Early Learning Regional News – April 2019

Regional News / General News / Other News updates for April 2019 from the Directors of Education for each Ministry of Education region.

Tai Tokerau regional news

Tai Tokerau regional news

He mihi aroha tēnei i tēnei wā ki ngā aituā, ngā mate I hinga I ngā mahi kino I tau ki runga o Otautahi. Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui. Mā te Atua koutou e manaaki, e tiaki.

Kia kaha Christchurch – we are with you

Kia kaha Christchurch - stage at the televised Christchurch memorial service

“We are broken-hearted but we are not broken” – these words spoken by Imam Gamal Fouda epitomised the very heart of a nation trying to come to terms with the atrocities and devastation that occurred in Christchurch on 15 March.

Peace vigils and events were held across the country and around the world. United in solidarity, an unprecedented outpouring of love and support went to Christchurch and the Muslim community.

We pay respects to the First Responders and to our colleagues and partner agencies in Christchurch as they continue to support the recovery phase whilst in the midst of tragic circumstances. 

Tips for parents and centres – helping children stay connected and recover well

E Tū Otangarei – Children’s Day

The community of Otangarei, led by the Te Hauawhiowhio Trust, hosted the E Tū Otangarei Children’s Day in March. It was an amazing day full of fun, laughter, games, activities and kai, aimed at showing our tamariki how special they really are. Over 300 members of the community and their children attended and it was supported by a number of organisations who are currently working in the community and with the whānau of Otangarei.

Te Manawa Tahi Learning Support Hub is up and running in the heart of Otangarei and this was another great opportunity to strengthen our whanaungatanga and the existing relationship with the community of Otangarei.

Ministry of Education resources at the Otangarei Children’s Day stand
Otangarei Children’s Day attendees

Professional development programmes available to early learning services in Te Tai Tokerau

To help with the forward planning for your teams, the following table lists some of the professional development programmes on offer. Contact the person listed below for further information.

Programme Provider Available
Detail Contact
(Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities)
MoE selected providers All ECE services In-depth professional development designed specifically for new services, in response to ERO reports, services facing at-risk situations, and/or services wanting support to provide quality early learning. Sacha Cherrington
SELO 2 MoE selected providers All ECE services Professional development provided to clusters of early learning services with a focus on identity, language, culture and community. Sacha Cherrington
SELO 3 MoE selected providers All ECE services Professional development provided to clusters of early learning services with a focus on specific curriculum areas. Sacha Cherrington
(Oral Language and Literacy Initiative)
MoE staff Selected ECE services A programme that works with teachers/kaiako to successfully support children’s oral language and early literacy development. There is a particular focus on 3 and 4 year old children. Michaela Hutchinson
Expanding Behaviour Project MoE staff in partnership with other providers Selected ECE services An investment in behaviour and wellbeing support for 0 to 8 year olds. This programme is used to support children up to the age of 8 with behaviour needs and/or their whanau, teachers, ECEs or schools to promote pro-social behaviour and increase wellbeing. Jozsef Ekart
Hanen: It Takes Two To Talk MoE Speech Language Therapists Parents, ECE educators A course for parents of young children (birth to 5 years of age) who have been identified as having a language delay. In a small personalised group setting, parents learn practical strategies to help their children learn language naturally throughout their day together. Tony Hassan
Hanen: More Than Words MoE Speech Language Therapists Parents, ECE educators Designed specifically for parents of children aged 5 and under on the autism spectrum and with other social communication difficulties. Addresses the unique needs of these children, and it provides parents with the tools, strategies and support they need to help their children reach their full communication potential. Tony Hassan
Hanen: Learning Language and Loving It MoE Speech Language Therapists ECE educators Designed to provide early childhood educators with practical strategies for helping all children in the classroom to build language and social skills, no matter what their learning and communication styles are and even if they have special needs. Tony Hassan
IYT – Incredible Years teachers MoE/RTLB & MoE selected providers All ECE services Professional development for teachers/kaiako to support behaviour management for 3 to 8 year olds. (6 days over 6 months) Eileen Turner
IYP – Incredible Years Parents MoE &
MoE selected providers
All ECE services 14 week programme for parents/caregivers of children aged between 3 to 8 years old with challenging behaviours. Eileen Turner
IY Autism MoE staff Parents of children aged 2-5 on the autism spectrum 14 weekly sessions. Eileen Turner
Implementation of Te Whariki 2017 CORE Education Selected ECE services Te Whāriki 2017. Getting moving beyond awareness and into action. Jane Ewens


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

Auckland regional news

Tenā koutou

Traumatic incident support

Our thoughts continue to be with the Christchurch community after the devastating events that took place on Friday 15 March. This has had a significant impact on communities in our region as well, and we have been working with early learning services, schools and kura who have requested and required our support.

Our Traumatic Incident Team are available to provide expert advice and guidance to support you as needed. The contact number for the Traumatic Incidents service is 0800 848 326.

I would like to acknowledge the skill and care that you have exercised during this difficult time to support your staff, your tamariki, and your wider community. Please ensure that you are also taking care of yourselves, and accessing any support that you may need so you are able to continue to offer strong leadership support to your community.

