Early Learning Regional News – July 2019

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

Tai Tokerau regional news

Tēnā koutou katoa

Te Manawa Tahi – Learning Support engagement with whānau and communities

Over the past 2 weeks teams from the Ministry of Education and Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour have been privileged to talk with community representatives in the Far North and the Peowhairangi area in the Mid-North about developing a new Learning Support model in these areas. This consultation phase further develops work done over the previous 2 years to co-design a new Learning Support model across Tai Tokerau.

Gathering of people in a classroom 
Whānau attending the workshop

Thank you to everyone who joined us and contributed. It was great to meet wonderful whānau like those in the photo above and tamariki like Ashton from Maromaku who attended alongside his mother. We are keen to hear more from communities, so will be seeking further opportunities to engage with whānau and continue working on giving everyone a voice in this initiative.

Changes to the Oranga Tamariki Act and the new Family Violence Act

Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

Changes to information sharing provisions under the Oranga Tamariki Act from 1 July will provide a clearer framework for early learning services to use when working together with other agencies or people, to support the wellbeing and safety of children. In practice, these changes are likely to be more directly relevant for our sector than the new information sharing provisions under the Family Violence Act because they involve children. The Ministry’s sharing information webpage will be updated with guidance for the education sector in early July. Information about all the changes will be published on the Oranga Tamariki website.

Family Violence Act 2018

Changes to family violence legislation from 1 July are part of the Government’s wider work programme for transforming our response to family violence, so people affected can get help in a timely and meaningful way. The Ministry of Education, school boards, licensed early learning services, and teachers with current practising certificates or limited authority to teach are all covered by new information sharing provisions. We are required to consider sharing information if it may help protect a victim from family violence or if we receive a request for information. The Ministry’s sharing information webpage will be updated with guidance for the education sector in early July. Family Violence Act guidance is available on the Ministry of Justice website.

A new Family Violence Act - Ministry of Justice website(external link)

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

Auckland regional news

Director’s message

Tenā koutou.

Nga mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Māori ki a tatou katoa.

I hope that this edition of He Pānui Kōhungahunga finds you all well. We are now past the winter solstice (Saturday 22 June) and can look forward to longer days again soon – even if the weather continues to be rather chilly!

Matariki hunga,

Matariki hunga nui.

Matariki has many admirers,

Matariki brings us together.

Matariki celebrations have now wrapped up again for the year: we would love to see your photos and stories and see how your service celebrates this uniquely New Zealand event. Please feel free to send them through to me.

Measles information for Auckland early learning services

The number of measles cases in Auckland has risen and cases continue to spread. All early learning services should now have received direct communication from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, including flyers to include in your newsletter or send home with children. If you have not received this email please contact Kat Ashmead at kat.ashmead@education.govt.nz and we will ensure it gets to you.

Please take this information seriously and share it with your staff and community. It is absolutely imperative that we take all possible steps to prevent the further spread of this dangerous disease.

To protect those most vulnerable to the region’s measles outbreak, the Auckland Region Public Health Service has announced that the first measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination has been brought forward to 12 months from 15 months in Auckland. Please ensure that you share this information with your families to give children the best chance of staying safe. You can read more about this on their website.

Children to be vaccinated for measles at 12 months - Auckland Regional Public Health Service website(external link)

The latest updates from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service about measles in Auckland can always be found at their website, where there are also copies of the Measles Fact Sheet available in Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island Māori, Niuean, Chinese, Korean, Hindi and NZ Sign Language.

Measles outbreak in Auckland - ARPHS website(external link)

Alternatively, you can phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for immediate health advice.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards – finalists announced

Congratulations to the 20 finalists selected for the prestigious Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, and particularly to our own Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi who are finalists in the Education Focus category, which this year relates to Excellence in Māori-medium Education.

A judging panel will now visit the finalists and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in September.

Winners and Finalists 2019 - Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards website(external link)

New staff

Welcome to Samantha Morrison and Jay Mullan who have both joined the team as Education Advisors ECE.

Sam comes to us from BestStart Educare. Her key interests are supporting best practice in centres and developing leadership. In her spare time she likes to be with her family, preferably at the beach. Sam replaces Cindy Mercado, who has been seconded to another role within the Ministry and, along with Marlo Camacho, will be responsible for early learning services in West Auckland.

Jay comes from the UK and has been living in Auckland for the past 11 years. She brings with her a passion for good quality teaching practice and a wealth of experience in early childhood education and training. Jay replaces Lisa Thomson, who has been seconded to another role within the Ministry and, along with Marion Porter, will be responsible for early learning services in North Auckland.

Allergies, medication policies and EpiPens

Earlier this year we launched a Guide to Allergies.

Allergies and learning - TKI website(external link)

This website includes extensive guidance for early childhood and school teachers, leaders and school nurses, about supporting students who have allergies. The guide covers safe eating environments, airborne triggers, safe trips and excursions, teaching resources, action plans, risk minimisation and incident registers. This month we are shining a spotlight on the guidelines for storing medication, including EpiPens.

Review medication policies and procedures about access and storage - TKI website(external link)

  • Every early learning service should have a Health and Safety Policy which includes a policy for storing medication.
  • For most medications, the appropriate storage location will be in a fridge or in a locked cupboard. 
  • An important exception is adrenaline auto-injectors, such as EpiPens, which should be kept out of the reach of small children but be located in an easily accessible, central, ‘unlocked’ location on the premises, away from direct sources of heat and sunlight.
  • An ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis(external link) should always be stored with an adrenaline auto-injector.
  • Your service’s policy should include a mechanism for reviewing the expiry dates of stored medication.

