Early Learning Regional News – February 2018

Regional News / General News / Other News updates for February 2018 from the Directors of Education for each Ministry of Education region.

Te Tai Tokerau regional news

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou katoa 

Happy New Year to one and all working in and attending early learning services in Te Tai Tokerau.

A special mention to playgroups, who play an extremely important part in working closely with parents and whānau and establishing foundations in early learning. We welcome playgroups that are being established both within Kāhui Ako areas and through participation contracts. The following are the most recent playgroups to establish:

  • Dargaville Puna
  • Te Nohoanga Puna, RD1 Kaeo
  • Te Puna Matauranga, Kaeo
  • Te Puna Oranga, Te Ngaere.

It is exciting to be working with groups who are looking at how to best provide for the early years tamariki within the region in a way that is responsive to them and their whānau.

Early Reading Together® and Reading Together®

Early Reading Together® (ERT®) is a workshop programme that works with whānau and parents to support the literacy and language development of their tamariki from birth to 6 years old. Reading Together® is the version that is implemented by schools.

Developed by Jeanne Biddulph in the 1980s, ERT® has been widely implemented throughout New Zealand and is proven to meet the needs of educators, whānau and tamariki in terms of building knowledge and confidence around language and literacy. The goal of ERT® is ‘to help all children to develop a love of language and reading and the range of language and literacy abilities they need to function confidently and effectively within their communities and wider society.’

ERT® consists of 3 workshops over 3 weeks that last 1 hour 15 mins and they are normally implemented by early childhood educators or junior school teachers in collaboration with the local librarian. Whānau then take the information learned in the workshop home and support their tamariki with the tools from the workshop. This programme is available to all early learning services, including playgroups, who want to work with their whānau to explore ways of supporting the language and literacy of their tamariki.

Up here in Te Tai Tokerau we have already 2 services, Dargaville Mainly Music and Ngātiwai Trust Board, who are going to be implementing this programme with their whānau in 2018.

More information can be found on the Reading Together® website(external link), the Early Reading Together® website(external link) and on Education Counts(external link).

If you or your service are interested in looking further into how you can begin implementing ERT® with your whānau feel free to call Sacha Cherrington on 09 436 8929 to discuss this.

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

Auckland regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora koutou

Welcome back to 2018. I hope you all had a refreshing break over the festive season, and plenty of time with friends and family. All of our staff are back on board now and are preparing for the new opportunities that 2018 will bring. Ngā mihi nui.

Welcome to Tanya Harvey

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Tanya Harvey into the role of Deputy Director, Education – Auckland.

Tania Harvey – Deputy Director, Education Auckland

Tanya has been involved in education for many years and comes to the Ministry from Auckland Kindergarten Association where she was Chief Executive Officer for 18 years. She is an experienced manager and leader with considerable experience leading organisational strategy, planning and governance.

Tanya has a keen interest in education and a strong commitment to equitable and excellent education systems. She has spent many years on the boards of trustees at the primary and secondary schools her children have attended in Auckland, most recently at Onehunga High School. Having originally qualified as an accountant, she continued her own education throughout her career gaining a number of qualifications including an MBA from the University of Auckland.

The role of Deputy Director, Education has a primarily operational and internal focus and reports to the Director of Education, Auckland. Tanya took up the role of Deputy Director on 17 January 2018.

Staff changes

A number of new staff have joined our ECE teams over the last month. Welcome to Marion Porter, who is working in our North team, and to Aoife Richmond, Kiva Jackson and Tracy Ip, who will be working across the Auckland region.

Our Learning Support teams have also welcomed a number of new recruits:

  • Dana Lee, Early Intervention Teacher, working out of our Albany office
  • Psychologists – Bronwyn Blake, Albany; Sneha Padmasiri, Robert Loto, and Deborah Park, Botany; and Oliver Munn and Sarah Buckland, Maungawhau
  • Amy Whiteside, Aimee Coombes, Cassandra McDonald, Elizabeth Corbett, Chris Lawson, Tegan Grey and Emma Smith – all Speech Language Therapists at our Botany office
  • Phoebe MacClure, Tejal Mevasia – Speech Language Therapists at our Henderson office
  • Chris Lemmers, Nerida Frost and Kylie Sharp – Speech Language Therapists at Maungawhau.

New Year Honours List 2018

Our sincerest congratulations and appreciation goes out to the following Aucklanders, who were acknowledged on the New Year’s Honours List 2018 for their contribution to education:

  • Dr Manying Ip (ONZM) and Ms Frances Valintine (CNZM)
  • Mrs Jeremy Drummond (ONZM)
  • Dr Camille Nakhid, Mr Hare Paniora and Dr Haare Mahanga Te Wehinga Williams (MNZM)
  • Mrs Valeti Finau (Honorary MNZM)
  • Mrs Foumana Alene-Tumataiki (QSM).

More details about the contributions and accomplishments of these recipients can be found on the DPMC website(external link).

