Early Learning Regional News - December 2018

Regional News updates for December 2018 from the Directors of Education for each Ministry of Education region.

Tai Tokerau regional news

Season’s greetings

Season’s greetings

Meri Kirihimete me nga mihi o te Tau Hou ki a koutou katoa – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

The festive season is nearly upon us once again. I am sure you are looking forward to a well-earned break with whānau and friends. This year has been one of challenge and change as well as success and celebration. May I take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to you all for the amazing work you do in support of our tamariki and mokopuna of Tai Tokerau.

Learning Support Service Delivery Model – Whangarei

Learning Support Service Delivery Model – Whangarei

Over the past few months we have been meeting with communities in Whangarei to develop a new way of working that provides a faster and more effective service for children and whanau.

A BIG thank you to everyone who attended our hui and provided your feedback to help shape a model that works for communities across Whangarei. Ngā mihi nui.

Te Manawa Tahi has begun in Otangarei this term with the intention of expanding to Tikipunga and other areas of Whangarei in the New Year. We will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the model to ensure it is fit for purpose and meeting the needs of our community.

Meningococcal W vaccination programme – Northland DHB 

At the end of November, you will have received a communication through us from the Northland DHB about a community outbreak of Meningococcal W disease in Northland.

Northland DHB is undertaking a vaccination programme for children aged from 9 months to under 5 years and those aged 13 to under 20 years who are Northland domiciled residents. The vaccine programme started in early December. The focus of the campaign is to stop the spread throughout the Northland region.

For more updates, refer to the link below.

Northland DHB website(external link)

Release of He taonga te tamaiti – draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning

Consultation is now open on the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning – He taonga te tamaiti. It sets out a vision and a pathway to develop and strengthen the early learning sector over the next 10 years to meet the needs of all children, their families and whānau. We are seeking feedback from whanau, kaiako, educators, service providers and wider members of the community. For more information, dates and times of hui see the link below.

Summary of the draft plan - Education Conversation website(external link)

Kāhui Ako and School Leaders Forum 6-7 March 2019

Don’t forget to register for this forum next year. We’ve partnered with Infinity Learning to bring Charles Fadel, global education leader and Harvard scholar, to Auckland. He will engage attendees on how to accelerate collective thinking about more relevant learning, living and success. Find out more and register using the link below.

Kāhui Ako and School Leaders Forum - Infinity website(external link)

Christmas closure – Ministry offices

All Ministry offices will close from 22 December:

  • Whangarei office will reopen on 7 January 2019
  • Kerikeri and Kaitaia offices will reopen on 14 January 2019.

On behalf of the Tai Tokerau Ministry staff, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Ngā mihi nui

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

Auckland regional news

Director’s message

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou mō te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou

Season’s greetings to you all.

This is my last update for 2018, so I want to thank all of you for your hard work and commitment over this last year. The Minister’s Education Summit in May, and all of the consultation that has taken place since then, have made this year an extremely busy one for all those connected to education in New Zealand.

I hope you all get to have a much deserved break and to spend time with family and loved ones. I am very much looking forward to doing the same this year: 2018 will be my first Christmas as a grandmother, with both my son and daughter having become parents in November. A double act!

Christmas break

The end of the year is fast approaching. With Christmas Eve falling on a Monday this year, all Ministry offices will close on Friday 21 December.

Our Mt Eden office will be open with limited staff on 3 and 4 January 2019, with other staff returning from leave from 7 January 2019 onwards. All of our other Auckland offices open from 7 January.

Consultation on He taonga te tamaiti – new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning

The Early Learning Strategic Plan online survey, the findings of the Education Summits and the broader Education Conversation, and the other work being undertaken in the education portfolio have contributed to the development of a draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning.

The new strategy sets out a planned approach to develop and strengthen the early learning sector, to meet the needs of all children and their families and whānau. Your feedback is welcomed online using the link below.

Early Learning Strategic Plan - Education Conversation website(external link)

We have had some great feedback from the first 2 meetings held in Auckland in early December, and further engagement meetings will be held in January as per the dates below:

Central Wednesday
23 January
3.30pm–5.30pm Alexandra Park Eventbrite(external link)
Central Wednesday 
23 January
6.30pm–8.30pm Alexandra Park Eventbrite(external link)
North Thursday
24 January
6pm–8pm QBE Stadium Eventbrite(external link)
South Friday
25 January
2pm–4pm Vodafone Events Centre Eventbrite(external link)

New Education Manager for Auckland East

We are pleased to welcome Jennie Whiley into the position of Education Manager for Auckland East. Jennie has previously worked at the Ministry, and also has a background in ECE. Jennie will be supporting schools and early learning services in the East, and leading the East team. Our thanks to Sharon Fuemana for her leadership as Acting Education Manager for the East team during the term of her secondment in the role.

New Service Manager for Auckland East

Back in October we farewelled Elisabeth Rix, Service Manager from the Botany Office. Usha Mohan has now been appointed to this role, and will be the Service Manager for schools and early learning services in and around the Flatbush and Otara area. Usha has worked for the Ministry for several years as an Advisor on Deaf Children and has previously acted in the Service Manager role.

Singapore delegation visits Auckland

Singapore delegation visits Auckland

The Performance and Quality team recently hosted a consultation team from Singapore. The delegation was here to learn more about the way support is provided for children with additional needs, their families and educators in New Zealand.