For more information see our Guide to Allergies or the Allergy New Zealand website.

Guide to Allergies - TKI website(external link)

Allergy New Zealand(external link)

Kōrero about the future of Māori education

In 2018, we started a conversation with Māori whānau and communities about what matters most in the education of Māori learners through a series of wānanga. Over 2,000 learners, whānau and educators came along and discussed a wide range of issues and opportunities for Māori education.

Thank you for your input. The information we gathered will be used to inform our refresh of Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo and the overall Education Work Programme.

You can read a summary of the 12 key themes identified on the Kōrero Matauranga website, or read each region’s summary reports on the Kōrero Matauranga resources page.

Māori Education - Kōrero Matauranga website(external link)

Kōrero Matauranga website resources page(external link)

Pacific Education Conversation

Key messages from the Pacific fono held in November last year have been published for your use and information. You can read the summary of the Auckland regional feedback, as well as those from across Aotearoa New Zealand, on the Education Conversation website.

Auckland Pacific Education Conversation: Findings Summary [PDF, 810KB](external link)

What you said - Education Conversation website(external link)

The current Pacific Education Plan has been extended until the end of 2019, while work to integrate a Pacific voice across the Ministry’s work programme is underway. There will be another opportunity for engagement on a new plan later this year. For more information on timing and how you can have your say please email us to subscribe to updates at pacific.educationconversation@education.govt.nz.

Department of Corrections – notifications

We work closely with the Department of Corrections, including notifying our education community that a person on sentence for child sex offending is, or will be, residing in the local area. The work Corrections and Police do alongside the Ministry of Education and schools is about community safety.

Notification to local education providers is to ensure the safety of children at schools, early learning services and playgroups. This awareness provides a reminder to the community to have conversations with their children and to implement and maintain strategies to keep themselves and each other safe. Throughout New Zealand there are a number of similar offenders who live in many communities, so this is not a new situation.

The need to notify a community is determined on a case-by-case basis, with the primary consideration being whether it will enhance public safety and/or assist in the management of an individual’s risk.

Key points include:

  • Corrections make the decision whether to undertake community engagement and notification. The Ministry of Education is not part of this decision-making process.
  • Corrections is responsible for informing schools, early learning services and playgroups.
  • Personal information is not shared with schools, early learning services or the Ministry of Education. At all times the Privacy Act 1993 is adhered to.
  • The Ministry of Education supports Corrections by providing information about relevant schools and early learning services, if necessary.

Outside of the notification process, schools and early learning services are encouraged to contact:

  • NZ Police and Corrections if they have any questions or concerns about this process, or
  • NZ Police if they have concerns about the safety of children in the community.

More information:

Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019

Our sincerest congratulations and appreciation goes out to the following Aucklanders who were acknowledged on the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for their contribution to youth and/or education:

  • Mr Graham Michael Lowe, ONZM, QSM, for services to youth and education
  • Mr Mafaufau Sita Tua (David Tua), MNZM, for services to youth, boxing and the community
  • Dr Fiona May Cram for services to Māori health and education
  • Mrs Laine Leata Tipi, JP, for services to Pacific communities and education
  • Mrs Pare Anderson for services to Māori language education
  • Mrs Anne Lorraine Howell for services to the community and education
  • Mr Roderick Andrew McLeay for services to music and education
  • Mr Allan Leonardie Francis Va'a for services to youth and sport
  • Mr Perenise Tapu for services to education and the Samoan community.

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

Queen's Birthday Honours 2019 - Department of the Prime Ministry and Cabinet website(external link)

Feel free to get in touch with me using the contact details below.

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.

Ngahihi He Waka Eke Noa Māori Leadership Symposium

If you were lucky enough to attend the recent He Waka Eke Noa Māori Leadership Symposium held on 15 June, you would have been treated to an exciting array of workshops. Participants from 46 different services across the Waikato region listened to speakers including Rita Walker, Lesley Rameka and Jenny Ritchie.

Workshops included a range of topics that honoured the place of Māori knowledge within curriculum development, considered examples of past great Māori leaders, and asked participants to consider leadership in terms of how they advocate for Māori whānau and tamariki. A highlight of this symposium was the excursions to learn about the mana whenua and stories of Waikato Tainui.

The trip stopped at Taupiri maunga before moving on to the Rangiriri battle site where stories were told of Māori land battles and the beginning of the Kīngitanga. Next stop was Waahi Pā and the trip ended back at Hopuhopu Endowment College where the raupatu land claim and settlement was negotiated. We know that there were a few people disappointed to miss out on these excursions, so we will definitely be looking to offer something similar in the future.

Three ladies standing against a backdrop of Māori designs
Presenters at the recent Ngahihi Symposium –
Rita Walker, Dr Jenny Ritchie and Dr Lesley Rameka

Child protection

Many of our Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) contracts have not long finished and it has been great to read your feedback. Thank you for the time and commitment spent attending these professional development opportunities. In particular, the Strengthening Child Protection workshops facilitated by Eric Hollis were extremely well attended. The well-being and safety of all tamariki is something to always keep updated with and informed about. If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to familiarise yourself with the new Oranga Tamariki Act and the Family Violence Act. Guidance is available on the Ministry of Justice website.