Measles in Auckland

There have been 12 confirmed cases of measles in Auckland so far this year, as well as further confirmed cases in other parts of New Zealand. The Auckland Region Public Health Service have created a Factsheet for Early Learning Services and we recommend you access this document, share relevant advice with whananu, and familiarise yourself with the advice.

Factsheet: Measles information for Early Learning Services [PDF, 301KB](external link)

Please note:

  • Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very serious.
  • It’s important to know the immunisation status of your staff and children so you’re aware who may be at risk of the disease, and be vigilant in watching for symptoms. Now is a good time to check that your immunisation register is up to date.
  •  There are also measles outbreaks around the world at the moment. With school holidays coming up, some families may be travelling – please refer to the travel advice below.

You will need to take appropriate action if a child or staff member is suspected of having measles, or has been in close contact with someone with measles.

For more information please see the relevant licensing criteria for your service type:

Further information is available:

Incredible Years Parent Programme, Grey Lynn, 30 April to 27 August

Incredible Years is a series of programmes for teachers and parents that are intended to reduce challenging behaviours in children and to increase their social and self-control skills.

The Incredible Years Parenting programme acknowledges that parenting is one of the most important jobs adults can do. The programme aims to encourage positive family relationships and provides:

  • practical step-by-step suggestions for parents of 3 to 8 year olds to help manage everyday family situations
  • an encouraging and supportive learning environment
  • strategies to help parents manage challenging behaviour
  • learning strategies to manage problem behaviour
  • support to develop strategies to build positive relationships with your children.

The course involves attending 14 sessions, meeting once a week for 2 hours. Participants are welcome to bring a partner, close friend or relative along with them.

This programme is free of charge and runs from 30 April to 27 August 2019, excluding school holidays, 11 June and 23 July.

Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Venue: Grey Lynn Community Centre

If you know a family that would benefit from this course please invite them to contact:

Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019

Ka mau te wehi! Congratulations to Tāmaki Makaurau’s Ngā Tumanako who were the prestigious winners of Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019. This is a superb reflection on the quality of our graduates from Te Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori and ultimately Te Aho Matua. You can watch their performance via the link below.

Mass welcome ahead for Ngā Tūmanako, Tāmaki rohe – Māori Television(external link)

Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019 – Māori Television(external link)

Ngā Tumanako Performance – Māori Television(external link)

There is also a TV series that follows Ngā Tumanako and their preparation for Te Matatini available at the link below.

Haka life – Māori Television(external link)

Here at the Ministry we are very proud of our colleague Atarangi Putamainu who is part of the Kapahaka Roopū. We are also very pleased to share that Te Matatini 2021 will be held in Tāmaki Makaurau at Eden Park.

Polyfest 2019

The secondary schools Māori and Pacific Islands cultural festival, Auckland Polyfest, took place last month. Although it was disappointing that the weekend events were cancelled, the first few days of the event were fantastic. Polyfest is the largest Pacific secondary schools festival in the world. It provides a platform for Auckland secondary schools to showcase their cultural identity and heritage through dance, song and speech.

The theme for Polyfest 2019 was Koropupu te toto o te moana i ahau, koia ko toku oranga, toku whare wananga, toku pouarahi, ko au ko te mauri o te moana, ko te mauri o te moana ko au | the blood of the ocean flows through me, my sustenance, my nest of higher learning, my navigator. I am the living essence of the ocean, the living essence of the ocean is me.

This year the Ministry sponsored the Pacific Speech Competition to help strengthen language learning. The competition is communicated in 4 Pacific languages: Samoan, Tongan, Niuean and Cook Islands Māori. We provided 2 topics for each junior and senior student groups to compete in – you can read the topics on the webpage below.

2019 Ministry of Education Pacific Speech Competition - ASB Polyfest website(external link)

Polyfest is an important platform to build strong oratory skills for students to speak using their native tongue on current education topics with connections to their Pacific heritage, engaging families and their communities on their cultural knowledge and expertise. Four Ministry staff were on the judging panels and were absolutely blown away by the energy and the quality of the student’s performances.

Creating a New Success – Kāhui Ako and School Leaders Forum

Our Kāhui Ako Lead Advisors and other staff recently took up the opportunity to join with school leaders from all over Auckland. They engaged with Charles Fadel, global education leader and Harvard scholar, about ‘Relevant Learning Competencies for Better Futures’.

Participants were encouraged to consider the following questions:

  • What will the world be like 20 years from now? 
  • What will our children need to be successful in that world?
  • How should we readjust content, pedagogical and learner focus?
  • What are the responsibilities of teachers, students and parents in learning?
Ministry staff attending the recent Kāhui Ako and School Leaders Forum
Ministry staff enjoying the recent Kāhui Ako and School Leaders Forum.

Fadel shared a model that encompasses what will be required of workers in the future in terms of knowledge, character and skills. The model has been proposed in response to the current disconnect between employers and educators. He argues that there is an urgency for us to redefine what matters most and then teach it with a focus on concepts, not topics.

The discussions that took place between those school leaders who attended the day was insightful and inspiring, and showed that the New Zealand Curriculum with its cultural connectedness and local flavour creates a strong platform for 21st century learning.

Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) special offer for teachers and support workers in April 2019

MOTAT is celebrating our valued education professionals by offering free general admission to teachers throughout April 2019. This offer is extended to all New Zealand registered teachers, lecturers and support workers plus their families who visit the museum any time in April. This is the museum’s way of giving a little something back to those who help support our children through their dedicated service. Terms, conditions and more information are available on the MOTAT website.

Free MOTAT Family Pass Entry for Teachers throughout April 2019 - MOTAT website(external link)

Mā te wā

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

Waikato regional news 

He hōnore, he kōroria, he whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa. Pai Mārire.
E rere ana ngā mihi ki a rātou kua mene ki te pō. Moe mai, moe mai, moe mai koutou.
Me hoki mai ki a tātou ngā kanohi ora
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Showcasing early learning

As with many of our services, Whenuakite Country Kids in the Coromandel Peninsula put together a submission for the Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning.

Parents and whānau were strongly encouraged to have their input into the plan. This resulted in a comprehensive, collaborative response that the service shared widely, including with the Minister of Education and local MPs. The service was subsequently visited by MPs Jan Tinetti and Scott Simpson, both of whom were treated to an afternoon of play-based learning alongside children and teachers.

Centre supervisor Trish Robbins said: “We introduced Scott and Jan to the children and gave them the opportunity to take part in their play-based learning. The MPs were able to talk to teachers and parents who explained how the service benefits their children. Both MPs got very involved with the children’s activities and spent a great deal of time with us. We were delighted to have them stay so long and the children showed pride, confidence and a strong sense of belonging in showing the MPs their centre”.

Children from Whenuakite Country Kids playing in a boat docked on land
Children from Whenuakite Country Kids showing off their early learning service to visiting MPs.

Consultations in 2019

Although consultation for the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning has now closed, there are still a number of other consultations happening this year which I encourage you to look at. Please see the Education Conversation website for the latest information on the different consultations.

Education Work Programme Overview - Education Conversation website(external link)

Lockdown procedures 

All early learning services need to be prepared and know how to manage an emergency or traumatic incident before it occurs. This involves ensuring that your service has an up-to-date emergency plan. Planning and preparation are critical steps to ensure that services are equipped to deal with an emergency or traumatic incident. It is also critical that emergency response readiness is embedded and regularly reviewed. Lockdown procedures must be considered as part of the services emergency plan. Extensive guidance to help you plan and prepare has been produced by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

Early Childhood Education Centres - Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management website(external link)

Safe practices for young children while eating

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health provide guidance on safe practices for young children while eating. This includes supervising children at all times while they are eating and how to minimise risks around choking. Please ensure that all adults at your service are familiar with the guidance.

Supervision while eating – centre based services

Supervision while eating – home-based services

Playgroup funding

The 2019 Playgroup Operational Funding round (PG3) is now open and available through the Education Resourcing System (ERS). By now you will have been set up with access to the ERS and you can log in at the link below to complete your funding before 26 April 2019.

Education Sector (ERS) website(external link)

Before you start the request process make sure you:

  • have your bank account number – you will need to check we have the details correct
  • have your attendance records for the last 10 weeks – you will need to enter this information into the request
  • know the dates you will not be operating in the upcoming funding period – you will need to know how many sessions you plan to run.

We have created a number of resources to help you use ERS, including a learning module and FAQs.

Playgroup Funding - Education Services (ERS) website(external link)

Professional development

After consulting with our network cluster groups throughout the Waikato region we have been busy working on a range of exciting professional development opportunities. These opportunities will be offered in the coming months. They include workshops/seminars on child protection, governance management and administration, improving quality, local histories that support the embedding of identity language and culture, and home-based education. Also available are a range of symposiums to be held in different Waikato locations. Keep an eye out for invitations that will be sent from the SELO providers and enrol directly with them.

Noho ora mai

Paula Rawiri
Director of Education Waikato
Phone: 07 850 8924
Email: paula.rawiri@education.govt.nz

Bay of Plenty – Waiariki regional news

Kia ora and talofa lava

Children’s safety

Children’s safety and wellbeing are paramount and it is very important our early learning services are able to protect their children. The events that occurred last month gave us good reason to review all aspects of lockdown. A national review has begun and the outcome of this will be available in time. We expect the review will help inform appropriate advice to all schools and early learning services. In the meantime, you can find helpful information on our website via the links below:

Tips for parents and educators: Supporting children and young people

HS7 Emergency plan and supplies

Welcome to our new ECE Senior Advisor

Wendy McNamara, Senior ECE Advisor 

We would like to introduce a new member of our team, Wendy McNamara. Wendy is an experienced Education Advisor for the Ministry of Education. She comes to us with over 10 years’ experience in the education sector as a Centre Leader and Manager and has extensive experience in leading large teaching teams. She is passionate about working with teachers, whānau and communities to understand and implement high-quality teaching practices. Wendy is based in the Tauranga office.