The team will provide advice to the Singapore Government, who are working on developing more inclusive early childhood services and schools. Seven of the delegates were from The Department of Child Development at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and 2 were from the Singapore Early Childhood Development Agency.

Following a much enjoyed whakatau on their first morning at the Maungawhau office, the group met with Ministry staff from various teams in the office and with on-the-ground Early Intervention practitioners. They also visited RTLB, Massey University RTLB trainers, ERO, AKA kindergartens and travelled to Hamilton to meet with McKenzie Centre, an innovative intervention provider. This was a great opportunity to share and collaborate with people working on similar challenges in another part of the world.

Traumatic Incidents – call 0800 848 326 (0800 TI TEAM)

We are very aware of how your students, staff and wider community can be affected by sudden or traumatic events which cause disruption, stress and/or risk in your learning environment. In the event of any traumatic incident, we are available to work closely with early learning services, kōhanga reo, kura and schools to support you to manage the incident and help you continue your day-to-day operations.

Traumatic incidents have been broadly defined as events that:

  • cause sudden and/or significant disruption to the effective operation of a school, early learning service 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 wellbeing 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 anytime - 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

Mā te wā

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

Waikato regional news

E rau rangatira mā tēnā koutou katoa.

Tamariki o te Ngāhere

Three year old Daisy surveys the world from a new perspective
Three year old Daisy surveys the world from a new perspective.

As services reflect on the past year and plan possibilities for 2019, it could be an opportunity to consider the rich and exciting teaching and learning possibilities nature-based settings offer. Here in the Waikato region, Old Macdonald’s Rural Education and Care centre visit the Newstead walkway one day a week, giving children the opportunity to be immersed in nature. The children explore the undergrowth, climb trees, build huts and generally connect with nature. India Robyn, a 4 year old who enjoys this weekly experience, describes herself as “a jungle girl”. Her favourite bush activities are roasting marshmallows, playing and running. Three year old Daisy loves “climbing trees and finding ladybugs and other bugs”. Love it!

Did you know that Te Whāriki online has a whole section dedicated to sustainability and tamariki developing an environmental identity?

Sustainability | Te Whāriki Online - TKI website(external link)

He taonga te tamaiti – new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning

Consultation for the new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning – He taonga te tamaiti is now well underway. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to the first of the regional hui presented by the Ministry of Education at the Distinction Hotel Hamilton.

In early 2019 we will be holding 3 further regional hui:

Monday 11 February 2019 Thames 7pm–9pm
Tuesday 12 February 2019 Tokoroa/South Waikato 6pm–8pm
Wednesday 13 February 2019 Te Kuiti/Taumarunui 1pm–3pm

More information about these upcoming hui is available on the Education Conversation website below. You can register your intention to attend these regional hui on here. However, it is not essential but helpful for catering purposes.

Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning - Education Conversation website(external link)

As we are seeking feedback from families and whānau, kaiako, service providers, educators and the wider community, we urge you to either take the online survey or make an email submission to early.learning@education.govt.nz.

Early Learning Strategic Plan Survey - Education Conversation website(external link)

Christmas closure dates

Our Hamilton office will close on Friday 21 December 2018 and reopen on Monday 7 January 2019. If you think that you might require a licensing visit for any purpose (including temporary relocation, alterations or amendments) in January or early February, please let us know by emailing alison.bell@education.govt.nz no later than 19 December 2018.

And finally thank you for all the fabulous work you have done throughout the year. I wish you a safe and relaxing Christmas. See you in 2019.

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

Bay of Plenty – Waiariki regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora and talofa lava

This is the final issue of He Pānui Kōhungahunga for 2018. On behalf of my team in the Ministry of Education Bay of Plenty – Waiariki region I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for the great work you do to support the children and whānau in your services. Enjoy the Christmas and New Year break with whānau and loved ones and we look forward to seeing you in 2019.

My last day at the office will be Friday 21 December and I return to work on Monday 21 January. Nancy Macfarlane will be Acting Director from Monday 7 January until I return.

This year has been exceptionally busy, with lots of reviews and consultations occurring and I am sure that next year will be just as exciting and challenging. Apart from the early learning symposium held in July I haven’t had the opportunity to meet with as many of you as I have in previous years. In 2019, I’ll work with the ECE folk in the office to see if there are some other opportunities I can take advantage of to meet with you.

Kāhui Ako update

He taonga te mokopuna, kia whāngaia, kia tipu, kia rea

The lead principals and early learning leaders for this region’s Kāhui Ako came together to share stories of success this month. The participants offered inspiring examples of how ‘play-based learning’ draws together new entrant and early learning teachers to collaborate on creating shared curricula learning outcomes. One Kāhui Ako went so far as to say that there are emerging signs of new entrant children being less anxious. While this data is in its early days it is a hopeful trend for the future.

The meeting was consistent in affirming the importance of early learning as a game changer in education. Getting it right in early learning means a child is on the right pathway for their educational success.

Early learning teachers within Kāhui Ako have engaged in shared professional learning and development, and as a result have supported shifts for children in critical areas like oral language. Kāhui Ako has become a space that empowers teachers with greater skill sets, and for that reason children’s learning needs are addressed faster.

This ‘stories of success’ hui signalled positive outcomes on the horizon for children in some areas.