Information about the Oranga Tamariki Act - Oranga Tamariki website(external link)

A new Family Violence Act - Ministry of Justice website(external link)

The Ministry of Education, school boards, licensed early childhood services, and teachers with current practising certificates or limited authority to teach are all covered by new information sharing provisions. We are required to consider sharing information if it may help protect a victim from family violence, or if we receive a request for information.

Ratio requirements for early learning services

Questions about ratios are frequently asked by the sector. The following are a selection of the more commonly asked questions.

Can I employ a primary trained teacher to meet the 50% adult-to-child ratio?

Recognising primary teachers at your service is for funding purposes only. Primary teaching qualifications are not recognised for person responsible in any type of early learning service, or the 50% requirement in teacher-led centre-based or hospital-based services. Section 3-B-1 of the ECE Funding Handbook explains the link between teacher certification and funding.

3-B-1 The link between teach certification and funding

Can I use a third year student to meet the 50% adult-to-child ratio?

A service can count one person who is in their final year of study towards the 50% requirement, provided they are enrolled in an approved programme that will result in a recognised ECE teaching qualification.

Are there any discretionary hours to apply (like in funding) when a centre can't find a reliever to achieve the 50%?

No discretionary hours are available in this situation.

You can read more about qualification and ratio requirements on the Education website through the links below.

Qualification requirements

Knowing the ratio requirements for an ECE service

Noho ora mai


Paula Rawiri

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

Bay of Plenty / Waiariki regional news

Kia ora and talofa lava.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

This year we have a total of 6 finalists in our region with 2 Kōhanga Reo and 2 early learning services. This is really exciting, so my whole-hearted congratulations to all of the finalists throughout Aotearoa – well done.

The early learning and Kōhanga Reo are:

  • Tiaki Early Learning Centre – Excellence in Health and Wellbeing Education
  • Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa – Excellence in Teaching & Learning, Excellence in Māori-medium Education
  • Elstree Kindergarten – Excellence in Engaging
  • Te Kōhanga Reo o Tarimano – Excellence in Engaging and Excellence in Māori-medium Education.

Re-purposing boxes

Active Kids Early Childcare Centre in Tauranga shared with us how they are reusing and re-purposing boxes: “This learning experience provides endless opportunities for conversations, working together, concentration, problem solving, creativity and more!”

Children shelter in fort made out of boxes A child peers into a hole in a box

Health and wellbeing

This month we are highlighting medicine administration. Please ensure that you seek parent permission to administer Category (i), (ii) and (iii) medicines, eg, paracetamol or any other form of pain relief. The specific time the medicine is administered needs to be recorded on your daily medicine chart.

For further information about the categories of medicine please see our website.

Appendix 3: Categories of medicine for criterion HS28

Education and care parent involvement

Parents of children attending a service, and adults providing education and care, need to be provided with opportunities to contribute to the development and review of the service's operational documents. These should include documents such as philosophy, policies and procedures, and any other documents that set out how day-to-day operations will be conducted.

This criterion is underpinned by the belief that parent and whānau involvement can positively contribute to the service’s operation along with the quality of education and care provided to children.

Documentation required

Services are required to show evidence that they have provided opportunities for parents and educators to contribute to the development and review of a centre’s operational documents. Meetings, attendance records and minutes could be considered as evidence, or (if you are providing documents for parents to read) having a sheet parents can tick and sign when they have reviewed documents would also be a way of recording evidence.

GMA4 parent involvement for centre-based services

GMA3 parent involvement for home-based services

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

La manuia


Ezra Schuster

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

Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti regional update

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou.

Welcome to the July Bulletin. The shortest day has now passed, so technically we are half way through winter!

Queens’ Birthday Honours

It was great to see a number of local people being recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list, including Tiwana Aranui who was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM). Tiwana is a prominent member of the education community in Hawke’s Bay. He has held several positions across a range of organisations, including the Māori Advisory Board for the Napier City Council and the Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust.

Tiwana is a kaumātua in Napier, has advocated for whānau, hapu and iwi as a kaiako and coach to the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and been Chair of the Pukemokimoki Marae since the 1990s. In his role as a kaiako he has supported many tamariki and their whānau to learn about their Māori culture. He has supported our Napier office of the Ministry of Education over the last decade. Well-deserved Tiwana!

Groups of people sitting at round tables
Left to right: Doug Putaranui (MoE),
Tiwana Aranui and his wife Yvonne Aranui (MoE)

Staff update

We are pleased to let you know we have welcomed Cindy Wills to the Education Advisor Early Learning position based in the Gisborne Ministry of Education office. Cindy has replaced Hana Parata-Walker. She has worked in early childhood for a number of years and for the past 6.5 years has been privileged to work as centre manager at Te Puna Whakatupu o Whare Amai at Whirikoka Campus as part of Te Wananga o Aotearoa. You can contact her at cindy.wills@education.govt.nz or on 06 863 1047.

Toilet tactics information evening

Presented by Leanne Wait, Pelvic Health Physio & Lisa Smith, Paediatric Nurse

Both Leanne and Lisa have over 10 years experience with continence issues in children. The evening is for anyone interested in finding out more about toileting issues, soiling, constipation, bedwetting and daytime wetting.

When: 6 August 2019
Where: Greenmeadows Community Hall, 83 Tait Drive, Napier
Time: 7–9pm
Cost: $25 per person
Register: lisa.beaconaotearoa@gmail.com

Incredible Years – Parent Autism

This is a group-based programme for parents and caregivers of children aged between 2 and 5 who have autism spectrum features, meeting for 2.5 hours each week over a period of 12-14 weeks. During this time parents will explore strategies aimed at building confidence and skills to promote children’s emotional regulation, positive social interactions, language development and school readiness.