Children’s Day celebrations

New Zealand officially celebrated Children’s Day on Sunday 3 March 2019. We were delighted to see some of the different events and celebrations that occurred around the Bay of Plenty. Two of our rural services in particular shared snippets of their events with us:

  • On Friday 1 March, Murupara Educare celebrated Children’s Day. They invited whanau, community members, and other nearby services to their centre for a day of activities, kai, singing and dancing.
  • Eastbay REAP celebrated over the whole weekend. On Saturday 2 March they held an event in Kawerau, followed by a Sunday event in Opotiki. Both days were extremely successful for the Eastern Bay of Plenty rural communities. People of all ages turned up to celebrate the occasion.
Parents and tamariki sitting on grass making large dream catchers
Parents and tamariki are making large dream catchers.
Children decorating their cookies
From left: Kylie-Joe, Manuruhi and Maya decorating their cookies.

Eastbay REAP Sea Week 2019

Children with adult in Ohiwa Harbour for Eastbay REAP celebrations

Eastbay REAP celebrated Sea Week at Ohiwa Harbour from Tuesday 5 March through to Friday 8 March. Throughout the week nearly 400 tamariki and their whānau enjoyed and explored the wonders of our ocean and foreshore. Tamariki were able to experience and participate in experiments, ocean stories, catching crabs and making fishing lines. Everyone enjoyed the perfect weather. Eastbay REAP were extremely proud of the turnout, as were we.


Early learning PLD opportunities

Funding and Financial Matters seminars – for managers, owners and administrators (limited spaces). These seminars are being funded through SELO so there is no charge for attendees. They are being facilitated by Susi Shaw of EC Management Solutions.

Date Where Time Where
Wednesday 1 May Tauranga 9am–4pm Ministry of Education Tauranga Office
132 First Avenue
(Cnr First Avenue & Cameron Road)
Thursday 2 May Whakatane 9am–4pm Ministry of Education Whakatane Office
22 Louvain Street
Wednesday 29 May Rotorua 9am–4pm Ministry of Education Rotorua Office
Level 3, 1144 Pukaki Street

For more information and/or registration details please email Susi Shaw: susi@ecmanagement.co.nz.

Licensing – what’s on top?


The Ministry takes complaints seriously. Along with their education and care, the health and safety of every child attending an early learning service or kōhanga reo is of the highest importance. The Ministry will contact the Service Provider if an official complaint has been brought forward. A timely process will be followed to ensure the best outcomes for all children.

Incident notification

Where there is a serious injury or illness or incident involving a child while at the service that is required to be notified to a specified agency, the Service Provider must also notify the Ministry of Education at the same time.

HS34 Incident notification to the Ministry of Education


For all teacher-led centre-based services, at least 50% of the staff must have an early childhood education teaching qualification that is recognised by the Education Council. Visit our website for more information about meeting qualification requirements.

Qualification requirements

If you have any further queries about any licensing requirements please contact our Education Advisors:


Congratulations to Whakamarama and Districts Kindergarten which received a Category 4 – Very Well Placed ERO report recently.

If there is anything you would like to discuss, or if you have an issue you want to talk about, please contact me on 07 349 8309 or by email at ezra.schuster@education.govt.nz.

La 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

Director’s message

Unbelievable how quickly the year is speeding by, daylight saving has ended and the days are getting a bit cooler. Hopefully you have enjoyed the Easter break and had the opportunity to recharge and enjoy time with family and friends.

We were fortunate to have recently had a visit to our Napier Office by our Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted. She updated us on the progress with the government work programme, including He taonga te tamaiti, the Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning. The consultation feedback is now being carefully considered and we look forward to hearing what the final decisions will be.

During Iona’s visit, Cherreen Exeter and her team were able to share new systems and processes being developed within our region to support quality in early learning services – and Iona was very impressed! This reinforced how lucky we are to have such a committed and knowledgeable ECE Team in the Hawke’s Bay | Tairāwhiti region.

SELO PLD opportunity

Communication for Connection

A 2-day workshop facilitated by Filipa Hope based on Non-Violent Communication (NVC).

When: Saturday 4 May 2019 and Sunday 5 May 2019
Time: 9am–4pm
Venue: Scallywaggs Kindergarten, Russell Street, Waipukurau, Central Hawke’s Bay

Registrations are limited but you can email Filipa Hope to register: filipahope@gmail.com.

Public health notice

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s (DHB) public health service is supporting a number of early learning services in Napier and Hastings with outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting amongst children and staff.

If an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness is suspected, public health urges early learning service management staff to get in contact with its Health Protection Team at Hawke’s Bay DHB. Please call the Public Health Unit on 06 834 1815 and ask for the duty Health Protection Officer.

An outbreak should be notified if there is a rise in the number of children or staff absent with similar symptoms. While an outbreak can start with just 2 children or staff sick with the same symptoms, as a guide we would recommend getting in contact if more than 5-10% of children or staff become sick within a short period of time.

As well as notifying public health it is very important that:

  1. Staff, parents, and caregivers are notified that an outbreak is occurring at the service.
  2. Sick children and staff stay away from the service until symptom free for at least 48 hours.
  3. There should be an increased focus on hand hygiene, with the use of hand sanitiser encouraged when arriving at or leaving the service.
  4. An enhanced cleaning schedule is implemented using a diluted bleach solution.

The Health Protection Team will work with you to limit the spread of illness within the facility and the wider community.