A big thanks to all of those who contributed authentically and with the spirit of partnering in education. We have all worked very hard this year to support the development of a full pathway for education that is inclusive of early learning. We look forward to hearing of the implementation and embedding of the levers for change discussed. Thank you for your contributions.

For information about funding for early learning in Kāhui Ako, refer to the link below.

Funding for early learning in Kāhui Ako 

Staff leaving

I mentioned last month that Vicky Wilson had returned to teaching and that Jacqui Brouwer’s secondment from Central Kids Kindergarten was concluding at the end of the year. We are currently in the process of appointing a new education advisor for early learning. Again thanks to Vicky and Jacqui for their individual contributions to the Bay of Plenty – Waiariki region.

Consultation for He taonga te tamaiti – new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning

By the time you are reading this we will have held our first consultation hui on the new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning. Other consultation hui are to be held as follows:

22 January 2019
Whakatane, Awakeri Events Centre
22 January 2019
Tauranga, ASB Arena
19 February 2019
Rotorua, Distinction Rotorua Hotel and Conference Centre

You can find out more about the draft strategic plan, including summaries in a number of languages, on the link below.

Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning - Education Conversation website(external link)

Playgroup funding outcome

Playgroup funding will be guided and supported by your education advisors early in 2019. For more information visit the information page below.

Education Resourcing System (ERS)

Professional learning opportunities 2019

The Ministry of Education in conjunction with Autism New Zealand, one of our SELO providers, is hosting an ‘Introduction to Autism in an Early Childhood Setting’ in the Turangi community.

The workshops and centre visits at selected centres in Turangi will commence in March 2019 with the final workshop in April. The workshops will be held in the evening so all early learning staff, kaiako, parents and whānau can attend. The centre visits will be arranged via the Autism New Zealand Administrator.

More Autism New Zealand workshops will be offered throughout the year for other regions.

Incredible Years

The Incredible Years Teacher programme (Rotorua) has been a huge success in building the capabilities of teachers to encourage positive learning environments for children. We will be continuing to offer this in 2019.

We will be offering the Learning Language and Loving It series of workshops and follow-up centre visits in Tauranga in 2019. If you are keen for your centre to be involved please contact your speech language therapist or service manager to register your interest.

Early learning symposium

We have definitely established a tradition now of holding an annual early learning symposium. Planning for next year has already begun and I look forward to seeing you at this day of professional development designed to inspire, nurture and grow your talents in working with young children and their whanau.

Licensing queries, amendments or applications

If you have any queries about any licensing requirements please contact our education advisors:

Christmas closure

All 4 of our Bay of Plenty – Waiariki offices will be closed from 1.30pm on 21 December until 8am on Monday 7 January. However, in an emergency situation during this time you can call:

  • Traumatic Incidents: Paul Prangley - 027 707 8816
  • Education Matters: Nancy Macfarlane - 027 616 4864
  • Education Matters: Jon Dimock - 027 220 7426

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

Hawkes Bay / Tairawhiti regional news

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou

Christmas and the end of the year are almost upon us and it’s certainly been a big year! We’ve had a number of reviews happening over the past year and thank you for your professional commitment and continued support. It is an exciting time in the sector with He Taonga te Tamaiti – the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning now out for consultation!

This time of year offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on your achievements and successes over the past year. We hope you and your staff and community take the time to celebrate these. However I am also aware that this year has not been without it challenges and I wanted to thank you all for stepping in to support colleagues at times of need. I know they truly appreciated it.

Enjoy the upcoming break – it is certainly well deserved. Meri Kirihimete!

Key dates for licensing over the Christmas period

Christmas is rapidly approaching and to help us meet your licensing requirements over this time we advise the following timelines:

To licence a new serviceDeadline for applications
By 21 December 2018 Monday 12 November 2018
By the end of January 2019 Friday 14 December 2018
To amend a licenceDeadline for applications
Prior to 4 January 2019 Friday 14 December 2018

If you have your completed documentation submitted by these dates, it is likely we can meet your expectations of opening or changing your operation in the New Year. To help with our planning, please let us know if you think you might require a licensing visit for any purpose (including temporary relocation, alterations or amendments) in January or early February 2019. Please email: enquiries.napier@education.govt.nz.

SELO Professional Development Learning (PLD) opportunities

If you would like to personally receive an email about any SELO PLD open event opportunities, please send your name and email address to enquiries.napier@education.govt.nz and we will add you to our ‘Direct Contact’ list. We generally send SELO PLD information to Service Provider Contact people, but recently have had requests for information to go directly to individuals. We are happy to oblige and meet this need.

Message from NZ Police

Early childhood centres are occasionally the victims of burglary and during the holidays the likelihood of this increases. Please ensure you put in measures to protect your buildings and belongings from burglaries during this time. Some things you can consider:

  • Making sure buildings are secure (no faulty latches, etc).
  • Valuables and electronic equipment are stored away securely and out of sight (this extends to the office block as this area is frequently targeted).
  • Alarms are checked to ensure they are working.
  • Signage is in place to show the buildings are alarmed (and where appropriate under CCTV surveillance).
  • Having up-to-date contact details should anyone from the centre need to be contacted.
  • Ensuring the lighting around key areas of the centre is working.

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

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora

He mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa. Warm greetings to you all.