When: Tuesday mornings 9.30am–12pm starting on 6 August 2019
Where: Hastings MoE Satellite Office (Hastings Intermediate School)

Limited to 14 participants. For any expressions of interest please email jens.andersen@education.govt.nz.

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.

Welcome to the July Bulletin. The year just seems to be flying by and winter is certainly upon us. We are now past the winter solstice and can look forward to longer days again – even if the weather continues to be a bit chilly!

Tui Early Learners Feilding – opening celebrations

After a journey of 27 years, Tui Early Learners (a family-owned business) returned to Feilding with their 6th early childhood centre. This occasion demonstrated a true ‘community of practice’ with tamariki, parents and whānau (past and present), kaiako, Tui whānau, Lytton St Kura Kapa Haka, Te Rito Maioha lecturers from the Papaeoia base, and more, all coming together.

In celebration of this special occasion, the centre was honoured to have Anaru Himiona (Kaikarakia) and Lorraine Himiona (Kaikaranga) from Ngāti Kauwhata to take part in their Whakatūwheratanga o te Whare Hou.

This blessing was most significant as Tui Early Learners began in Feilding in 1992 under the educational leadership and guidance of Suzanne Jensen. It now has centres in both Feilding and Palmerston North. Many tamariki, their parents and whānau are 3rd generation families and this is reflected in the generations of family as owners.

The blessing, korero and waiata focused on the history of Tui Early Learners. The beautiful tūī, and the koru, are symbolic in the fronds that continue to emerge, just as our tamariki demonstrate every day in their emerging interests. Words were also shared that celebrated the Tui story of success as the recent supreme winners of the Westpac Manawatū Business Awards (2018). This feat in itself was another significant achievement for Tui Early Learners. They were able to demonstrate “the importance of having a successful educational framework and structure in amongst a business world”, where our most important taonga are, of course, the tamariki.

Children gather in school grounds
Children from Tui Early Learners and Lytton
School gather for the official blessing

Parents and children walking out of school entrance

Notification of change of qualified persons for early childhood services (EC11A)

To ensure all services are meeting the criteria for staffing qualifications and ratios at all times, you are required to notify us of any changes of qualified people at your service. Changes will occur when:

  • existing staff, parents/whānau become qualified
  • qualified staff, parents/whānau leave the service
  • qualified staff, parents/whānau join the service.

To notify us of any changes, please send a completed EC11A form to ece.twm@education.govt.nz. This form is available in Appendix 2: Resources and Examples on the Ministry of Education website in the ECE Funding Handbook. Certified copies of qualifications must be attached to the form.

Appendix 2: Funding Handbook

Kāhui Ako update

As at 30 June 2019, 10 Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu Kāhui Ako submitted ECE funding applications to the Ministry of Education. The funding amount per Kāhui Ako depends on the number of early learning services in that Kāhui Ako. This funding must be paid to an early learning service, with the ECE members agreeing to how it will be used to promote collaboration across the services and with schools. Some of this funding will not be paid out until later in July, but as it was submitted prior to 30 June the application will cover both the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 financial years. For those early learning groups in Kāhui Ako that did not make an application, you may do so at any point in time. All information can be found on the Education website.

Funding for early learning in Kāhui Ako

Congratulations also to the 23 schools and 21 early learning services in Whanganui City and the surrounding rural areas that have been approved as new Kāhui Ako. Three Kāhui Ako have been formed: Takitini Tahi, Takitini Rua and Takitini Toru. The name ‘Takitini’ is derived from a well-known whakatauki: “Ehara taku toa, I te toa takitahi, Engari he toa takitini.” This translates as: “My success is not from the work of one, but from the work of many.” This name was given to the collective initiative by Dr Te Tiwha Puketapu.

Prior to the Kāhui Ako being formed, schools and early learning services set out a mission statement: “Our collective drive is to maintain a focus on the transition of students and whānau through all sectors of learning in Whanganui.”

They have also been very clear that they want to achieve student success through:

  • acceleration in literacy and mathematics
  • accelerated improvement of Māori and Pasifika outcomes and students requiring extra support
  • collaborative and effective understanding and use of learning achievement data 
  • collaborative whānau engagement in the learning, achievement and well-being of their tamariki.

Please contact Jude Fawcett, Lead Advisor, jude.fawcett@education.govt.nz if you would like more information.

Staffing update

Welcome to Suzanne Beenen

Staff profile picture

I would like to introduce a new member of our team, Suzanne Beenen. She comes with over 10 years’ experience within the education sector, both in teaching and management roles. Suzanne is passionate about supporting leaders and teachers to offer the best possible learning outcomes for children. She will be based in the New Plymouth office and is looking forward to meeting many of you in the near future. Her contact details are: suzanne.beenen@education.govt.nz, 06 7576 434 or 027 304 4443.

Welcome back to Ann Cherie Phillips

Staff profile picture 

Ann Cherie Phillips is returning to support playgroups across our region until December 2019. She will be covering Ginge Potaka while she works alongside Education and Care services. For general playgroup enquiries and funding-related support, Ann Cherie can be contacted as follows: anncherie.phillips@education.govt.nz, 06 349 6311 or 027 234 9467.

