Early Learning Regional News – May 2019

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

Tai Tokerau regional news

Measles Outbreak

New Zealand is still in the midst of a measles outbreak. Measles is a serious, highly infectious disease that is potentially life-threatening. It affects everyone: babies, children and adults.

Please read the information in our Critical Need to Know and Action Section. If you have any concerns please contact your regional ECE Education Advisor.

Measles outbreak

Contact details for Ministry of Education offices

Bream Bay launch of new Learning Support Service Hub

Staff man Ministry stall at Bream Bay Learning Support hub launch

Bream Bay Trust kindly hosted us and our Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB colleagues) to launch the new Learning Support Service Hub based in the Bream Bay community. This was a chance for us to meet with whanau and connect with the community to discuss the services we are able to provide for tamariki in their community.

I would like to acknowledge the early learning services, schools and whānau members who helped to co-design the service delivery model that best meets the needs of their community. Ngā mihi nui kia koutou.

Ministry staff barbecue sausages at Bream Bay Learning Support hub launch

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori

He kākano ahau i ruia mai i Rangiātea
Ahakoa iti taku iti
Ka tūria e ahau ngā iwi o te ao

I am a seed, sown in Rangiātea
Although I am small
I will lead my people to the heights of greatness

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori represents our commitment to helping our education workforce to use te reo Māori correctly every day.

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori acknowledges that every staff member of an early learning service, school and kura has an opportunity to use te Reo Māori every day.

That is why Te Ahu o te Reo Māori will be available for non-teaching staff as well as all kaiako and teachers. That’s staff like the receptionist and the caretaker because learning te Reo Māori will give them confidence when greeting students that they are pronouncing their names properly, or help them to better connect with ākonga, students, parents and whānau.

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori will be delivered during Terms 2 and 3 in 4 priority regions – Waikato, Taranaki-Whanganui, Kāpiti-Horowhenua and Te Waipounamu.

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori contributes to our strategic goals and outcomes described in Ka Hikitia, Tau Mai Te Reo and Mōu Te Reo. Check it out on our website link below.

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori – Fostering education in te Reo Māori

Emergency management and lockdown procedures

Following the incident in Christchurch on 15 March, schools and early learning services are reviewing their emergency management plans to ensure they are fully prepared and know what to do in an emergency situation.

Northland Police are running Operation Whakahaumanu to revive and restore the health of communities and ensure people feel safe. Police are also able to provide advice and guidance on emergency management plans. You can contact:

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.

Welcome back! I hope you all had a restful break over Easter and enjoyed some quality time with family and friends. We are now well into autumn with changing weather, shorter days and crisp mornings. The changing seasons and the resulting changing environment creates so many learning opportunities for our tamariki. There is no need to stay inside just because it is a little colder.

This month we have celebrated Sign Language Week. NZ Sign Language is one of this country’s official languages and something that all kids seem to enjoy learning. Take the time to check out some of the resources available and incorporate this important language into your early learning service culture.

New Zealand Sign Language Week(external link)


There have been more than 40 confirmed cases of measles in Auckland so far this year, as well as further cases in other parts of New Zealand. The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has created a Factsheet for Early Learning Services. We recommend you read the factsheet, familiarise yourself with the advice, and share relevant information with whanau.

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

Please note that:

  • Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very serious.
  • It is important to know the immunisation status of your staff and children so you’re aware who may be at risk of the disease, and be vigilant in watching for symptoms. Now is a good time to check that your immunisation register is up to date. 
  • There are also measles outbreaks around the world. If families have been travelling, then return to your service, please refer to the travel advice in the factsheet. 
  • You will need to take action if a child or staff member is suspected of having measles, or has been in close contact with someone with measles. Actions to take are explained in the factsheet.

In the event of a confirmed case of measles at an early learning service the Auckland Regional Public Health Service will:

  • Work with your service to identify any staff, children or visitors to your centre who have shared the same air as someone who has measles.
  • Work with you to identify those staff and children who are not immune and should be excluded from your service to protect the health of others and stop the disease from spreading.
  • Support you with communication to parents and your community.

More information

Ministry of Health website measles page(external link)

Immunisation Advisory Centre website measles page(external link) (or freephone 0800 IMMUNE or 0800 611 116 for free advice).