As the year draws to a close, I want to thank staff in each early learning service and kōhanga reo for your work and commitment in 2018 to help all children realise their potential. Our region’s children and young people are fortunate to have you working on their behalf. Working together, learning and supporting each other is the key to success, and I thank you for that. The work that you do every day makes such a difference to their lives and future, and it is appreciated. Have a restful and happy holiday season. I look forward to working alongside you in 2019.

Consultation hui and registration for He taonga te tamaiti – new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning

A special edition of He Pānui Kōhungahunga was released in November around consultation on He taonga te tamaiti – the new Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning. We are seeking feedback from families and whānau, kaiako, service providers, educators and the wider community and encourage you to share this information and invitation to the hui with your communities.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 Palmerston North 
Awapuni Function Centre
Wednesday, 13 February 2019 Whanganui 
Whanganui Room
Whanganui Racecourse
Thursday, 14 February 2019 New Plymouth 
Copthorne Hotel Grand Central

For more information about the upcoming hui and to register your attendance within your region please see the Education Conversation website below and click on one of our hui.

Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning - Education Conversation website(external link)

MidCentral Disability System Transformation – Mana Whaikaha

The Disability System Transformation prototype launched on 1 October 2018 in the MidCentral DHB area and is called Mana Whaikaha. It is a cross-government initiative led by the Ministry of Health, and also includes the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Education, ACC and the Ministry of Transport.

The prototype aims to transform the disability support system to ensure that disabled people, their families and whānau have greater choice and control over their lives and more opportunities to access natural and universally available supports. The prototype is based on the Enabling Good Lives Principles and aligns strongly with our Learning Support Delivery Model.

We are working in partnership with Mana Whaikaha to support the local implementation of a number of key initiatives for education. Proposals for these initiatives will be developed in collaboration with disabled children and young people, their families and whānau, and with representatives from Mana Whaikaha, schools, early learning services and other relevant agencies. Learnings from the prototype will inform further implementation across New Zealand.

Information sessions for Kāhui Ako, schools and early learning services will be held in the MidCentral area in early 2019, and ongoing updates will be included in future Bulletins.

Further information

Mana Whaikaha website(external link)

Enabling Good Lives website(external link)

Email Julie Hook, Programme Manager for the Education Interface with Mana Whaikaha: julie.hook@education.govt.nz.

Christmas closure dates

Our New Plymouth, Whanganui and Palmerston North offices will close on Friday 21 December 2018 and reopen on Thursday 3 January 2019.

Please contact me 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
Email: jann.marshall@education.govt.nz

Wellington regional news

Director’s message

This is the final issue of He Pānui Kōhungahunga for 2018 and we’ve come to the end of another busy year. There have been numerous reviews and engagement hui about various parts of the education system. I’d like to thank you all for the contributions you have made to these and the overall Education Conversations. Information on the upcoming consultation hui for He taonga te tamaiti – new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning is included in this Bulletin for you.

On behalf of all the Wellington regional team may I wish you and your families all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. I look forward to what the New Year will bring and connecting back with you then. In the meantime I hope you all have a fabulous holiday break and time with your whanau to rest, relax and have some summer fun.

Release of He taonga te tamaiti – new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning

Education Minister, the Hon Chris Hipkins, launched He Taonga te Tamaiti – the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning on Monday 19 November at Knox Church Playgroup in Lower Hutt.

A huge thank you to Knox Church Playgroup for hosting this event and inviting the Minister to share the new draft Strategic Plan with them. Playgroups are of enormous value to their communities. Knox Church Playgroup has been operating for more than 30 years and provides many learning opportunities for children. It also gives parents, caregivers and families a great chance to share experiences and support each other.

The draft Strategic Plan sets the high-level direction and vision for early learning for the next 10 years. I encourage everyone to have their say about it. Consultation includes an online survey as well as a series of hui around the country, including the Wellington region. Consultation closes on 15 March 2019.

The hui currently scheduled for the Wellington region are listed below. For information on venues and to register please see the link below.

Have your say - Education Conversation website(external link)

Day Date Location Time
Thursday 7 February 2019 Wellington City
James Cook Hotel
Grand Chancellor
Monday 11 February 2019 Porirua
Te Rauparaha Arena and Aquatic Centre

Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning - Education Conversation website(external link)

Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning Survey - Education Conversation website(external link)

New disability support system Mana Whaikaha launched in MidCentral DHB area

The Ministry of Health is leading a prototype of the Disability System Transformation starting in the MidCentral DHB area. You can read more about it in the link below.

New disability support system Mana Whaikaha launched in MidCentral DHB area

Tips for coping in hot weather

Summer is on the way. While most of us welcome hot weather, when it’s too hot for too long there are risks, particularly for young children.

Service providers are required to take all reasonable steps to promote the good health and safety of children enrolled in their service. Every service will need to consider their own circumstances (premises, environment, facilities, operating hours, etc). There are several simple actions you can take to alleviate the impact on children and staff.