At the same time you notify the Health Protection Team at the Hawke’s Bay DHB please also notify the Ministry of Education. Please call the Napier Office on 06 833 6730 and ask to speak to a member of the Early Learning Team. This is a requirement of our licensing criteria.

Centre-based: HS34 – Incident Notification
Home-based: HS33 – Incident Notification
Kōhanga reo: HS34 – Incident Notification
Playgroups: HS12 – Incident notification

Roy Sye
Director of Education Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti
Phone: 06 833 6898
Email: roy.sye@education.govt.nz

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū regional news

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa

Response to Christchurch mosque attacks

I would like to thank early learning services and staff for supporting our children, young people and their whānau following the horrific events in Christchurch last month.

We have received a number of enquiries about lockdown procedures following these tragic events. It is timely for early learning services to review your emergency plan to ensure you are well placed to manage emergency situations.

You can find more information about preparing for emergencies and traumatic incidents on our website. If you require further support please contact your Education Advisor.

Emergencies and traumatic incidents

Local Ministry offices

Traumatic incidents

In the event of a traumatic incident, we are available to work closely with your early learning service to support you to manage the incident and assist you to continue your day-to-day operations.

Traumatic incidents have been broadly defined as events that:

  • cause sudden and/or significant disruption to the operation or effective operation of an early learning service, school and/or community
  • have the potential to affect a large number of children, young people and/or staff
  • create significant dangers or risks to the physical and emotional well-being of children, young people or persons within a community
  • attract media attention or a public profile for the early learning service or school as a result of these incidents.

Our Traumatic Incident Team can be contacted any time on 0800 848 326.

Incredible Years parent programme

This 14 week programme is for parents of children aged 3 years and under 8 years. It is designed to provide parents with skills to better manage children’s behaviour such as aggressiveness, ongoing tantrums and hitting. The next round of programmes start in July/August in the Manawatū and Whanganui area.

For further information or to register contact Di Thomas from the Ministry of Education on 06 350 9859 or email di.thomas@education.govt.nz.

Incredible Years teacher programme

This programme is for registered teachers or kaiako of 3-5 year olds with a Tino Rangatiratanga Whakapakari Tohu qualification. The programme is designed to build teachers’ confidence and competence in positive behaviour management. It also aims to promote children’s social behaviour, emotional regulation and decrease non-compliance and aggression. The next programme will be starting in June in Palmerston North. Information about the programme with dates of the 6-monthly workshops will be sent to managers of all early childhood centres and kohanga in the area at the end of April.

For further information or to register contact Di Thomas on 06 350 9859 or email di.thomas@education.govt.nz.

Staffing updates

We have recently said farewell to Wendy McNamara from our Early Learning Education Advisor Team. She has been based in the New Plymouth Office for the past 2 years and will be greatly missed by us all. Wendy takes up her new role within the Ministry of Education based in the Bay of Plenty region, continuing her role in the early learning sector.

We are pleased to welcome Sarah Brindle into our team. She has been appointed as an Education Advisor and will be based in the Palmerston North Office. More information including contact details will be provided for Sarah in our next Bulletin publication.

Communicating with the ECE Team

This is a reminder that we have an email address that you can use to communicate with the Education Advisors across our region. Information or requests can be sent to ece.twm@education.govt.nz.

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

Ngā mihi

Jann Marshall
Director of Education Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū
Phone: 06 349 6352
Mobile: 021 229 7685
Email: jann.marshall@education.govt.nz

Wellington regional news

Kia ora

Director’s message

Over the last 4 weeks, following the events in Christchurch, everyone is mindful of the need to keep connected with one another. The care and support between colleagues and organisations has been tremendous. I wish to thank you all for the service you provide daily to the families and children who may have been affected.

We received many calls for support and information and we were able to visit and organise appropriate levels of support for you and your services. If there is any continuing need or concern please contact us.

During times like this, it is important that the information we hold for you and your service is up to date. Please notify us if you have had any changes at all regarding staffing or contact details. This information should be sent through to your Senior Advisor who will update your details in our systems.

There are also a number of reviews underway at the moment, so it is really a busy time for everyone. It is great to see the exciting things happening in services around the region and to see more and more becoming engaged in their local Kāhui Ako. We look forward to working with you in these collaborations.

Welcome to Pasifika Poly Playgroup

Children playing together at Pasifika Poly Playgroup

Thank you to Vini Iosua who provided this article about the newly certificated playgroup located in the Koraunui Community Hub in Stokes Valley.

The Pasifika Poly Playgroup’s focus is to attract and engage Pacific families and fanau in a vast multi-cultural programme, which promotes diversity by the use of Pacific languages. This group was created and designed to welcome all families and their children to the new unique Pasifika Poly Playgroup.

The playgroup recently hosted a Sports Wellington workshop at the Koraunui Community Hub on Wednesday 20 March. This workshop demonstrated a variety of new and exciting sports equipment that the children thoroughly loved playing with. The most popular items of choice the children liked were the tunnel options, scooter boards and throwing in buckets. During that time we observed that this equipment offered the fundamental aspects of movement the playgroup aims to achieve.

The Bee Healthy Regional Dental Service also came to support the day. The workshop had a great turnout, and was a collaborative learning environment while having fun like one big fanau.