If you have issues or ideas you would like to discuss with me then please get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ngā mihi


Marlene Clarkson
Director of Education Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū
Phone: 06 349 6304
Mobile: 027 275 1450
Email: marlene.clarkson@education.govt.nz

Wellington regional news

Early intervention announcement

On 24 June, the Hon Tracey Martin, Associate Minister of Education made an announcement on early intervention at Toru Fetū Kindergarten in eastern Porirua. The announcement outlined that $24.8 million of extra funding over the next 4 years has been allocated to respond to the Learning Support needs of young children before they start school. This is on top of the $21.5 million over 4 years for the early intervention service that was in the 2018 Budget. There have been 35 additional Early Intervention Study Awards and 28 Speech Language Therapist Scholarships over the next 4 years added to help build the specialist workforce needed. You can read the full announcement on the Beehive website.

12.	People, including the Minister for Children sitting down in classroom against a mural of pictures
The Hon Tracey Martin at Toru Fetu Kindergarten

Increased learning support for pre-schoolers - Beehive website(external link)

Te Rōpū Arahina Puawaitanga

There is a featured story in the Education Gazette and a video on Youtube on the tailored Learning Support project, Te Rōpū Arahina Puawaitanga. He Whānau Manaaki Kindergarten Association are working in conjunction with our Porirua Learning Support team on a delivery model to better service their 16 kindergartens in the Porirua area. The project has been running since the end of January and has had positive feedback from kindergarten teachers and whānau.

Tailored learning support scheme promotes ‘whole kindergarten’ environment - Education Gazette website(external link)

Youtube video – Te Roopu Arahina Puawaitanga V2(external link)

Leadership hui

Group of people sitting at tables in front of a presentation 

On 28 June we held a hui for Principal Cluster groups and Kāhui Ako leads from across the wider Wellington region. The hui focused on providing strategies for promoting and enhancing collaborative leadership within and across our Kāhui Ako. Two early learning services attended from Motu Kairangi and Porirua East Kāhui Ako. Both teachers from these services contributed to the work of the Kāhui Ako they belong to. It has been encouraging to see the numbers of attendees increasing over the course of the year and we are keen to see these days continue to grow and extend to more early learning services.

For more information on Kāhui Ako you can contact Lisa Joe at lisa.joe@education.govt.nz or on 04 439 4607.

Noise levels in early learning services

Winter may mean more time inside and with it increased noise levels for everyone at your early learning service. Managing noise levels proactively benefits everyone at the service. Establish expectations with children about what is an acceptable level of noise inside.

Also be aware of environmental noise from outside the service such as roadworks or construction nearby and try to ensure that any negative effect is reduced where possible. Staff should attempt to ascertain the length of time the noise might occur and if appropriate make contingency plans.

Quieter spaces for children can be created simply by using low partitions. Further information is available in the following link for this criterion.

PF12 – Heating, lighting, noise and ventilation

How do you know when loud is too loud? Services with high numbers of enrolled children may wish to use a noise level monitoring device. You might be interested to know that a noise meter app can be downloaded for free from your phone app store. It monitors noise and will give various readings such as ‘conversation’.

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

Welcome to Megan Edwards – new Senior Education Advisor ECE

Staff profile

Megan is originally from the Hawke’s Bay and comes with teaching experience in both primary and ECE settings, with additional qualifications in English, Business, and a Master of Education in Leadership. She has a background of ECE leadership in both corporate and not-for-profit organisations, including strategic, establishment and policy work. She has recently moved from the Manawatu to sunny Nelson with her partner and youngest daughter. 

Farewell to Gwen Gilmore

Gwen says: “I have enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with the New Zealand education system through ECE. A result of my work with the Ministry of Education has been a real appreciation of the quality of ECE in our region. I particularly valued the work in developing SELO and ECE Kāhui Ako in our region. I am moving to a role with Massey University to deliver professional development. This means I may well see some of you in the future. Thank you for your time and commitment to the futures of our tamariki.”


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

Director’s message

Kia ora

You all make such a difference to the experiences of children and their whānau. As we come to the second half of 2019 I would like to thank you for all the work you do and for the way you and your staff build children’s capacity to cope with changes and challenges. The past 3 months have certainly been a challenge for the education sector in Christchurch and we commend you for everything you continue to do. Your commitment and time ensures that every child has the care and education they deserve.

The Futures Network has focused on well-being in early learning services this year. A report from the June hui and notice of the October hui are given below. I would also like to remind you of information about upcoming Incredible Years Teachers and Incredible Years Parents programmes, which I included in last month's message. Any queries about parenting programmes in Rolleston should be sent to marcella.herrera@education.govt.nz and queries about Christchurch programmes to incredibleyears.canterbury@education.govt.nz.

Complaints about early learning services

We have recently published information on our website about what services should expect when the Ministry receives a complaint about an early learning service. There is also a Ministry report of the complaints that they received in 2018.

Complaints in early learning

2018 Early childhood education complaints report published

Minister visits Hagley Community College and Hagley Preschool

The Minister of Education took the opportunity to visit Hagley Community College and Hagley Preschool earlier this month while he was in Christchurch for a speaking engagement. Hagley Preschool is home to a range of ethnicities. It serves and supports a diverse and multicultural community, which was particularly evident after 15 March. The Minister met with Hagley Principal Mike Fowler and senior leaders at the college, as well as Jocelyn Wright (Preschool Director), staff and children at the community-based pre-school located in the college grounds.

Minister of Education with Hagley Preschool Director having a conversation in a classroom

Kidsfirst Kindergartens

Thank you Kidsfirst Kindergartens for sharing with us your video ‘Look through the eyes of our tamariki’. What an absolutely fantastic and meaningful way to acknowledge diversity and to celebrate the support and love people have shown following the events of 15 March.