Tips for coping in hot weather:

  • If you have an HVAC unit or other type of cooling system, then make sure this is running and that windows and doors are closed to ensure effective use.
  • Pull blinds in windows facing the sun – pulling these early in the day can reduce indoor heat.
  • Where possible (taking into account the safety and security of children) ensure that windows and doors on both sides of a room are open to allow cross-ventilation.
  • Adequate ventilation is a requirement of licensing criterion PF12 (refer to link below), especially in sleep areas.
  • If you have dampers, louvres or other ceiling ventilation ensure they are open to release heat.
  • Switch on ceiling fans where available – only use mobile fans if there is no risk of toppling or of children reaching them.
  • As required by licensing criterion HS21 (refer to link below) ensure access to sufficient drinking water to make sure staff and children can remain hydrated.
  • Suggest to parents and staff that lighter-weight clothing is worn.
  • Use outdoor spaces with shading such as verandas or shade cloths.
  • Reduce the use of devices that generate heat (where possible turn off lights, reduce use of computers or other devices).

PF12 Heating, lighting, noise, and ventilation

HS21 Drinking water

Further useful information is available at the link below.

WorkSafe NZ website(external link)

Kaya Grace – staff profile

Kaya's girls

Tēnā Koutou Katoa

Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Raukawa te moana
Ko Whetireia te maunga
Ko Ngāti Toa Rangatira te iwi
Ko Te Heke Mai Raro te marae

My name is Kaya Grace. I currently reside in Plimmerton with the youngest 2 of my 3 daughters. We are an active family with sporting commitments dominating most of our free time.

I have worked for the Ministry of Education for the past 8 years and am based in the Lower Hutt regional office. My role as an Education Advisor ECE mainly consists of supporting playgroups in Horowhenu, Kapiti and Porirua, and I have the overview of the participation contracts in our region.
Kaya's girls


Nāku noa nā

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

Staff update

Congratulations to Elizabeth Hamilton on her promotion to Senior Advisor Early Childhood. Elizabeth will bring her expertise and knowledge on playgroups closer to the world of licensing. She also maintains the Pacific portfolio, and the emerging work on Tapasa and tikanga to this mahi. In the meantime she will be covering licensing and playgroup services in Blenheim and Kaikoura as well as maintaining her Nelson playgroups. She can still be contacted at her email: elizabeth.hamilton@education.govt.nz.

Gwen Gilmore is covering Nelson, Tasman and West Coast for licensing and playgroups.

Childroots Early Learning Playgroup

Childroots Early Learning Playgroup

Childroots Early Learning Playgroup are a group of like-minded parents who endeavour to use the Montessori and Reggio approaches to aid children in exploring the world and mastering skills. We meet 2 days a week in the historic Hokitika Custom House. The group have been certificated since August this year. They also completed a special grant application for start-up groups and have just been notified  they were successful. 

Kāhui Ako and ECE

Congratulations to the Te Wheke Akoranga Marlborough Sounds Kāhui Ako for welcoming on board their ECE colleagues in the Picton area. We are gradually improving the uptake of early learning services into this collaborative working space. By the end of 2018 we will have more than half of our licensed services playing in this space. Engagement with Kāhui Ako can support transitions and other collaborative forms of working. If you want to join your local Kāhui Ako please contact Gwen or Elizabeth to clarify the process.

Information on Kāhui Ako in the Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and West Coast regions is on the website below.

Find a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako - Education Counts website(external link)

He taonga te tamaiti – new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning consultation

We were fortunate to have Nancy Bell, Director of Early Learning ELSA from our national office in Nelson, on 6 December supporting the public consultation at Founders Park. There are further consultations as set out below.

LocationDateRegistration link
Tuesday 22 January 2019 Kaikoura Register for Kaikoura hui(external link)
Wednesday 23 January 2019 Blenheim Register for Blenheim(external link)
Thursday 24 January 2019 Greymouth Register for Greymouth(external link)

Information about He Taonga te Tamaiti – the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning can be found on the Education Conversation website below, including an online survey where you can have your say on the draft.

Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning - Education Conversation website(external link)

Christmas closure

With Christmas Eve falling on a Monday this year, all Ministry offices will be closed from Saturday 22 December. Our offices will open with limited staff on Thursday 3 January 2019, with other staff returning from leave from Monday 7 January onwards.

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

Christmas closure

There have been many highlights and successes in 2018, and I am sure you will all be looking forward to having a restful break after what has been a busy year.

This is our last newsletter for the year and our office will be closed from 5pm on Friday 21 December until 8am on Monday 7 January 2019.

If you require any support during these times please contact Traumatic Incident support team on 0800 848 326.

He taonga te tamaiti – new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning consultation

The draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning is open for consultation and hui are taking place around the country for families and whānau, kaiako, service providers, educators and the wider community to discuss the suggested changes and the timeline for introducing them.

Anyone is welcome to attend the hui. There will be a presentation about the draft Strategic Plan and opportunities for questions and discussion.

Christchurch Riccarton Park Function Centre Monday,
4 February 2019
Timaru Southern Trust Events Centre Monday
11 February 2019
Ashburton Hotel Ashburton Thursday
14 February 2019
Rangiora Rangiora High School Tuesday
19 February 2019

If you are interested in attending one of the hui, please visit the Eventbrite website to register.

Eventbrite website(external link)

You can also take part by completing the online survey on the Education Conversation website.

Draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning - Education Conversation website(external link)


I am pleased to announce that Susan Schneideman has been appointed to the permanent role of Manager Learning Support for the Canterbury/Chatham Islands region. She has been on secondment from her Education Manager role. Please join me in congratulating Susan and wishing her success in her role as she leads the delivery of Learning Support services to our region.