Kāhui Ako Korero

Throughout 2018 we are looking to periodically share with you news and information on the inspiring work of Kāhui Ako across the region, particularly the increasing involvement of early childhood services. Below is the first of our 2018 updates. 

Te Kāhui Ako o Waitakere: Thiswas one of the very first Kāhui Ako approved in 2015 and they have recently completed an updated Achievement Challenge. This is an honest and reflective document which represents many different voices, demonstrates a huge amount of evaluation work, and includes realistic targets as well as identification of known barriers to success. The Kāhui Ako have clearly put a lot of thought into the strategies they will employ to mitigate these barriers, and how they will operate in a post-National Standards environment. You can find a copy of the document on our website.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

A reminder that applications are open for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards(external link) with entries closing on 23 March 2018. The Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in early learning, primary and secondary schooling in the areas of: engaging, leading, teaching and learning and inclusive practices. We encourage you to consider entering your early childhood service or kōhanga reo for the 2018 Awards. 

New services

A big welcome to the new early childhood services which have been licensed or certified in Auckland from July 2017 through to December 2017.

Services newly licensed since May:

  • Creative Garden Early Learning Centre (Waiuku)
  • Apples Childcare and Learning Centre (Onehunga)
  • Kids Count (Pukekohe)
  • Dynamic Kids (Onehunga)
  • McKenzie Childcare Centre (Mangere Bridge)
  • Blossoms Educare (Glen Innes)
  • Kid Country (St Johns)
  • Topkids (Mangere East)
  • Peninsula Kids (Bayswater)
  • Hand and Hand Childcare (Birkenhead)
  • Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre (Mt Roskill)
  • Lightbulb Learning Childcare (Mt Wellington)
  • Immanuel Preschool (Mangere)
  • Fatamanu Aoga Niue Early Learning Centre (Otara)
  • Young World Childcare Centre (Mt Albert)
  • Kids Count Lenore Rd (Mangere)
  • Cosmo Kids (Auckland CBD)
  • Adventure Kids Early Learning Centre (Whangaparaoa).

Playgroups newly certificated since May:

  • Beachlands Plunket Playgroup
  • Panmure Community Playgroup
  • Parnell Plunket Playgroup
  • Safari East Multicultural Playgroup.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Visits Morningside Kindergarten

On Thursday 8 February, Morningside Kindergarten was delighted to host their local Mt Albert MP – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Morningside Kindergarten has very generously shared this story and photos with us.

Jacinda Arden greeted tamariki around the kindergarten and took an interest in their play. “She played and interacted with the children, asking about their favourite animals, and asking them to show her how to use our computer education programme,” says teacher Nancy Indira.

When mat time was called, the Prime Minister introduced herself to tamariki, asking “do you know who I am? Who can guess what my job is?” The children asked if she was a policeman or a teacher and said they had seen her on television. Jacinda Ardern explained that in her role as the Prime Minister, “I look after all of New Zealand and all the people who live here, which includes all of you.”

Jacinda Ardern said that her favourite books as a child were Kimi and the Watermelon and The Gruffalo, and shared these stories with the children. When asked if they had enjoyed reading these books, the children responded with a resounding “yes!”

The tamariki finished mat time by singing a waiata to Jacinda Ardern and presenting handmade thank you cards, to show their appreciation of her visit.

The Prime Minister’s visit ended with a shared morning tea, with the teaching staff discussing their various roles and different aspects of the Morningside Kindergarten learning environment.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with children of Morningside Kindergarten, Auckland

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with children of Morningside Kindergarten, Auckland

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with children of Morningside Kindergarten, Auckland

Noho ora mai

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

Waikato regional news

Director’s message 

Whakataka te hau ki te uru, whakataka te hau ki te tonga
Kia mākinakina ki uta, kia mātaratara ki tai
E hī ake ana te ātakura, he tio, he huka, he hauhunga
Haumi e, hui e, tāiki e

E rau rangatira mā tēnā koutou katoa. Nau mai hoki ki tēnei wahanga o te tau.

I hope you are all well and managed to have some time over the summer break to relax with friends and whānau. By now you, like us, will be well into the swing of things and my best wishes to you and your team for 2018.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

The Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in early childhood education, primary and secondary schooling.

If you have been considering entering, entries must be received by 5pm on Friday 23 March 2018. In previous years there has been really great representation from the early learning sector so I really encourage you to put your name in the hat. If you need any help please let us know.

More information is available on the Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards website(external link).

Ki roto i ngā manaakitanga

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. Welcome to the 2018 teaching and learning year, although for many you will have been back for a while now. I trust you have all managed to have a great break away with family and friends and are ready for another year ahead. We look forward to working together to continue offering learning opportunities and increase participation and quality for all our children.

Education Review Office (ERO)

Congratulations to Central Kids Kindergartens – Hinemoa and Laughton –which recently received ‘Very Well Placed’ Category 4 ERO reports. A Category 4 report acknowledges services that provide high quality education and management systems for our young people. Keep up the great work.

