  • Y Kids
  • Waimeha Kōhanga Reo
  • Nelson Central Kindergarten

To learn more follow the link: Te Hurihanganui – Education in New Zealand(external link)

Talking together | Te Kōrerorero Resource

Have you had an opportunity to look at this new resource designed to support kaiako in early learning services to foster oral language development in their tamariki? A hardcopy of the resource, including books, an oral language assessment tool and intentional teaching practice cards was sent to all early learning services and playgroups in March. A digital version can also be accessed online at Talking together | Te kōrerorero(external link).

Andrea Williams
Director of Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast
Phone: 04 4638686
Email: Andrea.Williams@education.govt.nz

Canterbury | Chatham Islands Regional News

Kia ora

I hope you enjoyed Queen’s Birthday weekend; with the shortest day approaching and the chilly weather around the country this is often a popular time for us to have a quick get-away, especially as it's the last public holiday before Labour Weekend in October.

Emergency closures

As you will also be aware, the Ministry of Education funds early childhood services when they are forced to close in emergency situations. This provision has been helpful for many services impacted by earthquakes and severe weather. Information about this is available in the ECE Funding Handbook(external link). If you are forced to close in an emergency please email us at ece.canterbury@education.govt.nz

At times, the ‘emergency’ may be short term and services are expected to manage these rather than close. Examples of short-term emergencies may be when the power or water is off, but you know that it will be back on in a very short time frame. In many of these situations it is possible for the service to continue to operate by putting some short-term measures into place. If you wish to discuss whether your service can continue to operate, please contact your Education Adviser in our office.

Traumatic incidents

When a traumatic incident impacts on an early learning service’s community, the way it is managed strongly influences people’s recovery and can limit further risk. Services that have experienced traumatic incidents – such as accidental or non-accidental child or staff death or severe injury, or major loss of property – will understand the impact and know how important it is to have good procedures in place to manage the situation.

When a traumatic incident occurs, it can be a time of great confusion and yet it is a time when important decisions must be made quickly as events unfold. The Ministry of Education has a Traumatic Incident team trained to support early learning organisations to manage incidents. If you need support, please call 0800 TI TEAM (0800 848 326). This number will ensure you reach the right person to support you during or after hours. For further information please see our website.

Emergencies and traumatic incidents(external link)

Children enrolled in school may not attend an early childhood service

Some early learning services have previously provided care for 5 year old children over school term breaks. While children may remain enrolled in an early learning service up until they turn 6 years, once they have enrolled in a school they may no longer attend a licensed service. Early learning services can offer out of school care, but this can only occur in spaces not part of the licensed space or at times that the service does not operate.

There are exceptions for the children of the persons providing education and care in home-based services.

If you have any questions about this, please contact us at ece.canterbury@education.govt.nz.

Staff changes

Rachael Steans has joined us in a secondment role as an education adviser covering for Mary Forristal who is currently on maternity leave. Rachael has a vast experience as a leader in the early learning sector and we are pleased to have her join our whānau at the Ministry.

Early learning participation project

Twice a year the Aranui Community Trust run an Under 5s Play Day funded by The Ministry of Education. This morning is a cost-free event designed to promote early learning within the Aranui community and surrounding suburbs.

Our first Under 5s Play Day for 2021 was held on the 25 March at The Aranui Wainoni Community Centre from 10am-12pm. We merged with AKO Playgroup which have amazing interactive educational activities for children and their caregivers to enjoy. We invited Pony Parties who provided a petting zoo and pony rides for our tamariki.

We provide information and promote all our amazing early learning services in our community. We offer support to parents and caregivers to get children enrolled into early learning, so when they reach primary school, they have the best start possible to begin their education journey.

HIPPY came and provided activities and also spoke to parents about their in-home education programme and how it compliments and benefits their children before starting school.

The children all enjoyed a fun filled morning with their friends and families and 4 potential enrolments for the future!

Huge thank you to The Ministry of Education for all the support to the Aranui Community.

Enjoy this month’s Bulletin.