Futures Network

Dates for 2019

The dates for the 2019 Futures Network hui have been set as:

  • Tuesday 19 March 9.30am–11.30am - Topic: meeting the needs of Māori children and their whānau (more details will be provided in the first Early Learning Bulletin for 2019)
  • Tuesday 18 June 9.30am–11.30am
  • Tuesday 1 October 9.30am–11.30am
  • Tuesday 3 December 9.30am – 11.30am.

Please put these dates in your diary now. The hui on 1 October will be in the term break. We are trialling whether holding hui in term breaks makes a difference to who is able to attend. All hui are held in the Conference Room, Te Uruti, 48 Hereford Street.

Join us at Futures Network Christchurch on Facebook(external link)

2018 has been a year of growth and influence for the greater Christchurch Futures Network. Members had expressed their wish to come together and provide an early childhood voice that responds and contributes to local and national happenings, so we began the year with a submission to the (then) Education Council that cast an early childhood lens over the draft Leadership Strategy. In our March meeting, members met with Jayne Franklin and Frances Nelson from the Council to discuss our views in greater depth, and were pleased to see some changes in the final Leadership Strategy that felt more inclusive of our sector.

June saw us undertake a Wellbeing Survey (similar to the Primary Principals Survey conducted by NZEI Te Riu Roa). The findings of this were captured in a discussion paper presented to the local Director of Education, Coralanne Child, who is keen to work with our network to progress solutions to some of the issues raised. It was also responded to by the Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, and has been greeted with interest by the ERO, the Teaching Council, and NZEI, along with other individuals from around Aotearoa New Zealand. As a result of this work, meetings have been held with various local health bodies to begin work on joint solutions to issues of wellbeing for early childhood professionals and the families we work with. It has also led to an application to a charitable trust for possible funding for development of a supervision model to support the work done by our ‘frontline’ early childhood leaders and teachers. We are looking forward to sharing more information about progress with these initiatives with our members early in 2019.

Later in the year our focus shifted to the work of the Ministerial Advisory Group in drafting an Early Learning Strategic Plan, on which we made a submission. We were delighted to host Professor Carmen Dali at our September meeting, and it was validating of our voice to realise that Professor Dali had read and engaged with the submission made by the Futures Network. We will be making a further submission on the draft on behalf of our members before the March 2019 deadline.

Our last meeting of the year is traditionally our annual ‘Conversation with Coralanne’ in her capacity as the local Director of Education. 2018 was no exception, and given the change of focus that a new government brings, members were keen to hear Coralanne outline her thoughts on the year past and the year ahead. The discussion turned to concerns about wellbeing of staff and children in early learning services and early learning’s involvement in interagency work.

Coralanne also discussed the relationship between the Ministry of Education and government policies and encouraged the sector to fully engage in consultation about the Strategic Plan.

The Futures Network would like to thank the local Ministry of Education for their ongoing support of our group, and for their responsiveness to the local early childhood voice we are able to provide. We look forward to continuing to build the relationship as we look for collaborative solutions to sector-wide issues. If you would like to keep informed about our activities, please click the link above to our Facebook page.

By Barb Madden, Sandy Radford and Viv Shearsby

Mana Ake

Mana Ake is an initiative that works to address wellbeing and mental health concerns for children in years 1-8 in the Canterbury DHB region.

The initiative will ensure 80 additional workers are available to school clusters to support children and young people where there are mental health concerns, early in the life of the problem, and to work together with existing community and agency resources to promote and enhance wellbeing.

Mana Ake kaimahi can work with whānau in their homes and with groups of parents, as well as with children and young people in schools. They may also support children transitioning to and between schools, if schools identify that as a priority for their cluster.

It is anticipated that where kaimahi work with parents and whānau with preschoolers, there is the opportunity to benefit children who are not yet attending school.

Mana Ake is also supporting the development of a web-based tool for educators called Leading Lights. Early childhood educators will be able to access Leading Lights when it is rolled out across Canterbury at the end of this year.

Congratulations – Category 4 ERO 

Aubrey Mason and Allenton Kindergartens (Ashburton) both had Category 4 ERO reports confirmed in September. Donna Frame, the Head Teacher at Aubrey Mason Kindergarten, writes about the journey undertaken by teachers since their last review in 2014.

This year we are very grateful to have received a Category 4 ERO report. Since our previous ERO review we have been working on strengthening our visibility of Māori perspectives and children’s cultural identities, as well as increasing collaboration with parents and whānau.

Kaiako have worked to build an enriched sense of bicultural practice within our environment, valuing diversity, inclusion, acceptance and tolerance. Kaiako are passionate about building strong, authentic, respectful, reciprocal relationships with whānau, to ensure whānau feel valued and respected, are comfortable to contribute to our programme, and empowered to share knowledge and wisdom in partnership. Culture, beliefs and knowledge are affirmed by kaiako, which supports tamariki to make connections across settings, enhancing their sense of belonging, mana and identity. We are incorporating te reo me ōna tikanga Māori into our daily mahi with tamariki, which is reflected throughout assessment, profile books and planning for learning. This helps tamariki and whānau to develop an understanding and respect of our bicultural partnership.

