Early Learning Regional News - October 2018

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

Te Tai Tokerau regional news

Kia ora koutou katoa.

Regional Māori education hui

Hadassah Wharawhara, Mahina Busby and Fynlee Connew

We have held 3 wānanga across the region in Whangarei, Kerikeri and Kaitaia. The wānanga are a follow-on from the Education Summits and an opportunity for Māori to have their say, share their views, and shape the future of Māori education.

We want to hear from students, teachers, parents, whanau, iwi and communities so that the work we are doing reflects your views.

Hadassah Wharawhara, Mahina Busby and Fynlee Connew attended the wānanga in Whangarei to share their unique perspective and experience as successful students from te kura o Te Kāpehu Whetū.

Ārewa te Araara i te Moana Parahitiki / Trevor the Trevally in a Plastic Ocean – Alex Edwards

Alex Edwards
Trevor the Trevally in a plastic ocean

Last week Alex Edwards of Kerikeri High School released her first book in te wiki o te reo Māori. Alex is of Pakeha and Ngāpuhi decent. Concerned about the lack of resources available in te reo Māori, she has produced her book in both te reo Māori and English.

On one side it is in te reo Māori; flip it over and it’s in English. She enlisted the support of Ministry of Education Tai Tokerau staff to translate her story into te reo Māori.

For Alex this work is a passion project. She has written Ārewa te Araara i te Moana Parahitiki / Trevor the Trevally in a Plastic Ocean to educate children about the dangers of plastic entering the ocean. Alex has been involved in a number of projects over the years aimed at protecting the ocean.

Alex is donating $1 from the sale of each book to Experiencing Marine Reserves, an organisation for which she is a volunteer snorkel guide. To purchase her book or to contact Alex email: aeproductionsnz@gmail.com

Consultation on the draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan open till 31 October 2018

The goal of the Action Plan is to drive progress towards an inclusive education system, where the achievement, progress and participation of children and young people with additional learning needs, including disabilities, is valued and supported.

The Action Plan proposes a number of actions for the next few years developed under 4 main priority areas:

  • improving the way children and young people are assessed for learning needs
  • strengthening the range of support for children and young people with disabilities and additional learning needs
  • improving how we respond to neurodiverse and gifted learners
  • ensuring that Learning Support has the resources to increase support and services.

These have been developed in response to feedback from students, parents and whānau, and the education and disability sectors.

You can read more about these priority areas on the website and in the draft Action Plan A3s.

Priorities - Education Conversation website(external link)

Draft Disability Learning Support Action Plan [PDF, 626KB](external link)

Celebrating Northland Tamariki conference

He raranga takitahi ka kongakonga (If you plait one at a time, the ends will fragment).

He raranga ngātahi ka ū, ka mau (If you weave together it will hold).

On 6 October 2018, Kamo High School was the venue for one of Te Tai Tokerau’s largest professional development days. The conference provides Northland's best opportunity to network, discuss and share developments in early learning for the benefit of our taonga, nga tamariki.

There were over 20 presenters including:

  • Toni and Robin Christie from Childspace, Wellington
  • Barbara Watson from inspirED ECE, Auckland
  • Diti Hill-Denee from the University of Auckland
  • Frances Van Dillon, Educational Specialist, Napier
  • Dr Bernadette McCartney, Wellington
  • plus our very own Northland presenters Chev Reti, Megan Cochrane, Dee Mhyre and Ministry of Education Service Manager Carol Ashton who discussed our Te Manawa Tahi Learning Support hub in the Twin Coast Kāhui Ako area of Mangawhai / Kaiwaka / Kaipara.

The day was a huge success and the wealth of information that was shared was invaluable for the 120 participants who attended. A huge thanks to the committee for the now, biennial, not for profit conference. Representatives on the committee are from the Ministry of Education, Northland District Health Board, Northland Kindergarten Association, Educare, Avenues Educare, Te Rito Maioha and The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.