Contact details

The tragic events of 15 March brought into focus the importance of clear communication pathways. Ministry staff being able to contact you is a critical step in ensuring that you are equipped to provide the best response to an emergency. Our contact list contains the latest contact information provided by you. In light of some email information and contact phone numbers not being up to date, now is an excellent time to consider if the emergency contact details we hold are correct. To confirm we have your correct emergency contact details please email auckland.contacts@education.govt.nz.

Lockdown procedures

All early learning services need to be prepared and know how to manage an emergency or traumatic incident before it occurs. Boards of trustees are required by health and safety legislation to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students and young people, which includes ensuring an up-to-date emergency plan is in place. Planning and preparation are critical steps to ensure early learning services are equipped to deal with an emergency or traumatic incident. They are also critical to ensure emergency response readiness is embedded and regularly reviewed.

Lockdown procedures should be considered as part of early learning services wider emergency management plan. The Ministry has some guides and templates for developing these procedures, and more information about preparing for and dealing with emergencies and traumatic incidents is available on our website.

Guides and templates [PDF, 281KB](external link)

Preparing for and dealing with emergencies and traumatic incidents

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.

Tamaariki – uplifting the child who has special gifts

Here in the Waikato region an exciting new awareness campaign for Te Kōhanga Reo was launched at Hukanui Marae last month called Tamaariki – uplifting the child who has special gifts. The campaign aims to support tamariki attending kōhanga reo who have additional learning needs and connect whānau and kaiako with the services available through the Ministry of Education’s Learning Support Team. Posters and brochures have been developed to provide information. After the launch we will run workshops together with the Trust that go deeper into understanding and growing the knowledge and practices with kaiako and whānau.

The campaign is a work in progress and will make its way throughout the country. This work aligns well with the Learning Support community meetings that are being rolled out across all of the communities in our region over Terms 2 and 3 this year. The community meetings initiate conversations about the future delivery of Learning Support and how it can be more effectively delivered through a community lens.

Official launch and presentation of the Tamaariki campaign logo
Official launch of the Tamaariki campaign logo

The Tamaariki website has some great resources and information if you would like to learn more about this exciting campaign. For details on times and places for the Learning Support community meetings please contact Lynette Carpenter at lynette.carpenter@education.govt.nz.

Tamaariki website(external link)

Participants at Hukanui Marae for the launch of the TamaAriki campaign 
Participants at Hukanui Marae for the launch
of the TamaAriki campaign. 

Te Kōtare – bringing a waiata dream to life

Recently Radio New Zealand (RNZ) aired a segment about Te Kōtare, an early childhood resource of 10 waiata recorded by several Māori vocalists. The project was started by Kāpiti Coast early childhood teacher, Jenny Shearer, who wrote waiata connecting children with the natural environment. The waiata are catchy and fun, covering topics like the ngahere, atua, whenua and action songs.  

Unfortunately Jenny passed away in 2015 but her husband and friends carried on her work. The project is a collaborative effort between her family members, friends, RNZ, the Massey University Design School and the Ministry of Education. Click on the link below to hear the RNZ interview and to download resources, or you can go directly to the Te Kōtare website. 

Te Kōtare: bringing a waiata dream to life - Radio New Zealand website(external link)

Te Kōtare website(external link)

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori

Another recently launched initiative for you to explore in more depth is Te Ahu o te Reo Māori. It aims to grow and strengthen an education workforce that can integrate te reo Māori into the learning experience of all ākonga and students in Aotearoa New Zealand. It has been designed to include teachers, support staff and non-teaching staff throughout the education workforce.

The initiative aims to assist the education workforce with their relationships with students and their families, improve understanding of the communities they work in, and allow Māori language, identity and culture to be shared, embraced and celebrated. The good news is that Te Ahu o te Reo Māori is a zero cost initiative. 

All the information you need to know about Te Ahu o te Reo Māori can be found on our website.

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori – Fostering education in te Reo Māori 

Health and safety reminders

Did you know that if there is a serious injury, illness or incident involving a child while at your early learning service or kōhanga that is required to be notified to a specified agency, you must also notify the Ministry at the same time? Agencies include Worksafe and the Teaching Council. This is a requirement of licensing criteria. Read more on our website in the links below.