Watch the diversity video on Vimeo(external link)

Interagency news

We are working with many government and community organisations to support those affected by the 15 March attacks. Representatives from these agencies and groups meet regularly to gather up-to-date information, which is published in the newsletter below.

Our Future Together – Te Kohao Pounamu [PDF, 1.1MB](external link)

The Ministry of Social Development's weekly newsletter has information about the support available for anyone affected by the Christchurch tragedy. Please see below for the latest newsletter with updates from local agencies working to support people after the 15 March attacks.

Christchurch newsletters – Work and Income website(external link)

Feel free to share this information with your networks.

Canterbury Resilience Hub

Helping people find the right resources to support their needs is a key step in moving forward after traumatic events. To support people locally and nationally, an online resource was created that connects people to the support they need during the tough times that they might be facing. The Online Resilience Hub is a central point for health and well-being advice and support.

Online Resilience Hub website(external link)

To develop the hub, the Canterbury District Health Board worked with other key agencies that provide education, housing, and financial support, to ensure a range of guidance and resources are available to the community.

The hub is intended for:

  • those needing support
  • those supporting others
  • health professionals’ support.

Resources include guidance for teachers supporting students, as well as resources for teacher and school-staff well-being. The site also includes specific tips, advice and links for teenagers, young people, and those supporting them.

105 and non-emergency contact

To help keep New Zealand as safe as possible, NZ Police have introduced a new way to contact them for non-emergencies: call 105 or go to NZ Police’s online reporting portal.

NZ Police online reporting portal(external link)

111 is still the emergency number for NZ Police, Fire and Ambulance.

Sometimes you need to call the police to report a crime, but it’s not a ‘sirens-blaring, lights-flashing’ emergency. To help ensure that 111 is kept clear for emergencies, you can now contact NZ Police for non-emergencies by calling ‘105’ – it’s a free call. This service is not currently a text-based service.

You can use 105 to report non-emergency situations, such as when your car has been stolen, your property has been damaged, or you want to give the police information about crime in your area. The key message is that if it’s happening now or just happened, and there’s a threat to life or property, call 111. If it’s already happened and there’s no immediate danger, call 105.

There are resources available to help teachers communicate the new number. Activity resources for schools, which may be of interest to you, can be found on the NZ Police website. For more information, please refer to the 105 FAQs below.

105 (Non-emergency contact) resources - NZ Police website(external link)

105 FAQs - NZ Police website(external link)

Category 4 ERO reports

Congratulations to the following services that have received a confirmed ERO Category 4 (Very Well Placed) between March 2019 and the end of May 2019:

  • Ilam Early Learning Centre
  • Just Kids Community Preschool
  • Just Kids House
  • The Nanny Company Ltd – East
  • The Nanny Company – Southern Two
  • The Nanny Company Limited
  • The Nanny Company South Limited
  • The Nanny Company – Southern One.

Just Kids services have contributed the following item about their journey to a position where they can be satisfied they are doing the best for children and their whānau.

Just Kids' journey to a Category 4

Just Kids community preschool has grown significantly since its launch in 2003. That growth from an operating licence of 50 in 2003 to 147 in 2009, plus the purchase of 2 new centres in 2015 and 2017, came with some challenges. Our operational and governance systems struggled to keep pace, which led to a Category 2 ERO review. We were disappointed, but we learnt from it and it was a catalyst for change.

Teacher and student drawing in classroom
Keren and Mākuini

Teacher and student looking at toys
Samoan Language Week – Victoria with Josiah and Mia

We have focused on our vision for children and the development of strong leadership over the past 5 years. We have utilised quality and meaningful external PLD facilitators, and have grown internal leadership. We have also encouraged our staff to shine and be part the change, and that has been a great formula.

Hand-in-hand with this shared leadership model we have streamlined operational systems, built a positive team culture, and used the documents and resources available to us to support internal evaluation. Now we work smarter, not harder.

We've also got some great tools in our kete to propel us forward in our vision to bring our community the best possible early learning experience. Our challenge now is to maintain and grow the quality we've achieved and to share what we've learned to help other early learning services on the same path.

Baby being fed
Faith and Azaylia

BestStart Educare Marchwiel – ‘Two hands vision’

BestStart Educare Marchwiel in Te Tihi-o-Maru (Timaru) have been growing vegetables in large planter boxes, experiencing hands-on learning while providing fresh produce for members of the community. “We grow food for our whānau and neighbours so we can look after our community because we are kaitiaki’ (custodians)," say the children at the centre. Read more about the centre and its 'two hands' (“one to help ourselves and the second to help others") vision in the Education Gazette.

Two hands ECE garden project supports community caring - Education Gazette website(external link)

Launch of Menemene Mai (Smile) oral health education toolkit

Busy kaiako in early childhood settings now have a new place to find some ‘top picks’ to support their oral health curriculum work, including activities, strategies and resources on the Canterbury District Health Board website.

Menemene Mai (Smile) Early childhood oral health toolkit - Canterbury District Health Board website(external link)

This online oral health education toolkit, the first of its kind in the South Island, is based on key messages that baby teeth matter, and the best way to support healthy teeth is to brush them twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

Linda Scanlan, Manager at Rangi Ruru Preschool, says “Many early childhood leaders I talk to are alarmed at the increasing numbers of pre-schoolers who need surgery. We want to respond as we can to help children care for their teeth so it doesn’t get to this. ... This new resource looks like a good first step to support us.”