Health and safety

We have been experiencing some very hot weather just recently, so a gentle reminder about storing children’s food during this time. Please ensure all perishable foods, such as meat sandwiches and dairy products, which are left in lunch boxes are refrigerated.

Regulation 45, Licensing Criteria PF16 – there are facilities for the hygienic preparation, storage and/or serving of food and drink that contain:

  • a means of keeping perishable food at a temperature at or below 4°C and protected from vermin and insects
  • a means of cooking and/or heating food
  • a means of hygienically washing dishes
  • a sink connected to a hot water supply
  • storage, and
  • food preparation surfaces that are impervious to moisture and can be easily maintained in a hygienic condition.

If you have any queries about licensing please contact one of our ECE Education Advisors:

Celebrating Purerehua

Last month I invited early learning services to share their good news stories. So this month I am able to celebrate a good news story from an early learning service in Turangi:

Ko Tongariro te maunga,
Ko Taupo-nui-a-Tia te moana,
Ko Tūwharetoa te iwi,
Ko Te Heuheu te tangata.
Ko Te Kapua Whakpīipī te kaupapa whakahirahira.
Ko Purerehua Early Learning Centre te Puna Kohungahunga. 

Same name, different understandings

Situated in beautiful Turangi, the tranquil fishing capital of the world. Purerehua Early Learning Centre (Purerehua ELC) sits in the ground of Tongariro School and on the ancestral land of the Ngati Turangitukua hapū.

The original Purerehua ELC was closed at the end of 2016. Due to whānau and community demand and parental pressure the opportunity to re-open the centre was offered to Te Kapua Whakapīpī under the guidance of the ariki, Sir Tumu Te Heuheu, and the Tūwharetoa Mātauranga and Educational Strategic Plan 2014-2025. Te Kapua Whakapīpī took up the challenge and committed to re-open Purerehua ELC as a bilingual centre.

The meaning of the original Purerehua was based on the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. However, it was determined that whilst retaining the metamorphic meaning, the new direction would be to reclaim the traditional meaning of the Purerehua (bull roarer) as a communicator and this became a catalyst in the new journey.

A small core group worked with this new kaupapa to develop a new philosophy, and values, policies and procedures, with the guidance of the Ministry of Education appointed personnel and local people.

Long days painting, cleaning, developing environments inside and out, interviewing and appointing staff and blood, sweat and tears meant that finally the Purerehua ELC opened on 6 November 2017.

Currently we are at capacity, with a long waiting list and needing to increase our maximum number of children. We have an amazing team of kaiako and kaimahi who are passionate about working with the tamariki, ongoing study and learning and all being on the same waka moving towards a new horizon. We are all excited about developing a local curriculum based on Te Kapua Whakapīpī and the Tūwharetoa Cultural Knowledge Initiative. Te Kapua Whakapīpī is the sheltering cloud, a formation which sits atop the Kaimanawa ranges serving as a reminder that whānau are stronger when united and working together.


Tūwharetoa e!
Kia āta whakatere i te waka
Kei pariparia e te tai mōnehunehu,
Tūwharetoa! Whakamārotia atu anō,
ka whakahoki mai ana
Ki te kapua whakapipi
Ka mate kainga tahi, ka ora kainga rua. 

Tūwharetoa e!
Row the waka carefully and gently
lest it be overwhelmed by the ‘driving spray’
Stretch out, but guard your return to the sheltering cloud
A man who has only one plan, may not succeed. 

We would like to acknowledge and thank the following people: the Ministry of Education staff from the Rotorua office, Petra Navanua, Miriama Prentice, Patricia Otimi, Susan Te Heuheu and te Tari o Te Kapua Whakapīpī, Thelma Chapman, and many, many others who have given amazing support and contributed to this journey. Noho ora mai rā.”

It is great to see services working together within their communities that provide increased early learning opportunities. Thank you for being the first ECE service to share your story. We look forward to other ECE services sharing their stories about their journeys. Please email nicole.young@education.govt.nz with these.

Children’s Day events

We have listed a couple of Children’s Day events below, but check out your local community events page to celebrate this day with your ECE community.

EventWhereDate and time
Children’s Day Circus Historic Village,
17th Avenue
2 March from 11am-2pm
Celebrating Children from around the World Rotorua CBD 3 March from 10am-3pm
Redwoods Children’s Day Long Mile Road,
4 March from 1.30pm-4.30pm

Prime Minister’s Excellence in Education Awards

The 2018 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are open for entry and I strongly encourage you to consider entering for these prestigious awards.

The Minister’s announcement can be found on the New Zealand Government website.(external link) You can view the website in English (external link)and te reo Māori(external link). Entries close at 5pm on Friday 23 March 2018.