HS34 for centre-based services

HS34 for kōhanga reo

HS33 for home-based services

HS12 for playgroups

Implementing the Health and Safety at Work Act – a guide for early learning services

Talking about health and safety, please ensure that your service is meeting the requirements for securing furniture, fixtures and equipment that could fall or topple, for example, in the event of an earthquake. Large and heavy furniture, equipment and appliances must be secured to the building. Smaller appliances like microwaves can be secured using seismic wax or non-slip mats. For further guidance around this requirement please see the information on our website in the links below or in the EQC website (also linked below).

HS6 for centre-based services

HS6 for kōhanga reo

HS6 for home-based services

HS9 for hospital-based services

HS3 for playgroups

Be prepared resources - Earthquake Commission (EQC) website(external link)

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. 

Traumatic incidents

The Bay of Plenty – Waiariki region has sadly experienced a number of traumatic incidents since the beginning of the year. In the event of a traumatic incident, we are available to work closely with your early learning service to support you to manage it and assist you to continue your day-to-day operations.

Traumatic incidents have been broadly defined as events that:

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

If you have to close your service in case of emergency you might still be eligible to receive funding. For further information about emergency closures please read Chapter 7-5 Emergency Closure in the ECE Funding Handbook.

Chapter 7-5 Emergency Closure – ECE Funding Handbook

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

For more information please visit our website links below. 

Preparing for and dealing with emergencies and traumatic incidents

Child protection seminar

A child protection seminar for managers, owners and teachers is being facilitated by Eric Hollis of Chu-Li Chan Ltd. This is free for attendees, but there are limited spaces.

Date: 6 June 2019
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Venue: 159 Seventeenth Ave Tauranga (The Historic Village)

For registration please use the online booking link below.

Strengthening Child Protection Practice - ECE Training website(external link)

There was an overwhelming response to the funding and financial matters seminars that were advertised in last month’s Bulletin. We will look to providing another series of these seminars later in the year. 

Learning Support referrals 

The Ministry of Education's Learning Support Team provides an early intervention service for very young children who have Learning Support needs, and their families, whānau and caregivers. Services can access Learning Support by working collaboratively with the child, their whānau, teachers and the Ministry.

To request Learning Support, or to discuss an existing service, contact your service manager or local office using the information provided on the website link below. Alternatively, please email Dawid de Villiers, Manager Learning Support, enquiries.BoP-Waiariki@education.govt.nz.

Learning support services

ERO Quality Assurance Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) has developed an Assurance Review process that assesses if a service has taken reasonable steps to meet and maintain regulatory standards/licensing requirements. This approach focuses on the accountability part of ERO’s function. ERO is trialling this approach in a sample of centre-based services (not kōhanga reo, home-based or hospital-based services) scheduled for review between March to June 2019.

ERO’s Assurance Review Draft may include services:

  • having a first ERO review, including if the service is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’
  • that have moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have had their licence assessed following a change of ownership.

For more information see the ERO website link below.

ECE methodology trial March-June 2019 – Education Review Office website(external link) 

New services for Bay of Plenty – Waiariki

Recent road transport developments required the Te Puna Community Kindergarten to relocate. The kindergarten now has a beautiful brand new building on Minden Road. An opening powhiri saw whānau and tamariki, local kaumatua and people from the community all in attendance.

Learning Links Taupō has recently opened its doors to tamariki and whānau in Taupō. Prior to the official opening, a wonderful open day was held for the community to come and see their new service and meet the new staff.

Te Puna Community Kindergarten play area

Te Puna Community Kindergarten view from outside of new building

Te Puna Community Kindergarten garden path and grass area

Te Puna Community Kindergarten children's garden

Te Kōhanga Reo

New Te Kōhanga Reo ā Rohe (Tūwharetoa/Waiāriki) tari (office), Te Ngae shops

Te Kōhanga Reo ā Rohe (Tūwharetoa/Waiāriki) now has a new tari (office) located at the Te Ngae shops, Owhata, Rotorua. Cissy Whakaue is the Rotorua contact person for any Kōhanga Reo enquiries. Email cissy@kohanga.ac.nz.

Licensing – food safety at early learning services

All early learning services must ensure the food served to children is safe and suitable to eat. Some services will have additional obligations under the Food Act 2014 and the Food Regulations 2015.