Menemene Mai was developed by Canterbury DHB health promoters, Jenni Marceau and Belinda Smith, with and for kaiako.

“This looks like an exciting new venture, and helpful. The children will love the catchy songs, and the games look interesting. The resources look inviting to use with whānau as well,” says Hilary Waller, Head Teacher at Kidsfirst Kindergartens in Edmonds Smith Street. 

Saul and Zohar Luamanuvae-Su'a, Managers of Tino e Tasi Preschool, said “the new resources (Menemene Mai) have useful strategies and we love seeing photos of our gorgeous tamaiti in the kit.”

Futures Network

The hui held on 18 June focused on appropriate sexual behaviour in preschool children and how early learning services might respond when issues arise. We were privileged to have Lyn Jansen, Team Leader, STOP Children’s Programmes, and Juliet Wensley, Fingerprints Christian Preschool share their knowledge with us.

Juliet reminded attendees that acceptable and appropriate touching is not only related to child protection procedures in services, but should be part of a service’s active positive guidance procedures related to promoting prosocial behaviour. Many thanks to both Lyn and Juliet. A copy of their Powerpoint presentation can be found on the Futures Network Facebook page.

Futures Network Facebook page(external link)

STOP has resources available, including descriptions of what is developmentally normal sexualised behaviour.

STOP resource [PDF, 503KB](external link)

Next Futures Network hui

Date: Tuesday 1 October
Time: 9.30–11.30am
Venue: Ground Floor Conference Room, Te Urutī, 48 Hereford Street, Christchurch (cnr Hereford St and Cambridge Tce)
Focus: Well-being within diversity – an opportunity to understand different cultural perspectives on children and learning.

Further details, including names of speakers, will be in next month’s Early Learning Bulletin.

The date for the final hui for this year have been set at Tuesday 3 December. Please note this in your diaries now.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards 2019

The annual Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards celebrate groups of teachers and educators working together, and with students, whānau and communities, to deliver excellent outcomes for children and young people.

Congratulations to Halswell Residential College for being a finalist in the Excellence in Engaging category. This category celebrates those working together as a community to transform relationships and strengthen achievement, leading to improved and sustained outcomes for all children and young people.

Congratulations also to Waimairi Primary School for being a finalist in the Excellence in Leading category. This category celebrates leadership and its influence on strengthening professional capability and creating a change in conditions, leading to improved and sustained outcomes for all children and young people.

I wish you all the best at the awards ceremony in September.

Good news stories

I like to highlight the wonderful things that many of you do as part of your day-to-day work in early learning. If you have a story to share please contact Barb Madden at barbara.madden@education.govt.nz.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss any ideas or issues. You can always get in touch with me using the contact details below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy this month’s Bulletin.

Mā te wā


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

Otago/Southland regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora koutou and warm Pasifika greetings.

I am thrilled to acknowledge Winton Kindergarten as a finalist in the Excellence in Teaching and Learning category of the Prime Minister’s Education Awards. In visiting this kindergarten I was impressed by the creative, child-driven projects that were evident all around the play spaces and the independence that the teachers encouraged in the children. Services and schools in and around the Winton area will be familiar with the programme and outdoor sessions that Winton Kindergarten runs, but I encourage you all to have a look once the finalist videos are uploaded in the coming months.

This month I have included some ideas about transitions following the successful Continuity of Learning workshop that was held last month. There are lots of ways transitions can be approached, and this will also be actively considered by Learning Support Coordinators next year as part of the Learning Support Delivery Model. Over the past few months we have been sharing more information about this approach, and I have included some initial information below as we look to engage with early learning services further about this.

In discussions with Education Advisors, some Playgroup Coordinators have asked for guidance on how to align planning and evaluation to Te Whāriki learning outcomes and the expectations of certification. I have included some ideas from Clifden Playgroup below. We are also planning to run a workshop in conjunction with REAP for playgroups in Southland in Term 4.

Continuity of Learning –Transitions from Early Childhood Services to Schools in South Dunedin hui

This hui was held on the evening of 13 June in the Dunedin Kindergartens Office on Forbury Road. The workshop was attended by 30 participants from various early learning services and schools, along with Resource Teachers Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) and our staff.

During the evening rich discussion occurred while the group engaged in identifying together:

  • what supports successful transitions between the sectors
  • how the similarity between the curriculum documents can deepen shared understanding
  • the barriers that challenge positive transitions
  • learning profile information in summary form that early learning services could pass on to the schools
  • how the schools could provide information about their school and any expectations of early learning services
  • where to next to continue on this collaborative journey to enable smooth effective continuity of learning.

It was heart-warming to experience the enthusiasm and commitment from all at the hui and the generosity of spirit as information, experiences and ideas were shared freely. The feedback received highlighted the networking and learning as positive outcomes from the hui, and we will be looking for further opportunities to run similar workshops in other areas in the future.

Mai i te Kōpae ki te Urupa, tātou ako tonu ai | From the cradle to the grave we are forever learning.

Learning Support Delivery Model (LSDM)

The LSDM was initially developed in response to the Learning Support update in 2015, with six core elements developed from parent, whānau, sector and community feedback. It is based on the idea of a Learning Support team developed across communities, to develop solutions for children and young people with additional learning or engagement needs. The Government’s draft Learning Support Action Plan builds on the LSDM to ensure effective delivery of all Learning Support services and resources, including the Ministry of Education and RTLB.