In this region we have experienced a high level of success since the awards began in 2014, with Henk and his team at Otumoetai Intermediate the inaugural supreme winners. In 2016, Rotorua Boys High School won the leadership category and then last year Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa (along with William Colenso College) were announced joint winners in the Excellence in Leading – Atakura Award. This was absolutely thrilling for the kōhanga whānau and for this region.

If there is anything on this page you would like to discuss, or if you have an issue you want to talk about, please email me at ezra.schuster@education.govt.nz or call my mobile on 027 296 8196.

Ia Manuia

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

Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti regional news

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou

Welcome back for 2018! I hope you have enjoyed a refreshing holiday break and that 2018 will be a great year for you and your community. To those who are new to the Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti Region, we wish you a warm East Coast welcome and look forward to connecting with you in the coming weeks.

Looking ahead to 2018

We are in for a very busy year ahead as new government policies take shape and we build and adapt systems and processes to support these. Sharing information and ensuring the sector is well supported will be very important for us and we look forward to a productive and positive relationship.

One of the advantages of my role is that I get invited to attend a number of events at schools, early learning services and Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako across the region. Recently I attended the launch of the Nga Hau e Wa (the Four Winds) Community of Learning in Hastings. This brought together the staff of all 9 schools and 4 kindergartens for a pōhiri at Hastings Girls’ High School, kick-starting a number of exciting collaborative projects. Professor Mere Berryman was guest speaker and shared the Culturally Responsive Pedagogy framework that will be a central focus to professional development and learning of the educators in Nga Hau e Wha. It was very exciting to see early childhood services actively involved in this Community of Learning.

I also had the pleasure of speaking at the recent Hawke’s Bay ECE Sector Hui to a range of educators and providers. It was great to share some upcoming initiatives and directions, as well as receive feedback about the successes and challenges facing the sector. Thank you to Irene from Step Up for facilitating the event and to all those who attended.

Staffing update

In the past few weeks we have welcomed a number of new staff!

In the Gisborne office we have: Olivia Rozbicki and Ellen McKee as Speech Language Therapists, Julie Dawson as a Learning Support Advisor, Claire Swann as an Early Intervention Teacher and Kara Te Whata-Maynard as a Psychologist.

In the Napier office: Hayley Whitaker joins us as a Communities of Learning Lead, Maree Paterson is in our Business Support team, Peter Patterson is the Transport Contract Manager, Claire Taylor is a Special Education Advisor, and Louise Holdcroft starts in her exciting new position where she will be leading the regional delivery of the Oral Language Initiative. And last, but not least, Stacey Baxter is returning to the Napier office as an Intern Psychologist. We feel extremely lucky to have them all on board.

Kāhui Ako update – Hayley Whitaker

Kia ora koutou katoa. Ngā mihi nui a koutou. My name is Hayley Whitaker and I came to join the team of Ministry Kāhui Ako Lead Advisors in the Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti region at the beginning of January. I am an early childhood teacher who was working as a Professional Development and Learning Facilitator prior to coming into this new role. I have worked in a range of ECE leadership roles in early childhood services and in NZEI Te Riu Roa. My role has a specific focus on strengthening the participation of early learning services in Kāhui Ako. This is already happening in some Kāhui Ako and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to strengthening this. I am available to come along to meet with you to talk further about early childhood engagement. Please contact me on 06 831 0642, 027 206 0629 or at hayley.whitaker@education.govt.nz

Activity and Nutrition Aotearoa (ANA)

If you are involved in improving your community’s health and well-being through nutrition and physical activity, ANA warmly invites you and your colleagues to a complementary one-day professional development event. This is one of 4 regional forums ANA hosts every 2 years. This event is a networking and professional development opportunity for people whose work relates to public health nutrition and physical activity.

Date: Wednesday 7 March 2018

Venue: Wairoa Community Centre, 33 Marine Parade, Wairoa

Time: 9am – 3.30pm

Please see attached the draft programme [PDF, 591KB](external link) and flyer [PDF, 97KB](external link). Register here for the Wairoa Forum(external link).

Contact: Chelsea Slobbé, Professional Development Coordinator, chelsea@ana.org.nz or 04 499 6360 for further information.

Get to know us – Oliver Needham – staff profile

Oliver Needham, Speech and language therapist for Tairāwhiti/Gisborne.

What’s your role at the Ministry of Education?

I am a Speech and Language Therapist at MOE Tairāwhiti/Gisborne.

When did you join the Ministry and why did you come here?

I began in this role in 2009 after graduating from the University of Canterbury with a BSLT (alongside a BA in Psychology). I travelled up from Christchurch with all my worldly possessions stuffed into my trusty Corolla hatchback to embark in this adventure with the MOE in sunny Gisborne.

What do you most enjoy about working here?

I enjoy the variety of work we do, the collegiality of colleagues, and the opportunity to use my skills and experience to make a positive contribution to society each day.

Tell us about something interesting you do in your non-work life.

I have 6 children (including 4 stepchildren) with my wife Sara. I love sport and the outdoors and played rugby league for New Zealand universities in my youth.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, who would it be, and why?