Food Act 2014(external link)

Food Regulations 2015(external link)

The Food Act applies to anyone who provides food as part of business. It requires people to provide food that is safe and suitable to eat.

For more information around the requirements for National Programme 2 see the link below to our website.

Food safety at early learning services

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

Celebrating success

Would you like your early learning service to feature in He Pānui Kōhungahunga – the Early Learning Bulletin? Share your celebrations and successes with us and it may be selected to feature in our monthly Bulletin publications. Send in a brief description of what and how your service celebrated, along with some photos, to shari.brell@education.govt.nz. Please note that all photos featuring people will need written consent via the Ministry of Education consent form which will be emailed to you.

Upcoming events for June 2019


I take this opportunity to acknowledge our ECE Advisor, Michelle Grant-Broughton, for her 25 years of service at the Ministry. We know that a many people in our ECE community have come to know Michelle and have appreciated her help and support throughout the years. 


La manuia

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

Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti regional news

Director’s message

Tēnā koutou

Hopefully you had the chance for some down time over the Easter / ANZAC break to recharge the battery before the colder winter month’s start. On the Thursday before Easter we were privileged to be part of Ngāti Kahungunu Unity Day at Waipatu Marae. In attendance was our Prime Minister (and baby Neve), along with Ministers from the Māori Caucus. We took this opportunity to get the Prime Minister to launch some local resources in te reo Māori and English to support localised curriculum.

Manager Learning Support

As some of you might already be aware our Manager Learning Support, Karen Hocking, has won an exciting promotion to Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in Wellington as the General Manager – Housing. We are very proud of Karen and thankful for the work she has done for us here at Education in Hawke’s Bay /Tairāwhiti.

We are thrilled to have secured the services of another experienced practitioner to step into the Manager Learning Support role for at least the next 4 months as we start the recruitment process. Sandra Kersey will be known to many of you from her time as Area Operations Manager for CYPFS in the Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti. Sandra has been working with us for the past couple of months helping prepare for the implementation of the new Learning Support Approach, which means she is well placed to lead and support the good work we have underway. I know you will all help and support her over the coming months. Sandra can be contacted at sandra.kersey@education.govt.nz

SELO funded PLD ‘Family Violence Training in ECE’ 

Facilitators Julie Hart and Megan Thomassen-Clarke from Family VIP Services

Five workshops are available including initial and advanced training. If you attended the Family Violence Training last year please register in the advanced training. Initial training must precede advanced training. There is a limit of 20 participants for each workshop.






The Green Shed, 21 Ruahapia Road, Hastings


Tuesday 21 May

Central Hawke’s Bay, Napier and Hastings

8.30am– 12.30pm


Tuesday 11 June


Tuesday 25 June


Tuesday 9 July

Venue TBC


Friday 26 July


8.30am– 12.30pm

Please complete the registration form below and return it to info@hwr.org.nz.

Registration form [DOC, 39 KB]

Kāhui Ako / Communities of Learning Network meeting

Inviting all early childhood teachers, school teachers, kaiako and staff to listen to the stories of the journey and pathways of early learning services and schools working together in Kāhui Ako.

We have 2 Lead Principals from Kāhui Ako joining to share their experiences. If you are part of a Kāhui Ako please come and share your progress. If you wish to join a Kāhui Ako, this is a perfect opportunity to meet others and make connections. Hayley Whitaker and Barbara Bristow from the Ministry of Education will be there to support any enquiries. There will be time for discussion and networking at the end of the talks.

When: 15 May 2019
Where: Kimi Ora Community School Hall, 1 Boston Crescent, Flaxmere, Hastings
Time: 5.45pm to 7.15pm
RSVP: frances@onward.nz

Samoan Language Week

Next week is Samoan Language Week. Some useful resources to support your service to celebrate are available from the website below.

Ministry for Pacific Peoples website(external link)

Looking for stories

Is your early learning service proud of the quality it provides or have you been involved in a special event or celebration? We are looking for stories to showcase best practice, innovation or collaboration in this Bulletin. If you have a story to tell please contact Hayley Genet at hayley.genet@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.

I hope you all had a well-deserved Easter and Anzac break after what was a particularly busy start to the year. I would like to recognise the many teachers within our region who represented their early learning services at ANZAC commemoration services. The significance of this day continues to be well recognised in our early learning services and schools and it is inspiring to see our young people involved in ANZAC day events. 