Mauri ora

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

Auckland regional news

Tēnā koutou and welcome back to Term 4.

Disability and Learning Support Action Plan

Consultation on the draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan closes on 31 October 2018.

You can still get involved by providing your feedback through the online survey. Visit the Education Conversation website for details of the draft Action Plan and survey.

Disability and Learning Support Action Plan(external link)

In addition to the online survey, we are holding two meetings in Auckland to share the draft Action Plan:

  • Thursday 25 October 2018, 7.00pm – 8.30pm
    Ministry of Education Maungawhau office
    12–18 Normanby Road, Mt Eden.
  • Monday 29 October, 10.00am – 11.30am
    Ministry of Education Botany office
    16 Bishop Dunn Place, Flat Bush.

These meetings are to discuss the proposed actions in the plan, the most important actions to be taken over the next few years, and whether there are any gaps.

Space at these venues is limited so if you would like to attend one please contact kat.ashmead@education.govt.nz to RSVP. Please ensure you state which meeting you would like to attend. Please accept our apologies if your first choice of meeting is oversubscribed.

Consultation on the Ten Year Strategic Plan for Early Learning

The draft Ten Year Strategic Plan for Early Learning will be available for consultation later this year

A number of other reviews have recently closed or will be reaching their conclusion soon, with drafts scheduled to be released for consultation. Please remember to regularly visit our website where you will find information about current consultation and how you can contribute.

Education Conversation website(external link)

Tāmaki Makaurau Kōrero Mātauranga wānanga

Between 17 and 25 September we held 6 local and 3 regional Kōrero Mātauranga wānanga across the region. The wānanga are a follow-on from the Education Summits and an opportunity for Māori to have their say, share their views and to influence the Education Work Programme, as well as the review of Ka Hikitia and Tau Mau Te Reo.

Approximately 400 whanau members participated in these wānanga across Auckland, and it was great to see the enthusiasm and passion for education across the region. Whanau shared their views with us around: what’s important to Māori in education; what we value about what we have; what we want to change and how we would change it to ensure even greater success for all Māori in education, life and employment.

Attendees at a wānanga in Auckland 

The Kōrero Matauranga Survey has now closed, along with a number of our other reviews. Please remember to regularly visit the website below where you will find information about current consultation and how you can contribute, as well as seeing some of the draft discussion documents that have arisen from this conversation.

Kōrero Matauranga website(external link)

ESOL Professional Learning Clusters

We have around 50 primary and secondary English as a Second Language (ESOL) Professional Learning Clusters (PLCs) throughout the country, and recently our first ECE cluster started. If you would like to lead an ECE PLC please contact Kirsty MacDiarmid, Senior Advisor ESOL, at kirsty.macdiarmid@education.govt.nz for information about how we can support a cluster.

There are scholarships for Teaching English in Schools for Speakers of Other Languages (TESSOL) available to teachers, including ECE teachers. For the Auckland region, the Graduate Diploma in Teaching English in Schools to Speakers of Other Languages (GradDipTESSOL) through the University of Auckland is possible, as long as teachers meet the pre-requisites. Further information can be found on the Education website.

Teaching English in Schools for Speakers of Other Languages (TESSOL)

ESOL online has resources, many of which are useful for ECE teachers. For example, ‘Our Cultural Village’ includes valuable background information about some cultural groups that may be of use to your services in supporting migrant families.

Our cultural village(external link)

Funding for early learning services that are part of a Kāhui Ako

There are many benefits of early learning services and ngā kōhanga reo participating in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. One of these is that they support positive education outcomes from an early age, laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning.

From now until 30 June 2020, joint funding is available for early learning services who are approved members of a Kāhui Ako. The purpose of the funding is to support services’ participation and collaboration within Kāhui Ako to strengthen learning opportunities for children.

For more information about the joint funding and application form please see the Kāhui Ako page on the Education website.

Funding for early learning in Kāhui Ako

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

In the event of a traumatic incident, we are available to work closely with early learning services, kōhanga reo, kura and schools to support you to manage the incident and help you continue your day-to-day operations.