Maybe a professional golfer, cricketer or tennis player to experience what it’s like to consistently hit well-timed shots, or an adventure sportsman.

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

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu regional news

Director’s message

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa 

Welcome to 2018. I hope that this first Pānui Kōhungahunga finds you well and that you have each had a chance to have a short break and spend valuable time with family and friends over the summer period.

New appointments

Hone Davis – Strategic Advisor Māori

Hone Davis has joined us as the Strategic Advisor Māori. He has been seconded from the Parents Families and Whānau team until December 2018. Hone will be responsible for supporting our relationships with iwi across the region. His primary focus will be to work with iwi leaders and our staff to support local strategies that focus on accelerating Māori achievement.

Hilarie Nicoll – Education Advisor

Hilarie Nicoll – we are very pleased to welcome Hilarie to our team. She has been appointed as an Education Advisor based in the Whanganui office. She was most recently the Professional Leader of the Whanganui Kindergarten Association and has been involved in the early childhood sector in a variety of leadership and teaching roles over the past 30 years.<

TWM key contacts

 Jann Marshall – Director for Education

Jann Marshall –I am proud to be the Director of Education for Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū, a position I have held since July 2014. I work alongside a talented, dedicated team of people who put children and young people at the centre of everything they do. In September 2007, I joined the Ministry of Education as a Project Manager Schooling Improvement working with clusters of school to raise student achievement. In July 2010, I went on to lead the Education, Curriculum and Performance team in Lower Hutt for 3 years before taking on the Regional Manager’s role in October 2013. That position covered Early Learning and Schooling across Central South, which included Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū.

Prior to joining the Ministry, I was a Manager at NZQA where I led the School Relationship Managers who supported, monitored and reviewed secondary schools in their delivery of national qualifications. I was involved in the development and implementation of the NCEA, as well as being responsible for the delivery of tertiary examinations and the transition to national certificates and diplomas.

Marlene Clarkson.

Marlene Clarkson –I began my career in early childhood in South Auckland as a Kindergarten Teacher. I have worked as a Professional Development Facilitator, have managed a large multi-site early learning service, and spent some years as a Reviewer with ERO in Christchurch. I joined the Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū team 3 years ago and have enjoyed getting to know the region. I have overall responsibility for the early learning work programme in our region and also support schools in the Manawatū area.

Rae Karipa

Rae Karipa – I have spent the past 11 years working in a variety of roles in the Ministry. The majority of my work has been in the Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū area, leading and managing teams to support schools and early learning providers. I have also been focused on developing partnerships with key community groups and agencies. Other roles within the Ministry have included 6 months in Christchurch supporting schools following the 2011 earthquake, and working in a national team to support the sector focus on achieving the Better Public Service target of 85% of school leavers attaining an NCEA L2 qualification or above by 2017.

Wendy McNamara

Wendy McNamara – I have over 10 years’ experience in the education sector as a Centre Leader and Manager. I am passionate about working alongside innovative teachers, whānau and communities to understand and implement high quality teaching practices, and have extensive experience in leading large teaching teams to live out their educational aspirations.

Leigh Owen

Leigh Owen – I have held a number of leadership roles within ECE. My most recent positions include professional learning facilitation with Massey University, lecturing with UCOL and managing a large ECE service for Best Start.

Barbara Potaka (aka Ginge)

Barbara Potaka (aka Ginge)

Ko Aotea te waka
Ko Ruapehu te maunga
Ko Whanganui te awa
Ko Atihau-nui-a-paparangi te iwi
Ko Nga Paerange te hapu
Ko Kaiwhaiki te marae
No Whangauni ahau

I have been involved in education for 15 years, 11 of which were working in ECE licensed services before joining the Early Childhood team at the Ministry of Education in 2011. I support licensed services and playgroups. I value the importance of early learning, and the need to be responsive to the identity, language and culture of all children, and enjoy being able to make a difference for tamariki and their whānau. Of particular interest is working alongside vulnerable children and whānau within communities and supporting them into early learning opportunities that meet their needs and aspirations.

Ann-Cherie Phillips

Ann-Cherie Phillips

Ko Ruapehu te Maunga
Ko Aotea to Waka
Ko Te Atihaunui a paparangi te iwi
Ko Ngāti Tuera me Ngāti Hinearo ngā hapu
Ko Parikino te Marae
No Whanganui ahau

I have worked in home-based care as an educator before coming to work for the Early Childhood team in 2011. I am keen to explore innovative ways to engage whānau in early learning, specifically to encourage those who see it as foreign. I have lived in Whanganui all my life surrounded by whānau. I have 3 young boys who remind me every day how important education is.

Nicole Hobbs

Nicole Hobbs – I have 20 years’ experience in the education sector as an Early Childhood Teacher, ECE Manager and ECE Tutor. I am committed to the well-being of young children and their whānau through supporting early childhood educators and services to provide quality teaching and learning. My key priorities include raising awareness about bi-cultural practices, participation, self-review, assessment, evaluation and transitions.