We developed our own kindergarten treaty in consultation with tamariki and whānau, which reflects our core values of care and respect for each other, for ourselves and for our environment. Our treaty is displayed on our wall and is embedded into our daily programme. We introduced karakia kai, have sourced more natural bicultural resources, and continue to increase our use of te reo Māori in meaningful ways. Education for sustainability is also woven into our practice, and we have introduced kaitiaki/guardians where tamariki are recognised for the great things they have been doing and take responsibility for our worm farm and bokashi composting. We have created a ‘secret garden’ with bicultural panels, a koru shaped pathway of local river stones and native plants, from participating in the Paper for Trees initiative.

Whānau are invited to contribute their aspirations for their tamariki through Educa and their profile book, which is evident through assessment. Kaiako respect and embrace Māori culture and this includes honouring our multicultural community. We seek knowledge and understanding (Mātauranga Māori) to support cultural and diverse beliefs, encouraging whānau collaboration. Kaiako have also been learning children’s home languages to support cultural identity. Kaiako have gained a shared understanding of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, kotahitanga, rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga, which is interwoven throughout our curriculum and environment.

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi. Engari, he toa takitini – Success is not the work of one but the work of many.

By Donna Frame

St Albans Community Preschool – a story of renewal

The earthquake – a catalyst for change

Our preschool is a small, not-for-profit preschool that has been part of the St Albans community for over 30 years. It was an initiative started by a group of parents who saw a need for a place where parents and children could meet in the community in a supportive environment. The word ‘community’ has not always been highlighted in our name – it was initially called St Albans Community Creche when established in the mid-1980s, then changed to St Albans Educare somewhere in the late 1990s before it was renamed St Albans Community Preschool.

Despite the names, community has always been at the forefront of why the preschool was established. It has always been an environment where parents could leave their children to play for a little time away. It was initially only open in the mornings but that eventually grew into whole days, and now we open from 8am to 4pm. Our preschool does not meet the needs of every family in our community, but it has always had a niche market that attracts whanau who do not need the long opening hours of many other preschools.

How do we continue to be successful in a market that is well serviced by many bigger preschools and how can we continue to stay viable in these challenging times when families need ECE centres to stay open longer hours? These are questions that we continue to ask ourselves.

I believe that there will always be a need for a place like ours to give the community choices. I know that nowadays not every family has the luxury of choice, but while we are present we afford families the opportunity to look beyond the bigger early childhood centres and see what other options are available.

I always said that the earthquake was a catalyst for change and it has continued to impact us long after the shaking stopped. We could have seen the earthquake as a barrier, a problem, an insurmountable obstacle to survival. What we did instead was see it as an opportunity to make this small preschool sustainable for the future of St Albans.

Shortly after the earthquake we were forced to move out to Glenmore School, then on to the Shirley Rugby League Clubrooms to allow the Christchurch City Council (CCC) to do some repairs to make it ‘fit for purpose’, and finally moved back at the beginning of 2013. During that time our roll decreased and re-establishing ourselves back into the community was much harder than we expected. The preschool building itself, however, as much as we loved its quaintness, its broken piles, the shabby chic and the lack of storage, was never really going to sustain itself as it was much further into the 21st century.

We began to wonder if we were sustainable as a preschool after all...

The state of our building was hanging over us. It was safe and going to be adequate for the short term but we needed a longer term solution. We thought we would have a resolution to this problem at the beginning of 2015 with plans by CCC to carry out more extensive repairs to the building. We made all the preparations to move out, but that was cancelled once they opened up the inside of the building and realised that it was a much bigger job than expected with funding to complete the project not available. We were on hold again.

Our roll continued to grow and this was helped along by the board’s decision to offer free ECE hours to 2 year old children. This was a wonderful initiative that really made a name for ourselves in the community. A lot of those children are just now setting off on their school adventures. In late 2017, 7 years post-earthquake, just as we were starting to feel comfortable again and our roll and reputation in the area was great, we got the phone call from the Ministry of Education. A school site in Champion Street had become available. We quickly made preparations to move again and were lucky to have the CCC ready with the financial backing to finally complete our much needed repairs. We moved out in January 2018. Champion Street presented its own challenges but was, overall, a very positive experience and we are very grateful to the Ministry of Education for allowing us to use the site.

The centre in the midst of renovation
The centre in the midst of renovation.

The outdoor area before make over
Outdoor area before make over.

We finally returned home at the end of August 2018 to a fully refurbished building and a wonderful new outside area, thanks to the tenacity of the current board members.

The commitment of the teaching team, and the support of the parents, has been the success story of our recent move. Without commitment from the staff, and some very loyal parents, we would not have continued to exist.

We talk about the time that teachers give outside their paid hours and I know for a fact that it is true. The staff and board here at St Albans Community Preschool have worked hard to ensure that the preschool will prosper and be a vibrant and sustainable part of this community for a long time to come.

The centre after the work – looking great!

The centre after the work – looking great! 

The centre after the work – looking great
The centre after the work (pictures above) – looking great!

Archer Maasch, Henry Rynerson and Ari Menta-Hutchins
Children in photo (left to right): Archer Maasch, Henry Rynerson and Ari Menta-Hutchins.

By Odette Gallagher, Centre Manager

Children's Bookshop

The Children’s Bookshop has long been a treasure trove of books and learning resources for children in Christchurch. It’s had a difficult time since the earthquakes but has recently changed owners and is looking once again to be a valuable asset to the city. Until suitable premises are found they are retailing online. Visit them online at the link below.