Traumatic incidents have been broadly defined as events that:

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

Our Traumatic Incident Team can be contacted anytime - 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Mā te wā

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

Waikato regional news

E rau rangatira mā tēnā koutou katoa.

ECE Network Cluster hui – connecting with Kāhui Ako – investing in collaboration

Our ECE network cluster hui are now well underway. By now you should have either attended a network cluster hui or have received a formal invitation to attend an upcoming hui in your geographical region. At this stage we would like to acknowledge the work done by local key contacts who have been instrumental in assisting with the organisation of each hui. Your support has been invaluable as we work towards formalising early learning representation within Kāhui Ako. It has been especially exciting to hear how the links have already been made with the early learning community. One Kāhui Ako has gathered data about transitions into and across the schooling sector, and is inviting the local early learning services in the area to meet regularly to work with new entrant teachers to help unpick the information and develop effective transition information.

Early learning representation is important in Kāhui Ako as services form an essential part of the 0-18 pathway. When services and schools understand each other’s teaching practices and share expertise and resources, overall teaching quality improves, leading to better outcomes for children at every stage of their education journey.

Changes to Playgroup funding

You may have read in the previous Bulletin that Playgroup funding is undergoing a positive change! These changes are in line with the movement to electronic reporting and the feedback so far has been very positive. 

What does this mean for you? There will be no more paper forms to fill out and send in. Although this will initially require some work to set up, your Education Advisors are looking forward to offering support to get you up and running with this new funding system. It will also be an opportunity to touch base with all our Playgroups and hear about the great educational and social experiences you are providing for children. Over the coming months your Education Advisor will be in touch to organise a visit to start this process.

For more information and FAQs you can visit the Education Resourcing System (ERS) information page.

Education Resourcing System (ERS)

Learning Support update

We are pleased to let you know that the Waikato region received additional funding to employ more specialist Learning Support staff in 2018. This was a result of Budget funding over 2017 and 2018, which increased specialist services for children 8 years of age and under. We have more psychologist/behaviour specialist positions, another early intervention teacher and another speech language therapist.

While recruitment to specialist roles is not always easy, we have filled many of these positions and are actively working to fill all the remaining vacancies.

The increased specialist staffing also resulted in an additional service manager position, and on 15 October 2018 we welcomed Sarana King to the Learning Support Management Team. Sarana comes from a background in primary teaching in both English and Māori mediums. In recent years she has been a lead RTLB in the cluster that services all Hamilton city schools and all kura within the Waikato region.

In the move to 7 teams we have ensured equitable distribution of staff across our region, and have tried to minimise any disruption to our service to families, early learning services and schools, kura and wharekura.

Please contact your local Learning Support staff for more information.

Local learning support contact information

Draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan

The draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan has recently been launched and aims to develop an inclusive education system where children and young people with additional learning needs, including disabilities, are welcome. The Action Plan suggests a number of priorities for the next few years developed in response to feedback from parents and whānau, and organisations and groups from the education and disability sectors. We value your input into this conversation, so have your say and access the survey by 31 October.

Disability and Learning Support Action Plan - Education Conversation 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. 

It is a very busy time for early learning, with the Review of Home-based Early Childhood Education and the development of the Early Learning Strategic Plan well underway. Thank you to all who attended the recent home-based consultation meeting in Tauranga and to those who contributed feedback using the online forum. Please do come along to one of the Early Learning Strategic Plan consultation meetings which will be held in Rotorua, dates to be confirmed later this year. I encourage you to engage in any opportunity you have to become involved, because your opinion matters and we want to ensure that the vision for the next 10 years develops and strengthens the early learning sector.

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

Rotorua ECE festival

The biannual Rotorua ECE Festival is about to kick off on 25 October at the Harvest Centre. The biannual festival is held in memory of the late Ada Kiel, a kindergarten teacher who passed suddenly. Ada was a strong advocate for celebrating biculturalism in early learning and wanted Rotorua to host a festival where centres in the city could entertain and promote identity, language and culture through kapahaka, whakāri or waiata.