Building on the Learning Support Delivery Model – Kōrero Mātauranga website(external link)

Learning Support Coordinator positions are being established as a key part of the Learning Support Action Plan, along with other proposed actions to support early assessment and intervention, increase flexibility and give greater support to gifted and neurodiverse students. 

The first tranche of Learning Support Coordinators (600) will be allocated to be in place for 2020. They will be employed by schools, but are intended to work across the Kāhui Ako or Learning Support communities. The allocation and role details of these positions have not yet been announced, but we expect that supporting transition will be a component of the role.

Learning Support teams will be formed within communities and will include Ministry of Education Service Managers (considered the Learning Support Facilitators in the model), RTLB, school and early learning representatives and other agencies as required. This can include Public Health Nurses, Oranga Tamariki, Mental Health Services or the NZ Police.

A governance group has been formed in Otago to support implementation and includes 2 early childhood representatives – Penel Pask from Pioneers in Dunedin and Julie Craig from the North Otago Kindergarten Association. All the agencies noted above are represented in this governance group and are committed to supporting the model. We intend to set up a similar group in Southland.

We have started working with Kāhui Ako and other groups of schools to implement the LSDM and are keen to engage early learning services in these groups. Some early learning services are part of Kāhui Ako, but for those that aren’t we would be interested in your ideas about how best to do this.

More information about the LSDM can be found on the Education website, or contact your Service Manager or Education Advisor to discuss further.

A new model for delivering Learning Support

Clifden Playgroup planning

Thank you to Natalie Paterson, Coordinator of the Clifden Playgroup, who has agreed to share her thoughts on how she approaches planning. The playgroup is located in Eastern Bush in Western Southland and runs one well-supported session a week with between 10 and 18 children attending on average. Below are Natalie’s thoughts on how she approaches planning:

“I think it is very easy to be daunted by the planning paper work. I have found what works for me is to decide on a theme for the term and write this in the middle of a page and then brainstorm activities and ideas. If you then have this with the A3 Te Whāriki planning sheet it is easy to jot down your ideas. The key strands are recorded at the top of the planning sheet so you can easily write down which strand or strands each activity focuses on. It is easy to overthink this, but I find if you use your common sense often it is very straightforward. A lot of the information on the Te Whāriki planning format is the same from term-to-term, like daily routines and play areas.

“As far as evaluating activities it makes it really easy to note what worked well and what didn't and other things I would change if I was to do the activity again. I print out a timetable with date, activity and then a column for these notes. It makes it very easy if you do this at the end of the session. It is also great to use parent’s feedback (What are parent’s noticing about their children’s learning? What are children saying about the activities/learning?). This can come from formal or informal discussions. Usually each term during the set up and clean-up day the parents have a planning discussion which can be recorded informally in an exercise book.”

Natalie also produces a termly schedule of activities relating to the plan. This is shared on the group’s Facebook page so that all the families know what is happening. The activity photographed relates to the topic of nature and how the children and parents could search for natural materials to use in learning experiences. One of the concepts underlying this is that not all of our teaching and learning resources have to come from a shop and that parents and children can have fun experiences in their local environment gathering resources. Your playgroup Education Advisor can provide you with templates for planning, including the A3 format referenced above.

Group of children sitting at tables, painting
Whānau gathered stones from their local creeks
or farms
for a painting and decorating experience.
One child created
a large family of stones carefully
adding eyes to each face

Children at table painting
A younger sibling watches intently as his sister
uses the paint brush, then uses her fingertips
to sprinkle glitter.

Clifden Playgroup and Hauroko Valley Primary School – transition programme

Senior student helps to tie a balloon to a child’s bike

Twice a term, Year 7 and 8 students from Hauroko Valley Primary School attend the Clifden Playgroup. The students arrange a variety of activities, read stories and plan for hands-on play-based engaging activities. Hauroko Valley students enjoy opportunities to interact in a supporting role with Clifden Playgroup children. The opportunity for the playgroup children to make connections is invaluable as many them will go on to attend Hauroko Valley School.

This relationship building at the playgroup makes the transition to school easier. The senior students also gain great leadership skills as they plan the activities at school and prep for the playgroup session. It’s lovely for them to watch the children interact and form special bonds.

Student reads book to playgroup children

Clifden Playgroup parents’ comments on the regular visits by the senior students from Hauroko Valley School:

  • "Great to see the interaction between older students and our playgroup children."
  • "The children have become very familiar with all the students and look forward to their visits."
  • "It is really nice to see the students interact with the kids one-on-one and not just in a group, and the kids respond so well to this."
  • "Nice to know the children will know these seniors when they begin school visits and start school."

Oamaru Kindergarten Association book launch

Front cover of the Oamaru Kindergarten Association's book - Shaping our future by celebrating our past
Oamaru Kindergarten Association Book

On Tuesday 25 June, Julie Crosswell and Kurt Chisholm along with Sarah Gordon had the privilege of attending the launch of the Oamaru Kindergarten Association’s book Shaping Our Future By Celebrating Our Past. Both the book and the day presented an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the near 70-year history of kindergartens in North Otago, as well as honour the early pioneers whose hard work led to the formation of the Association and its ongoing success.

The book was written by Jacquie Webby and it documents the history of the Association and its people from the opening of the Edna McCulloch Kindergarten in 1952. It also highlights the recent induction of latest life member, Letty Divers, who campaigned in the early 1950s along with others to open the North Otago kindergartens. Copies of the book are available from the Otago Kindergarten Association office for $30.

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: 027 836 484
Email: julie.anderson@education.govt.nz

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