Communicating with the ECE team

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 

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou katoa, ngā mihi nui ki a koutou

Welcome to 2018. I appreciate that many of you have been back at work now for a few weeks and hope you are making the most of the wonderfully warm summer we have been experiencing. While the weather has been great I also appreciate it has brought challenges for our early childhood services with 35 degree temperatures experienced in some parts of our region on a number of occasions. 

As noted in my previous newsletter to you, one of the things I particularly enjoy about my role is hearing about the great things happening in early childhood services across our region and celebrating these successes. If your ECE me nga kōhanga reo is involved in innovative work that is making a real difference to supporting children and young people to achieve, we would love to hear about it so we can share the great news.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

We also encourage you to consider entering the 2018 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards. An additional prize has been announced – the Education Focus | Takatū Prize. This award celebrates outstanding inclusive practices that enable all children and young people with additional learning needs to succeed. Many of you have plenty to acknowledge and I really encourage you to enter your service or kōhanga reo. Entries close on 23 March and to find out more visit the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards website(external link).

Te Kōhanga Reo expo

Late last year we were delighted to support a number of our local kōhanga participate in Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust expo ‘Nōku te reo Nōku te Ao’ in Hamilton. It was an amazing event with several hundred people perusing the exhibits each day. The exhibitors, which included the Ministry of Education, were able to provide kōhanga reo whānau with information and show demonstrations of all the supports and services that are available to them.

Team update – welcome and farewell

Finally, I would like to update you on recent and upcoming staffing changes to our regional ECE team. Trina Maxwell has recently joined our ECE team. She comes to us from Atiawa Nui Tonu Kōhanga Reo and will be working with licensed services across both Māori medium and English medium settings. Trina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team and is looking forward to working with you.

On a slightly sadder note, we farewell Helen Keats from our regional team. Helen is leaving our regional office here in Lower Hutt but is not lost to our organisation as she will be relocating to our Napier office in the Hawkes Bay / Tairāwhiti Region of the Ministry of Education.

Ngā mihi nui

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

Director’s message

Derek Lucić – Director of Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou

Piki mai kake mai

Welcome back to a new year. A special welcome to new people to our region. Thank you to the Whakatū Marae, Ministry staff, colleagues and external agencies who welcomed me to my new position on 22 January. I appreciated your warmth and frankness. This year will not be an exception with the well-being and learning challenges we face for our tamariki. In addition, there will be changes as our new Minister’s policies are elaborated and implemented. I look forward to supporting you in your good work and familiarising myself with the diversity of our region, both rural and urban. On behalf of the Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast Ministry Teams we look forward to learning and working with you in 2018 for tamariki.

ECE Team Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast

 Helen Robinson

Helen Robinson

Manager Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast

Based in the Nelson office
Email: helen.robinson@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03 546 3479
Mobile: 027 479 8745

Education Advisors ECE Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast


Kellie Warren  Kellie Warren
Education Advisor Supporting Licensed Services Based in the Nelson office
Email: kellie.warren@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03 539 1546
Mobile: 027 560 0913
 Elizabeth Hamilton Elizabeth Hamilton
Education Advisor Supporting Certificated Services Based in the Nelson office
Email: elizabeth.hamilton@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03 539 1504
Mobile: 027 836 4971
 Joanna Lorimer Joanna Lorimer
Education Advisor Supporting Certificated Services Based in the Greymouth office
Email: joanna.lorimer@education.govt.nz
Phone: 03 768 2018
Mobile: 027 479 8750

Staff update

Deborah Van Dam is no longer working as an Education Advisor for this region and will be greatly missed by those who worked with her. However, she hasn’t gone far and will continue to work in this region for the Ministry of Education. Congratulations to Deborah on her appointment as Early Intervention Teacher.

Gwen Gilmore

A warm welcome to Gwen Gilmore who joins the Early Childhood team in February as an Education Advisor. She comes with 30 years’ experience from across a range of educational contexts, including early childhood programme management and research. Her early childhood experience actually started in Murchison where she helped with Playcentre training and delivery. She has worked overseas in England and Australia, shaping new wraparound services, improving engagement in areas of poverty and low socioeconomic outcomes, and developing intercultural responsibilities/approaches. Gwen also has publications on early childhood and inclusive education.

Kāhui Ako update

We have had enquiries from early childhood centres about joining Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, how you might go about this, what the expectations might be of you, and what the benefits might be for your tamariki and kaiako.

Kāhui Ako are well-established in our region. As of December 2017, all 12 Kāhui Ako in the NMWC region have endorsed Achievement Challenge Plans in place – making us the first region to have all Kāhui Ako formed and moving into focusing on accelerating progress and raising achievement for all our ākonga. We expect 2018 to be really exciting as more early childhood centres formally join with Kāhui Ako in order to grow the pathway for all our ākonga and for you to contribute the skills, expertise and enthusiasm that you will undoubtedly bring.