For more information on the Pasifika Poly Playgroup email Vini Iosua at vini.iosua@huttcity.govt.nz.

Professional development opportunities for playgroups

Look out for an invitation to upcoming workshops that will be available over the next few months to all playgroups in the Wairarapa and Tararua regions. This is an opportunity to come together with other playgroup leaders, gain programme support and learn about the key changes to the revised Te Whāriki Curriculum (2017). These workshops will also be a great opportunity to build a network with others in your community.

Please email Julia Buckley at julia.buckley@education.govt.nz if you would like further information.

Kym Hill – staff profile

Kym Hill, Senior ECE Advisor

Tēnā koutou katoa
Nō Kotirana me Airani ōku tīpuna
Ko Henderson me Conroy ngā hapū
Ko Hill tōku ingoa-whānau
Ko Kym ahau
Nō Ōtepoti ahau
Kei Te Whanga-nui-a-tara taku kāinga noho
Nō reira
Tēnā rā tātou katoa, ngā mihi mahana ki a tātou.

Kia ora. My name is Kym Hill and I am a Senior ECE Advisor for the Ministry of Education based in the Lower Hutt Office, Wellington. I am from Dunedin and have over 30 years of experience working in the early childhood profession. I also have experience across the sector in New Zealand and abroad in China and Japan.

I work across the Porirua, Kāpiti and Horowhenua areas, supporting services with licensing, SELO and advice about all aspects of early childhood education, to support achievement for children across service providers. I am passionate about curriculum and assessment for learning, infant and toddler pedagogies, and how to enable the learning environment for engagement and bicultural curriculum. My relationships with the sector are paramount, working together towards a shared understanding of partnership for the best learning opportunities for children and families.

You can contact me on kym.hill@education.govt.nz or call me on 04 439 5014.

Erika Ross
Director of Education for Wellington
Phone: 04 463 8668
Mobile: 027 509 0430
Email: erika.ross@education.govt.nz

Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast regional news

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

On behalf of our region I would like to pass on our thoughts and support to all involved in the recent events in Christchurch. I would also like to thank you for supporting the children and young people in your early learning service during this sad and challenging time. The recovery and wellbeing advice on our website is a useful source of information to support your early learning service in this important role.

Recovery and wellbeing advice

Pacific PowerUP programme

Congratulations to the Nelson Tasman Pasifika Community Trust on the successful launch of the Pacific PowerUP programme in the Nelson region this month. This is a community education programme supporting families with children aged 0 to 18 to work with early learning services and schools towards positive educational achievement for Pacific learners.

The programme runs based at Nelson Central School for 10 sessions over the year. The sessions are from 6pm to 8pm and include a light meal. Each session is designed to support parent understanding and engagement with schools, early learning services and their children’s learning. It covers topics such as NCEA, career pathways and the importance of ECE.

Please encourage families in your early learning service to attend. For further information and registrations, please contact Hayley or Tania from the Nelson Tasman Pasifika Community Trust.

Attendees at the launch of the PowerUp programme in Nelson
From left to right: Tania Alesana, Hayley Veatupu and Apitoni Filiai at the launch of the PowerUP programme in Nelson

If you are a registered teacher please consider supporting the PowerUp programme. This can provide you with an opportunity to:

  • work with Pacific families, to make friends and valuable personal connections
  • develop your Pacific cultural competencies under the Tapasā Cultural Competencies Framework.

What is required from you? A commitment to 1-2 workshops as a registered teaching expert to support learning in an area of your choosing.

Kāhui Ako update

The Piritahi Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako in Marlborough has welcomed 12 new early learning services to join one of the largest Communities of Learning in New Zealand. Currently they have a total membership of 21 schools, one tertiary institution, the RTLB service, and now 18 early learning services. The collective of early learning services have agreed to collaborate and share their expertise across the Marlborough community, supporting Piritahi’s ‘Teaching and Learning Framework’, to:

  • strengthen teacher and leadership capability
  • develop a shared understanding to support student and staff hauora
  • support community, iwi and Māori student engagement
  • support students transitional pathways between early learning services and schools.

Marlborough principals have welcomed this enthusiastic group of early learning services. This is an opportunity to further develop the profiles of students before receiving them at primary school. It is enabling them to provide more effective teaching and learning opportunities to meet individual student needs.

Targeted Assistance for Participation Stream 2 (TAP 2) grants

Please note that the current opportunity to apply for TAP 2 will close on 30 April 2019. This is national funding to contribute towards establishing new quality services or expanding existing quality services, with the intention of creating new licensed or certificated child places in priority areas across New Zealand. For further information, and details about how to apply, see the Government’s GETS website.

Targeted Assistance for Participation Stream 2 (TAP 2) National - GETS website(external link)

Playgroup and puna kōhungahunga funding

Playgroups and puna kōhungahunga are currently transitioning to online funding. We now have two-thirds of our groups transitioned to the Education Resourcing System (ERS) and are working with our remaining groups to support their transition to online funding. The following links provide information about how to set up the online log-in and submit an online PG3 playgroup funding application.