Regional Professional Learning Sector evenings

We would like to thank all the early learning services who participated in the ECE Professional Learning Sector evenings held in New Plymouth, Whanganui and Palmerston North last month.  

It was a great opportunity to engage in important and very relevant professional conversations with Chrissy Lepper from Leap Education and Brenda Soutar from Mana Tamariki Te Kōhanga Reo me Te Kura Kaupapa Māori. Chrissy shared information about early learning services’ responsibilities in relation to the Children’s Act 2014 and helped clarify some myths and misunderstandings about what and how services can meet these responsibilities. Brenda’s session on unpacking and implementing Tātaiako-Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners in the ECE sector was informative and thought provoking. Attendees went away with a better understanding of how to interpret and use this document.  

Please keep a look out for future Professional Learning and Development invitations. These hui are an opportunity to share information on current Ministry initiatives, an opportunity for you to receive professional development that is focused on making a difference for children, and a time for you to network and build relationships with others in the ECE sector. 

Staffing update – welcome to Sarah Brindle

Sarah Brindle, ECE Senior Adviser - Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu

I would like to introduce a new member of our team Sarah Brindle. Sarah comes with over 15 years’ experience within the education sector, both in teaching and management roles. She is passionate about supporting leaders and teachers to offer the best possible learning outcomes for children. Sarah will be based in the Palmerston North office and is looking forward to meeting many of you in the near future. Her contact details are sarah.brindle@education.govt.nz, or phone 06 3509 856 or 027 296 3433. 

Playgroup funding within the online Education Resourcing System (ERS)

Thank you to all playgroups that have requested access to ERS and have successfully submitted their PG3 operational funding requests online over the last 6 months. If your playgroup is not yet set up, please contact your Education Advisor to ensure that your accounts are activated so you can submit your request online before the July to December funding round opens on 1 July 2019.

Updating playgroup details

It is important that the Ministry has the most current details for your playgroup. If your playgroup’s funding contact person, email address, postal address or bank account details have changed please notify us. Incorrect details may result in delayed funding.


Do your staff know that they can receive He Pānui Kōhungahunga – the Early Learning Bulletin directly? They can subscribe by clicking the subscribe button on each Bulletin or they can email earlylearning.bulletin@education.govt.nz and ask to be added to the distribution list.

You may also be interested in reading the Bulletin for School Leaders, which is published fortnightly during school terms on the Ministry’s website.

Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders | He Pitopito Kōrero

If you have issues or ideas that you would like to discuss with me then please get in touch. 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

Kia ora tātou. 

“Hapaitia te ara tika, pumau ai te rangatiratanga mo ngā uri whakatipu”.
Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations. 

I hope you all enjoyed the Easter break and had a chance to spend time with family and friends. Winter is definitely closing in with the days being cooler and the evenings getting darker earlier. I have been on leave from Thursday 25 April and will be returning to the office on Monday 27 May. In my absence Andrea Williams is acting Director of Education and you can contact her at andrea.williams@education.govt.nz or on 027 839 0385. Rachael Vink will be acting Manager Learning Support during this time and you can contact her at rachael.vink@education.govt.nz or on 027 589 1248. 

Connecting with our Muslim communities

Last term I had the privilege of visiting our local mosques and Islamic Centres in Wellington, Newlands, Tawa, Porirua and Lower Hutt. Accompanying me were our regional Education Advisors for Migrant and Refugee Support, Maureen Zaya, Carolina Millar and Lead Advisor Abdirizak Abdi. 

This was an excellent opportunity to connect with our Muslim communities and hear about their priorities. The Muslim community leaders were appreciative of the visits following the tragic events of 15 March.

I also visited the Red Cross, ChangeMakers, MClaSS and the Multicultural Council of Wellington and learned about the various types of services these groups provide to our migrant and refugee communities. There is a huge number of volunteers providing a wide range of services such as English language classes, work preparedness support and career pathway advice. It’s a really amazing and generous contribution from so many people.