If you would like any further information on Communities of Learning, or how you might join, please contact your ECE Advisor.

Kind regards

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

Canterbury regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora

I hope that you all had a relaxing and refreshing break over the summer and my best wishes for 2018 go to you all. Please remember to contact Barbara Madden at barbara.madden@education.govt.nz if you have things to celebrate or share with the sector. Later in this Bulletin you will see a lovely story from Edukids Prestons about their efforts to make a difference in their community – well done.

We are often contacted by services asking for assistance with learning support issues manifested by children attending a service. This Bulletin includes an item from Susan Schneideman (Manager Learning Support) to guide you in deciding when and how you can access support.


We welcome the following early childhood services who have joined the network of provision in Canterbury between August and December 2017.

New licensed services:

  • Oakfields – Little Oaks Preschool (August 2017)
  • Blossoms Educare Rangiora (September 2017)
  • Playschool Canterbury One (September 2017)
  • Lake Tekapo (October 2017)
  • Kidsfirst Kindergartens West Rolleston (October 2017)
  • Kindercare Armagh Street (November 2017)
  • Whales Tales Montessori Preschool (November 2017)
  • Early Years Silverstream (November 2017)
  • Just Kids Merrington (November 2017)
  • Creators@Home Otautahi 2 (December 2017).

Communities of Learning/ Kāhui Ako

There are 26 approved Kāhui Ako in the Canterbury region. Te Mana Raupo in the Cashmere/St Martin’s area is the largest Kāhui Ako, consisting of 7 schools and 24 formally acknowledged ECE service members. The smallest Kāhui Ako is Pūtaringamotu in the Riccarton area which currently consists of 3 schools. The Pūtaringamotu Kāhui Ako is actively engaging with a number of ECE services who are interested in becoming formally acknowledged as members.

In total there are currently 88 ECE services formally acknowledged as members of Kāhui Ako across Canterbury. There are also a number of ECE services who are continuing to work with Kāhui Ako on a more informal basis.

ECE services engaging with Kāhui Ako across Canterbury are recognising the increased opportunities to share practice expertise while working collaboratively to ensure the continuity of learning is supported across the learning pathway. Members of a Kāhui Ako are also accessing and sharing a range of resources and information to support their identified achievement challenges and goals.

If you are interested in becoming formally acknowledged as a member of a Kāhui Ako, or wish to seek information about existing Kāhui Ako around your geographical location, please contact the Ministry of Education ECE Education Advisors at ece.canterbury@education.govt.nz.

Christchurch events 2018

These are two of a number of awesome events that will be happening in Christchurch in 2018 to show how connected, creative and world class we are. Have a look at the links below:

12 Chairs

One of our amazing parents at Edukids Prestons brought to our attention the 12 Chairs for Children’s Ward fundraising initiative. If your child is hospitalised in Christchurch, a bed is not usually available for parents to sleep in and this can just exacerbate what is already a stressful time for families.

12 Chairs is a charity raising money to put 12 Devon recliner chairs in the High Dependency Unit of the children’s ward at Christchurch Hospital. These chairs are hospital approved and can be converted into beds to give the parent/caregiver a chance of some sleep while their child is in hospital.

As a team we decided to support this amazing cause and we rolled out the red carpet for our incredible art auction. There was everything from clay to cloth, pencils to paints, canvas to framed works of art! The teachers embraced each child’s development and stage, personalising the art to each child.

The imagination and insane work and dedication to the cause by the teachers was outstanding! Parents, caregivers, grandparents and whānau left the evening with arms full of new art work for their walls. Through our art auction we managed to raise over $4,500 for 3 new Devon chairs for the children’s ward! Thanks to everyone involved.

Children’s art ready for the auction

Children’s art ready for the auction

Children’s art ready for the auction

Children’s art ready for the auction

Art ready for the auction

Learning Support – early intervention

Our Learning Support Team work with families and early childhood educators who ask for help when they are concerned about the learning and development of young children. This may concern a child’s developmental delay, disability, behaviour and/or communication difficulties.

We have a range of specialists who will work with your team. Depending on the family/whānau and educators’ needs, the team might include:

  • a speech language therapist
  • an early intervention teacher
  • a psychologist
  • an advisor on deaf children
  • a kaitakawaenga (Māori cultural advisor).

If you have any concerns around a child in your centre then please talk to your local Ministry of Education Service Manager. They can discuss learning support options with you and recommend the need for a request for support.

Learning Support Service contact details can be found on our website.

Futures Network – 2018

Please note that all meetings of this network will be held in the Ministry of Education Conference Room (Ground Floor) of Te Ureti on the corner of Hereford Street and Cambridge Terrace.

Dates for 2018 are:

  • Tuesday 20 March, 9.30am – 11.30am (refer below for agenda)
  • Tuesday 19 June, 9.30am – 11.30am (focus on wellbeing in children and adults)
  • Tuesday 18 September, 9.30am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 13 November, 9.30 – 11.30am – annual conversation with Coralanne Child.