The day will see up to 20 centres perform for 15 minutes on stage. The audience will be made up of whānau, the public and centres. If you get a chance to pop down, it should be a great day out.

Funding for early learning in Kāhui Ako

It was another exciting announcement on Tuesday 11 September 2018. Early learning services that are approved members of a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako can apply for joint funding from the Ministry of Education. The purpose of the funding is to support services to participate and collaborate within the Kāhui Ako to strengthen learning opportunities for children from a young age. If you are yet to join your Kāhui Ako, or would like to know more information, please view the links below or contact one of the Bay of Plenty – Waiariki Education Advisors:

Funding for early learning in Kāhui Ako

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

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

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

La manuia

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

Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti regional news

Tēnā koutou

There’s only 2 more months of the year left – can you believe it?! It’s been a very busy year with a number of government work programme reviews underway (Early Learning Strategic Plan, Review of Home-based ECE, NCEA, Māori Education, Curriculum, Achievement & Progress, Tomorrow’s Schools, Property Review, Disability & Learning Support Action Plan etc). Some of this work still requires community engagement with the sector, while other parts will start to be reported back on from December onwards. More information of the reviews and how to get involved can be found on the Education Conversation website.

Education Conversation website(external link)

Last week we held the last of our Korero Matauranga – Māori Education hui. Hui were held in Ruatoria, Gisborne, Wairoa, Waipawa and Hastings and involved local facilitators to encourage open conversations. We were thrilled with the turn out and representation from all sectors of the community, including early learning.

Attendees at Korero Matauranga – Māori Education huis Attendees at Korero Matauranga – Māori Education huis

We have been receiving feedback from the sector about individual teachers wanting to be notified of professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities. Currently information is sent to the nominated service provider contact person. We will continue to do this, but if you would also like to go on the mailing list please send your name and details to enquiries.napier@education.govt.nz.

Hauora hui

On Tuesday 6 November, the Ministry of Education and the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board will be holding an expo of agencies that work with early learning services. You will be given an opportunity to circulate the stalls and speak with the different agencies, gathering information and resources to take back to your services.

Our guest speaker, Latu To’omaga from Brainwave Trust, will present early years information with an emphasis on the effects that drugs have on the developing brain in the early years. We also have Bernice Gabriel who will speak about Ngātahi competencies and modules in regard to the Vulnerable Children’s Act.

Register your attendance with: 

191 Riverbend Road, Maraenui, Napier.

Tuesday 6 November
5pm to 6pm – expo
6.15pm to 7.30pm – guest speakers.

Provided from 5pm.

Get to know us – Lisa Olsen-Brown – staff profile

Lisa Olsen-Brown 

What’s your role at the Ministry of Education?

He uri awau nō Porourangi, no Ruataupare no Mahaki anō hoki. I am based in the Gisborne office as an Education Advisor and my role is to support schools and principals in Te Tairāwhiti.

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

I am still relatively new to the Ministry and have only been working in this role since May. I have a background in teaching and have held various leadership roles in the primary sector, both in mainstream and Māori-medium settings. Joining the Ministry was not something I had really considered, but I had reached a stage where I was ready for a new challenge and fortunately for me an opportunity had become available here.

What do you most enjoy about working here?

I feel really privileged that I am able to get out into our schools to see some of the amazing work that teachers and principals are doing in our rohe. I am enjoying getting to see education from this side and getting to know new colleagues who all made me feel welcome and supported as I joined this team.

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

I don’t know if it is interesting but most of my non-work life is about enjoying time with whānau. My husband and I have 4 tamariki, 10-year-old twin boys, another 5-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl. So, like most parents, most of our non-work life revolves around what the kids have got going on!

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

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu regional news

Kia ora

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa.