Staff from Lower Hutt regional office at Kilbirnie Mosque

Kilbirnie Mosque visit – Maureen Zaya
(second from left) and Carolina Millar
(second from right)

Erika Ross meeting with Tahir Nawaz, President of The International Muslim Association of NZ 

Meeting with Tahir Nawaz, President
of The International Muslim Association
of New Zealand at Kilbirnie Mosque.
Morning tea with ChangeMakers,
MClaSS and Multicultural Council of Wellington.

Staff from Lower Hutt regional office visit Porirua Islamic Centre

Visit to Porirua Islamic Centre 

Morning tea with ChangeMakers, MClaSS and Multicultural Council of Wellington 

Morning tea with ChangeMakers, MClaSS
and Multicultural Council of Wellington

Staff from Lower Hutt regional office visit to Newlands Mosque

Visit to Newlands Mosque

Lockdown procedures 

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

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

Professional practice when working with separated families

It is essential that early learning services are aware of the day-to-day living arrangements for children in their care. If a parent or guardian does not have day-to-day responsibility for their child, they are still likely to be entitled to have contact with them (unless there is a court order preventing this). This requires that early learning services ensure there are processes for involving both parents in the child’s education. 

Unless a court order rules otherwise all parents are entitled to:

  • Reports about their child’s participation in ECE and learning experiences
  • Participation in the opportunities provided by the early learning service to engage with parents
  • Have access to any official records held at the service related to their child’s participation in that service.

When disputes occur between parents or guardians, early learning staff should be aware that it is not their responsibility to mediate in the dispute or enforce any agreements that have been made. 

It is recommended that early learning services have a policy for managing parent or guardian contact and visits with their children in these situations. Written information available for the parents on the role of your service may also help prevent difficult situations occurring. It is important that parents enrolling a child in an early learning service are aware of the legal requirements to involve the other parent. 

Guidance for early learning services working with separated families is available on the Ministry of Education website (see links below). 

Centre-based services licensing criteria GMA4

Home-based services licensing criteria GMA3

Playgroup funding

A huge thank you to all those playgroups who got their education sector log-on accounts set up and submitted their funding requests online. This was the first round of funding where it was possible for groups to apply on the new Education Resourcing System (ERS).

Approximately half of our playgroups have now transitioned to this new system. We will be working with our remaining groups to support this transition before the next funding round for July to December 2019.

If your playgroup is not set up, please contact your Education Advisor to ensure that your group can be registered and submit the funding application online. The following link provides information about how to set up the online log-in and submit the PG3 funding application.

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

Contact details for Ministry offices

Staffing changes

I am delighted to announce that Jim Greening and Lisa Rangiaho have been appointed as Education Managers in our region. Here is an updated current list for your information:

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

Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO)

You or your managers should have received an invitation to contribute to a survey consultation on the types of provision we commission for SELO in 2019-2020. This survey also asks you to look back on 2018-19 SELO and look forward to what you wish for in the next funding round. We think we need to maintain an emphasis on culturally responsive pedagogies but there will be other priorities. If you have not seen the survey it will be in your manager’s email or email gwen.gilmore@education.govt.nz to get the link to complete.  

Blenheim PowerUP

The PowerUP Flexi Plus Station will launch in Blenheim this term on Wednesday 26 June. The PowerUP Flexi Plus programme actively supports Pacific parents and families to champion their children’s learning, and provides academic support for secondary and primary students as well as early learning for ECE children. The programme is focused on accelerating learning and participation to drive Pacific educational success.

Our team of registered teachers, community champions and academic mentors will deliver and facilitate workshops to build the capability, knowledge and voice of Pacific parents, families and communities.

Where: St Andrew’s Church, 5 Henry Street, Blenheim
When: Wednesday 5pm to 7pm - begins 26 June 2019 and runs for 15 weeks
Who: The whole family!

  • Parents, families and communities
  • Secondary students
  • Intermediate and primary school students
  • Early childhood aged children

Provided: Snacks, drinks and supper 

If you are a registered early childhood teacher and would like to support the programme please contact Nicole Pereira, PowerUP Flexi Plus Coordinator at powerup@affirming.org.nz

Review of emergency and traumatic incidents policies and procedures

Like many services, you may be conducting a review of your lockdown policies and procedures. You should know the Ministry has co-commissioned a project plan with an external provider which includes a survey to the education sector, including the early learning sector. They are due to report back at the end of June so you may want to conduct an initial review of your policies and procedures for such an event. You might want to differentiate between a known person issue and an armed offender and mandated response. Research tells us that in all such events, preparation and planning helps us make more considered responses to such events. Further guidance and support is available in the link below. 