The closest public parking is at the West End parking building – entry via Cashel Street. There are also Council-owned public parking buildings in Lichfield Street and at the Art Gallery.

A vote of thanks goes out to Sandy Radford (with support from Portobelo Preschools) and Viv Shearsby for the work they have done and continue with to make these hui relevant and interesting. Please remember to contact either of them, or Barb Madden in our office, should you have ideas for future foci.

Futures Network – Term 1

Tuesday 20 March 2018

9.30am – 11.30pm


  • Welcome and introductions
  • Understanding Incredible Years – Teachers and Incredible Years – Parent’s courses (Erin Sturman, Ministry of Education)
  • Ministry of Education ECE update (Vanessa Goodwin, Ministry of Education)
  • Break for refreshments and time to network (tea/coffee provided, please bring something to share for morning tea)
  • Guest presentation – Jayne Franklin (Manager Innovation and Collaboration, Education Council). She is recently appointed in this role which leads the Council’s work to enable leadership for ongoing improvement, innovation and transformation. In this session Jayne will be sharing updated information from the Council about the draft Leadership Strategy, and the Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession
  • Group discussion and finalising of Futures Network joint response to Education Council draft Leadership Strategy. 


Ground Floor Conference Room
Te Uruti
48 Hereford Street
Christchurch (Cnr Hereford Street and Cambridge Terrace)

Please note that for health and safety purposes the names of those attending are required. Please RSVP with names to barbara.madden@education.govt.nz by Thursday 15 March.

Mā te wā

Coralanne Child
Director of Education Canterbury
Phone: 03 378 7345
Email: coralanne.child@education.govt.nz

Otago-Southland regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora koutou and warm Pasifika greetings.

Welcome back to 2018! I know you will have exciting plans ahead to work with the staff, parents, whānau and community to support the learning pathways of the children in your care. It has been a busy start to the year, with a number of changes occurring across education. I have summarised some of the key changes for early learning below.

Changes in education

Late last year the new Government announced a number of changes relating to education, and work on implementing these continues this year. All information relating to these changes can be found on our Changes in education page.

One change that is likely to have a direct impact for early learning is around the proposed modifications to the cohort entry policy, which was introduced in last year’s Education Act Update and came into effect for a small number of schools this year. Minister Hipkins has announced that the Government is proposing to change the policy so that children can start school in groups only after they have turned 5. This is in line with the recommendation of the 2015 Advisory Group on Early Learning.

Consultation is now open over 2 options for cohort entry for children over 5 – starting in groups once per term, or twice per term. A consultation document is available on our website, and a Special Edition of He Pānui Kōhungahunga(external link) about this consultation was published on Monday 12 February.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

A reminder that applications are open for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards. Entries close on 23 March 2018. See the Prime Minister’s Awards website(external link) for more information.

New licensed services

On 15 January, the Remarkable Start Early Learning Centre opened in its new purpose built premises in Frankton. The Centre is licensed for 76 children, including 16 under 2’s and draws upon the principles of Montessori. Remarkable Start aims to engage children’s curiosity and encourage their sense of adventure, without losing sight of a child’s need to learn through play and freely interact with nature and those around them.

Last year, the Blue Duck Early Learning Centre opened in Te Anau as a response to the growing population demands in the area. The Centre is licensed for 65 children, including up to 20 under 2’s. This new service joined the existing early learning network in the wider area as they worked through a Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) contract on Continuity of Learning. This month kaiako in this network will share information on Te Whāriki and how learning is identified to members of the Fiordland and Northern Southland (FiNS) Kāhui Ako.

I hope all children, family, whānau and staff have settled in well to their new Centres and look forward to hearing how your children’s learning progresses.

Nightcaps Playcentre Playgroup redevelopment project

In 2017, parents from the Nightcaps Playcentre Playgroup set about refreshing their facilities. The first stage was to reconfigure the inside layout to consider the areas of learning for the children and to improve access to resources. The place has become light, colourful and inviting for whānau and the community.

Nightcaps Playcentre Playgroup new outdoor play equipment

Nightcaps Playcentre Playgroup new outdoor play equipment

The second stage of the project was to revamp the outdoor play area in conjunction with the Invercargill North Rotary Club. Funding was sourced from the Community Trust in Southland, the Rotary Foundation, Fonterra Grass Roots, Southland District Council and the Ohai Railway Fund. The local transport firm, TSL, provided support by carting sand to refill the sandpit.

The Rotarians listened to the ideas from the parents and over a period of 6 weeks designed and developed new creative outdoor equipment. The Playgroup community provided a shared lunch for the workers on the makeover day, and enjoyed watching the delight on the children’s faces as they explored new equipment.

It is always heartening to hear of community engagement and support for early learning services. 

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
Phone: 03 471 5217
Mobile: 027 836 4846
Email: julie.anderson@education.govt.nz

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