Child riding a pony

Futures Network

Please note that all meetings of this network will be held in the Ministry of Education Conference Room (ground floor), Te Ureti, corner Hereford St and Cambridge Terrace.

Dates for the second half of 2021 are:
Tuesday 8 June, 9.30am – 11.30am
Tuesday 14 September, 9.30 – 11.30am
Tuesday 16 November, 9.30 – 11.30am

The closest public parking is the West End parking building – entry via Cashel St. There are also council owned public parking buildings in Lichfield St and at the Art Gallery with the first hour free (check that this offer is still available).

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

Otago, Southland Regional News

Kia ora koutou and warm Pasifika greetings

It has been good to see the range of programmes and activities that many of you have been able to implement with the use of the Urgent Response Funding. Now that this allocation is finished, we will send out a summary of how the fund was spent and the distributed across early learning and our geographic regions. Looking to the next 12 months please complete the SELO review survey below so we can learn about what has been most helpful for you as well as inform opportunities moving forward. I hope you can join us at one of the coming NELP workshops and I look forward to catching up with you then.

National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) and Ka Hikitia Workshops

Later this month we are running a series of workshops across the region about the NELP and linking them with Ka Hikitia and Te Whāriki. Thank you to those that have responded already.

To give further context these workshops are designed to support your own planning around considering Ka Hikitia and Te Whāriki, within the context of the National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP).

At the workshop we will:

  • Provide a framework that outlines how Ka Hikitia and Te Whāriki aligns with the NELP and the wider education work programme
  • Unpack Ka Hikitia – by looking at the pou within this framework and using a strengths-based approach to identify what is currently happening to support Māori ākonga and identify what your next steps are
  • Share tools that may be helpful to unpack the NELP – which will also cover off a range of other education work programme initiatives
  • Share ideas about what is already happening across services, to help give some practical ideas about ‘how’

This will be an interactive, practical session, designed to link together key work and provide optional tools to help you in your planning.

Date Time Town Venue
17 June 2021 4:00pm to 6:00pm Dunedin Ministry of Education Office, 414 Moray Place
29 June 2021 1:30pm to 3:30pm Invercargill TBC
07 July 2021 3:00pm to 5:00pm Cromwell TBC

Thank you to those that have responded already. If you would like to attend, please email marie.ilian@education.govt.nz and let her know which session you would like to attend. We will advise of venues as soon as we have a good indication of numbers – please note that this may mean we also change the Dunedin venue. Materials to look at and further information will be provided to those that register, in due course.

Mataara – emergency contact tool

The recent flooding in Canterbury and in some isolated parts of our region is a good reminder about the importance of keeping emergency contact details for your service updated. If these have changed, please let your Education Adviser know so we can ensure our records are updated.

In the event of an emergency, or pending emergency that affects an area, we will use Mataara, our emergency contact tool, to send a quick text to check your status. In many instances an email will also be sent to the emergency contact email address. Later this term we will run another test, to get you familiar with the process and check that you receive the message from us. More information will be sent out ahead of the message being sent.

In the meantime, further information about Mataara and emergency preparedness in general can be found on our website.

Preparing for emergencies, traumatic incident, evacuations and lockdowns(external link)

Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) for 2021-2022 Otago/Southland region

Last month we noted that an expression of interest will be sent to you soon regarding upcoming professional learning and development opportunities for early learning services in our region. The first step in that process is through surveying those that participated in SELO over the last year, and seeking their views about what aspects were most helpful and how they have been able to incorporate that learning into their practice.

Your feedback is important in determining what SELO delivery is of value for the future, so we appreciate your response. If you did attend one of these programmes, you should have received an email from your Education Adviser last week. I would like to reiterate that the purpose of this is to inform our planning, and we will not be sharing your comments further.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss any issues or ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ngā mihi mahana

Julie Anderson
Director of Education Otago-Southland
Direct dial: 03 471 5217
Mobile: 027 836 4846
Email: julie.anderson@education.govt.nz

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