Preparing for and dealing with emergencies and traumatic incidents

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. 

On 29 April, the Ministry sent emails to all early childhood services outlining the lockdown review approach. You should have received a follow-up email in early May with a link to that survey – if you have not received this please contact us at ece.canterbury@education.govt.nz. Even if you have already contributed feedback via feedback.canterbury@education.govt.nz as advised in last month’s Bulletin, I encourage you to participate in the survey and interviews, workshops and focus groups if requested.  

New early learning services

Last month I welcomed BestStart Faringdon East to our early learning network. I am also pleased to extend a welcome to the following new services opened so far this year, up until the end of April:

  • Sancta Maria Preschool (January)
  • Three Trees Learning Centre (January)
  • Discovery Junction (January)
  • Educare Waimak (January)
  • Panda’s Homebased Care (new network – February)
  • Grow Active Welles St (April)
  • BestStart St Albans (April)
  • Buttercups Dallington (April).

Congratulations on Category 4 ERO reports

It is also my pleasure to congratulate services who have been successful in obtaining a Category 4 review from the Education Review Office. A Category 4 review deems the service is very well placed to promote positive outcomes for children. Congratulations to the 4 services below for your great contribution to children and their families:

  • Cherry’s on Maryhill (30 January)
  • The James Street Pre-School (27 February)
  • The Cats Pyjamas Preschool (22 March)
  • The Cats Pyjamas Preschool & Nursery West Melton (22 March). 

Incredible Years Teacher (IYT) and Incredible Years Parent (IYP) – Terms 3 and 4, 2019

The Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) and the Incredible Years Parent (IYP) Programme will be held in the second half of 2019. 

The programmes are for teachers and parents of children aged 3 to 8 years old. It is a programme which has been rigorously evaluated and has been found to produce effective results for all involved. The programme helps to reduce challenging behaviours in children while increasing their social and self-control skills, as well as guiding teachers and parents to become more reflective and skilled practitioners and parents.  

For teachers there are 7 full-day workshops, with the first 6 being spaced at regular intervals (usually 3 to 4 weekly) over a 6 month period. The final workshop is usually held approximately 3 months after the 6th workshop. Between workshops, teachers get the opportunity to put into practice the practical strategies focused on during the previous workshops. The Ministry of Education provides a $1000 financial contribution per teacher attending the programme to assist with the cost of relieving teachers. 

While we already have some teachers listed for the programmes in July to December 2019, there is still room for more to be added. If any teacher is interested in participating, please send an Expression of Interest to erin.sturman@education.govt.nz by Friday 24 May. 

For parents, the programme is 14 weeks long, with parents meeting for 2½ hours one morning or evening a week. The programme does not run during school holidays.

There is no cost for parents to attend and resources are provided on a weekly basis. Many parents feel the benefit not only from increasing their parenting toolkit, but also from the support they receive from other parents and facilitators of the programme.

For enquiries or enrolment information for either programme please email incredibleyears.canterbury@education.govt.nz.

Futures Network meeting

Date: Tuesday 18 June
Time: 9.30am to 11.30am
Venue: Ground Floor Conference Room, Te Urutī, 48 Hereford St, Christchurch (cnr Hereford St and Cambridge Tce) 
Focus: An opportunity to understand normal sexual behaviour in early childhood aged children and how to respond appropriately, and hear how one early childhood service managed a complicated issue with whānau
Speakers: Lyn Jansen – Team Leader, STOP Children’s Programmes and Juliet Wensley – Fingerprints Christian Preschool

  • Welcome 
  • Ministry of Education update 
  • Guest speakers – Normal sexual behaviour in early childhood aged children
  • Break: Tea/coffee and a chance to chat 
  • Guest speakers – Normal sexual behaviour in early childhood aged children continues
  • Community notice – An opportunity for you to share information with other attendees.

Please note that spaces are limited by the size of the venue so it is important to RSVP to barbara.madden@education.govt.nz by Friday 14 June 2019. Please bring something to contribute to morning tea. Tea and coffee will be provided.