The Children's Bookshop website(external link)

They would love the opportunity to talk to early learning services and kaiako about what books and resources would help develop imagination and learning. You can get in touch by contacting Jude Potts on 021 112 7563 or by emailing jude.potts@xtra.co.nz.

Enjoy the final Bulletin for the year. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss any ideas or issues. You can always call me on 03 378 7345, 0274 200 251 or email me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mā te wā

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

Otago-Southland regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora koutou and warm Pacific greetings.

This is the last issue of He Pānui Kōhungahunga for 2018 so I want to thank you for the work you do every day in making a difference to the learning of the children in your early learning services and Kāhui Ako. Your influence extends to the parents, families, whānau and communities you serve in striving to ensure our children get the very best start in their education journey. Leading and managing early learning services is a complex and challenging job, but at this time of the year I hope you get some time to reflect on the positive progress of your tamariki and enjoy the end of year celebrations. Thank you!

In this Bulletin I have included information about our regional engagement for the draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning – He taonga te tamaiti, a new licensed service in Milton, the recent transitions workshop held by FiNSCoL, playgroup special grants and our office closure and contacts over the break.

He taonga te tamaiti – draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning

The new draft Strategic Plan for Early Learning – He taonga te tamaiti opened for consultation in November 2018. You can access copies of the draft, including summaries in a number of languages, on the link below.

Summary of the draft plan - Education Conversation website(external link)

The first of our engagement hui is at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin between 3.30pm and 5.30pm on Monday 17 December. We will also be hosting further regional hui across Otago Southland in February 2019.

Friday 1 February Dunedin 3.00–5.00pm
Tuesday 12 February Gore 2.30–4.30pm
Tuesday 12 February Invercargill 6.30–8.30pm
Wednesday 13 February Cromwell 3.30–5.30pm
Thursday 14 February North Otago/Oamaru 4.00–6.00pm

Further details on the hui, including how to register, can be found below.

Eventbrite website(external link)

New early learning service – Milton Little Citizens

The Methodist Mission Southern opened Milton Little Citizens on 12 November in the former Playcentre in Milton. This service has helped address a need for provision identified through our ‘Supporting Early Learning in Clutha District’ project that ran from 2016 to June 2018, and following the closure of a private service in 2017. The Mission discussed the project with our team and we have been pleased to support the opening of the service.

Milton Little Citizens is a small niche centre with a maximum roll of 25 children. It will be run on the same model as the Dunedin Little Citizens, with wrap-around social support provided via an embedded social worker and whānau co-ordinator, and Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) meals that are provided free of charge. Currently there are 5 children enrolled with the aim to build up slowly so that as children enrol in the centre they feel very comfortable entering into a small, welcoming and familiar environment.

We look forward to hearing how these children settle into their new environment (shown below) and how their learning journeys develop.

Milton Little Citizens

Milton Little Citizens

FiNSCoL – ECE to Primary Transition Workshop

On 7 November, FiNSCoL (Fiordland and Northern Southland Community of Learning) held an ECE to Primary Transition Workshop at Te Anau School.

The workshop foregrounded the idea that the school meets the needs of the child, rather than the child meeting the requirements of the school. Across schools teachers shared student, teacher and whānau voices around ECE to primary transitions. Key ideas included: the importance of relationships, knowing the learner, links between Te Whāriki and NZC, play is learning, and providing communication about learners with whānau and new entrant teachers through learning stories. Transition is a focus area within the Kāhui Ako’s achievement challenges.

The workshop was attended by the co-lead principals of the Kāhui Ako, Andrew Watson and Lynlee Smith, along with their across schools teachers, ECE representatives Vanessa Hamilton and Claire Maley-Shaw, as well as principals, centre managers and teachers from the Fiordland and Northern Southland area.

The workshop follows work undertaken by early learning services through a SELO contract based on continuity of learning, building Te Whariki and linking into NZC. There has been thinking already about future 2019 workshops, as well as looking at how to build on these in relation to other transition points.

Playgroup special grants

Congratulations to those groups that were successful in their playgroup special grant applications this period:

  • Aparima Playgroup
  • Cornerstone Little Rockers
  • Kakanui Preschool
  • Heriot Playgroup
  • Mataura Presbyterian Church Playgroup
  • Roxburgh Playcentre Playgroup
  • Wanaka Playgroup
  • Winton Salvation Army Playcafe.

The grants covered a wide range of need, from addressing health and safety issues with shade sails and heat pumps, to equipment that will enhance learning opportunities available to children.

Playgroup special grants are available twice yearly for up to $5,000. Information, application forms and criteria for grants can be found on the funding link below. If you require any support or advice when applying for a playgroup special grant you can contact your education advisor.

Playgroup Funding Handbook

Local Ministry offices

Office closures and contacts over the holiday break

All 3 of our offices – Dunedin, Invercargill and Cromwell – will be closed from Monday 24 December 2018 and will reopen on Monday 7 January 2019. The Traumatic Incident phone will be covered during the holiday break and has the usual contact number – 0800 848 326 (0800 TI Team).

Season’s greetings

Meri Kirihimete and season’s greetings from all the team here at the Ministry of Education. We hope you all have a well-earned break over the festive season and enjoy time with your whānau and friends. We look forward to reconnecting with you in the New Year and continuing to work together to ensure excellence and equitable outcomes across all early learning services and Kāhui Ako in our region.

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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