Setting up your user account - Education Services (ERS) website(external link)

Playgroup funding - Education Services (ERS) website(external link)

Derek Lucic
Director of Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast
Phone: 03 539 1536
Mobile: 027 605 2015
Email: derek.lucic@education.govt.nz

Canterbury | Chatham Islands regional news

Kia ora

Christchurch mosque attacks

It has been a very emotional and difficult time for us, and we have all been impacted in some way by the recent tragic events. Tens of thousands of people around New Zealand have stood with us, laying flowers, lighting candles, saying prayers and attending vigils. The national remembrance service held in Hagley Park to honour those who died was another opportunity for us to come together to show we do not stand alone. So again thank you for the support you have given to your tamariki and wider communities that has shown them they do not stand alone.

There is a lot of very helpful information on the Ministry of Education website that includes tips for parents, so please share this with your communities. I have also added the following link to Dr Sarb Johal, speaking on Radio NZ on how to best support children following the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Tips for parents and educators - helping children stay connected and recover well

Dr Sarb Johal: Helping young people through the Christchurch tragedy - RNZ website(external link)

Discretionary funding for 15 March

All services involved in the lockdown are entitled to apply for discretionary funding to cover the additional costs of staff on the following conditions:

  • that any service applying for this should not charge parents/caregivers for the additional costs due to their child/children being placed in lockdown
  • this discretionary funding does not form part of the ECE subsidy
  • this funding will be paid GST inclusive
  • the funding will be paid directly into the bank account registered with the Ministry
  • the completed form needs to be sent to ECE.info@education.govt.nz for processing.

Application form

Christchurch Response Discretionary Funding Form [PDF, 209KB](external link)

Review of lockdown procedure

Children’s safety and wellbeing are paramount and it is very important our early learning services are able to protect their tamariki. When the NZ Police imposed a city-wide lockdown in Christchurch on Friday 15 March you all kept our tamariki safe in very challenging circumstances.

Because the lockdown was for a significant period of time, covered a large area of a major city, and affected a very large number of families and occurred at a time of uncertainty about the nature of the events that were unfolding, it is important that we undertake a review of all aspects of the lockdown. We will be doing that review in conjunction with NZ Police representatives from early learning services and the 3 Principals' Associations. We will be seeking views from parents as well. You can contribute to this review by emailing feedback.canterbury@education.govt.nz.

All early childhood services and kōhanga reo need to be prepared and know how to manage an emergency or traumatic incident before it occurs. Employers are required by health and safety legislation to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for tamariki and kaiako that includes ensuring an up-to-date emergency plan is in place. Planning and preparation are critical steps to ensure services are equipped to deal with an emergency or traumatic incident and that emergency response readiness is embedded and regularly reviewed.

Lockdown procedures are part of a wider emergency plan, and the Ministry has some guides and templates for developing these and more information (including from Civil Defence) on our website.

Licensing criteria - emergencies

Guides and templates [DOC, 759 KB] 

Civil Defence website(external link)


The number of measles cases in Canterbury has risen and continues to spread in the region. The CDHB has sent an update to all schools and early learning service so please ensure you follow their advice.

Immunisation Advisory Centre website(external link)

Contact details

The tragic events of 15 March brought into focus the importance of clear pathways for communication for us all. Contacting you is a critical step to ensure you are equipped to provide the best response to an emergency.

Our contact list contains the latest contact information provided by you. In light of some email information and contact phone numbers not being up to date, now is an excellent time to consider if the contact details we hold are correct or if a change in Service Provider contact person is required. As the Service Provider contact your name is displayed on the service’s licence and you are our first point of contact.

A Service Provider contact person must:

  • represent the Service Provider
  • be able to respond to the Ministry of Education as soon as practicable on any issue relating to licensing
  • be the contact person in the event of an emergency
  • have the authority to act on behalf of the service provider
  • reside locally.

To confirm we have your correct contact details please email ECE.canterbury@education.govt.nz.

IYP courses Terms 2 and 3

The Incredible Years Parenting (IYP) Programmes support parents of 3 to 8 year olds by strengthening and adding to their parenting skills. There are currently 10 programmes underway in the Canterbury region.

Programmes are being delivered in Timaru, Ashburton, Rangiora, Rolleston, Aranui, South Colombo and Burnside areas. There is a greater emphasis on the provision of evening programmes to allow both parents to attend together where possible.

Future programmes will begin in the second half of the year and enrolments are being taken on an ongoing basis. Every effort is made to match the parents to the nearest available programme. An additional morning programme (9.30am to 12pm) is being offered for Terms 2 and 3.

Incredible Years Toddler (IY Toddler): The Canterbury region is fortunate to have the new and exciting IY Toddler Programme for Parents of 1 to 3 year old children. One programme is being held in Timaru with a further 2 in Christchurch. These programmes are fully subscribed. We will let you know when future programmes are available.

Incredible Years Autism (IY-A): The IY-A programme supports parents of children with ASD who are aged between 2 and 5. In Christchurch the IY-A Programme is run by Family Works. If you know of parents who wish to know more about or enrol in the programme the key contact is Janice Huddy, Intake Coordinator for Family Works, Christchurch (see below for contacts).

Incredible Years Teacher (IY-T): The Teacher Classroom Management Programmes are being run throughout Canterbury by Ministry of Education staff, RTLB and contracted non-government organisations (NGOs). There are programmes running in both Ashburton and Christchurch for early childhood teachers. There will be another 3 early childhood programmes delivered in the second half of the year and there are still spaces in these programmes.