STOP website(external link)  

Futures Network hui 

The dates for the rest of 2019 have been set for:

  • Tuesday 1 October – 9.30am to 11.30am
  • Tuesday 3 December – 9.30am to 11.30am. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss any ideas or issues. You can always call me on 03 378 7345, 0274 200 251 or email me at coralanne.child@education.govt.nz. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Request for stories

If you have a celebratory or good news story to tell about your early learning service please contact barbara.madden@education.govt.nz

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. 

It is May already, and although I feel the start of the year was just yesterday, you will notice time passing quite acutely when you consider the growth and development of the tamariki in your care. Five months is a long time in the life of a baby or toddler and the changes they undergo. The impact you can have on the learnings they experience is far reaching in what is a relatively short span of time to an older person. Thank you for the focus you have on nurturing specific learning opportunities for each child that emerge from the experiences that your programmes offer for the tamariki in your services.  

Thank you for those that have registered for Hui Tautoko. We look forward to this professional development event and the networking opportunity it also affords. I will include information about this in next month’s Bulletin.

This month I have included a reminder about contact information, a contribution from the Kopuwai Early Learning Centre in Alexandra about a group focus on life-cycles, and the re-opening of Omakau Playcentre.

Contact information

It is important to keep your Education Advisor and the local Ministry office updated with any contact detail changes of personnel for your early learning services. The emergency contact details from our systems are used to communicate key messages during an emergency. Sadly, we have experienced a number of emergencies in recent times, and on occasion we will want to contact you quickly to ensure you have all critical information. 

On 15 March, our Christchurch team contacted schools and early learning services on behalf of the Police to notify them of the city-wide lockdown. We use the emergency contact information you provide in such instances to ensure tamariki and staff are safe and to share critical information. 

It is timely to check your information so please contact your Education Advisor if you have any changes. 

Contact details for Ministry offices

Kopuwai Early Learning Centre, Alexandra 

Tamariki investigating the life cycle of the monarch butterfly

The tamariki at Kopuwai Early Learning Centre in Alexandra participated in a group learning focus on ‘life-cycles’. This provided a fantastic opportunity for learning for ākonga, kaiako and whānau. Tadpoles, a variety of beans and swan plants with monarch caterpillars and eggs were brought into the centre. Positive learning outcomes included patience, manaakitanga, curiosity, responsibility, creativity, order, analytical skills, wānanga, ako, questioning, risk-taking, investigating, wonder and imagining, whanaungatanga, as well as gaining control of and confidence about bodies.

Curious tamariki measuring the growth of a bean seedling

The projects explored included measurement of the time each process took from tadpole-froglet-frog, bean-root-stalk and caterpillar-chrysalis-butterfly. Reading fiction and non-fiction books, re-telling traditional stories of princesses, princes, frogs and giants, drawing kōwhaiwhai, colouring, painting, writing, cutting and sticking, singing, yoga, jumping, stretching, flying, wriggling and hopping were activities that were undertaken with great enthusiasm. These provided tamariki with the opportunity to understand words and concepts of metamorphosis, germination, symmetry, asymmetric, native, amphibian, migration and death, as a frog was respectfully buried with a waiata! 

Tamariki at Kopuwai Early Learning Centre participating in a frog hop

It’s lovely to see how much interest, anticipation and excitement this type of learning generates with tamariki and their whānau.

Grand re-opening of Omakau Playcentre 

Celebratory cake for the grand reopening of Omakau Playcentre

On Sunday 28 April, the Omakau Playcentre re-opened their building in Ophir with a celebration that reflected the hard work and effort of a small number of families to totally renovate the inside areas. The Centre had a beautiful blue ribbon wrapping the door for the Mayor to cut. A mihi whakatau took place and there were blessings performed over each area. It was moving for those involved as they each said a whakataukī in their first languages and rejoiced in māhī.

Newly refurbished room at Omakau Playcentre

The funds for this wonderful re-model were from fundraising efforts supplemented by grants from local and regional businesses and trusts. Many local people also donated time and energy. The whānau and community are rightly proud of the results of all their effort. Tumeke!

Current and previous tamariki outside the newly refurbished premises at Omakau Playcentre 

A wonderful educational setting for early learning is an asset to the community. Already more whānau are wanting to send their tamariki to the playcentre. Congratulations Omakau. Tihei mauri ora!

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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