Incredible Years Autism – Teachers (IY-A tchr): The Project Early Charitable Trust has successfully completed 3 programmes for the teachers of children with autism aged 2 to 5 years. We will let you know when future programmes are available.

Key contacts:

Futures Network

We had a good turnout for the Futures Network hui held on 19 March. We heard Liz Brown (Chair Mautaraka Mahaanui) and Cint McInerney and Marlena Bunnage (Karanga Mai Early Learning Centre) discuss how to make links with Ngai Tahu to support Māori children’s success as Māori. Liz’s power point can be found on the Futures Network Facebook for your information.

Futures Network Facebook(external link)

We were also able to acknowledge the support early childhood services have given to tamariki, whānau and each other since the tragic events in Christchurch. You are a great group of people to be involved with. The Prime Minister reminded us with her final words at the National Remembrance Service to strive to be true to words of our national anthem:

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before they face,
Asking thee to bless this place
God defend our free land
From dissension, envy, hate
And corruption, guard our state
Make our country good and great
God defend New Zealand.

The next Futures Network hui is to be held on Tuesday 18 June from 9.30am to 11.30am. Details about the focus of this hui will be in the May Early Learning Bulletin.

Staff update

Leonie McBride left us in February to return to the sector – many thanks to Leonie for all her work while she was working as an Education Advisor in this office.

We have appointed Bec Radley to the permanent position of Education Advisor and have welcomed her to our team. Some of you may remember Bec from when she worked temporarily for us last year. She can be contacted on rebecca.radley@education.govt.nz or 027 287 9384.

Easter and term break

I hope you manage to find some time to relax with friends and family over Easter and the term break. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss any concerns during this time or if you need to talk about support you might need.

You can always call me on 03 378 7345, 0274 200 251 or email me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy this month’s Bulletin.

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

Director’s message

Kia ora koutou and warm Pacific greetings.

We are now well into autumn with changing weather, colours, shorter days and crisp cold mornings. Having 4 distinct seasons and the resulting changing environment creates so many learning opportunities for our children and young people, which we see evident when we visit services.

This last month has been challenging for many of us following the 15 March mosque attacks in Christchurch. We particularly acknowledge and express our sympathy to the An Nur Early Childhood Education and Care Centre community who have been directly impacted.

We have worked over the last month to support our Muslim community, particularly in Dunedin. I hope that the information we have provided was useful and thank you to those that have shared with me their insights, planning or feedback over the past few weeks. Thank you also for your leadership and support of children and their families during this time.

I know many of you have reviewed your emergency procedures, and particularly your lockdown processes. Please contact us if you have questions or wish to discuss this further. It is also timely to check that your emergency contact information is up to date – please contact your Education Advisor if this needs to be updated.

Also this month I have included information about 2 new centres, a visit to Winton Kindergarten and a reminder about the Education Resourcing System (ERS) changes for playgroups.

Two new early learning services

City Impact Church Childcare Balclutha

In early March, the City Impact Church opened their second early learning service in our region – City Impact Church Childcare Balclutha. The new Balclutha service is licensed for 35 children, including 15 under 2s. It provides a biblically-based Christian teaching curriculum, with the purpose to “enhance the development of every child so they can grow into their unique God-given identities and be confident in who they are”. This is achieved through an emphasis on the 4 values promoted by the service – Christianity, Family and Relationships, Love of Learning and Fun.

Montessori Oamaru

Montessori Oamaru opened in late March 2019 and is the area’s only Montessori early learning service. It is licensed for 73 children, including 14 under 2s. This service follows the Montessori philosophy of child-directed learning, focusing on respect for the child and their ability to learn through discovery. The service is purpose-built and the environments have been designed to encourage children to explore and be creative, promoting active independence and freedom of choice.

We hope that the children and their families have settled into these 2 new services and look forward to seeing how their learning journeys progress.

Visit to Winton Kindergarten

I was pleased to be able to visit Winton Kindergarten on 13 March. Creativity, cultural responsiveness and environmental awareness were very evident in this kindergarten that follows Reggio Emilia-inspired approaches to early learning. I enjoyed hearing about the one day a week bush programme for the older children and seeing how the interests of the children sparked projects. It was great to see how participation in Polyfest was connected to learning in the service, with local legends and stories depicted through art and creative endeavours. The kindergarten was filled with many examples of child-initiated projects that drive their curriculum work and the children were excited to share their news when we visited.

Children and staff at Karakia Whakamututanga at Winton Kindergarten
Karakia Whakamututanga at Winton Kindergarten.

It was lovely to be part of the end of day karakia that was led by a child with everyone joining in. Thanks to Judy and the staff for meeting with us and sharing your practice and experiences.

Education Resourcing System (ERS)

This is the first funding round that playgroups can submit their operational funding requests online through our ERS. Thanks to all those groups who have got their Education Sector Logon accounts set up and have submitted their requests online during March. 

If your playgroup is not set up yet, please contact your Education Advisor to ensure that your accounts are activated so you can submit your request electronically before the end of the funding round.

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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