I hope that you are all enjoying the spring weather and the longer evenings that daylight saving brings.

The wānanga on the future of education took place in New Plymouth, Te Hāwera, Whanganui and Palmerston North in September and attracted close to 250 participants from a range of sectors including early learning, primary, secondary and tertiary education providers, principals and tumuaki, English and Māori-medium educators, whānau, iwi and community service providers. The information is being analysed and will be used to inform the direction in the future. I would like to thank you all for your contribution and valuable insights.

Read more about the Education Conversation(external link).

Nāu te ringa raupā, nāku te ringa raupā, ka oti te kaupapa.

With your support and my support the kaupapa will be completed.

Disability and Learning Support Action Plan

The draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan was announced by Minister Martin on 21 September. The Action Plan aims to drive progress towards an inclusive education system where the achievement, progress and participation of children and young people with additional learning needs, including disabilities, is valued and supported. It includes proposals that will help to provide a more accessible, flexible, child-centred and joined up approach for disability and Learning Support.

Consultation on the draft Action Plan will run until 31 October. You can read more about the Action Plan and make your submission on the Education website.

Draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan

Key dates for licensing over the Christmas period

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

To licence a new service Deadline for completed applications
By 21 December 2018 Monday 12 November 2018
By the end of January 2019 Friday 7 December 2018


To amend a licence

Deadline for completed applications
Prior to 4 January 2019 Friday 14 December 2018

If you have your completed documentation submitted by these dates, it is likely we can meet your expectations of opening or changing your operation in the New Year.

To help with our planning, please let us know if you think you might require a licensing visit for any purpose (including temporary relocation, alterations or amendments) in January or early February 2019. Please email: ece.twm@education.govt.nz.

Staffing updates

Ann Cherie Phillips

It is with sadness that we farewell Ann Cherie Phillips after 7 years of working at the Ministry of Education. She has been a valued member of the early childhood team supporting Playgroups across our region. Ann Cherie leaves us to spend more time with her young whānau and to be able to dedicate herself to study. We wish Ann Cherie all the best for her future.

Ginge Potaka will continue to be your Education Advisor for Playgroups and can be contacted by email at barbara.potaka@education.govt.nz or by phone on 06 349 6303.

This month we farewelled Sandra Marshall and Sally Hogg, Learning Support Service Managers in Palmerston North. They have both gone onto other roles where they will continue to support children and families with additional educational needs. Steph McKay and Caroline Campbell have kindly agreed to step into their shoes while recruitment is underway.

Contact details for our managers



Palmerston North

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

Ngā mihi

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

Wellington regional news

Disability and Learning Support Action Plan

Consultation on the draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan closes on 31 October 2018.

You can still get involved by providing your feedback through the online survey. Visit the Education Conversation website for details of the draft Action Plan and survey.

Disability and Learning Support Action Plan - Education Conversation website(external link)

In addition to the online survey, we are holding two meetings in Wellington to share the draft Action Plan:

  • Tuesday 23 October 2018, 7.00pm – 8.30pm
    Ministry of Education, Mātauranga House
    33 Bowen St, Wellington.
  • Friday 26 October, 10.30 am – 12.00pm
    Ministry of Education, Mātauranga House
    33 Bowen St, Wellington.

These meetings are to discuss the proposed actions in the plan, the most important actions to be taken over the next few years, and whether there are any gaps.

Space at these venues is limited so if you would like to attend please contact diana.schofield@education.govt.nz to RSVP. Please and ensure you state which meeting you would like to attend. Please accept our apologies if your first choice of meeting is oversubscribed.

Tokelauan Language Week

Mālō ni.

Ko te tama a te manu e fafaga i na ika, ka ko te tama a te tagata e fafaga i na kupu

(Birds feed their young with fish, humans feed their young with words)

This week is Tokelauan Language Week. Learning another language and culture helps us to build a better understanding of the diverse backgrounds in our communities. I hope you take the opportunity to view the resources available from the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, which include pronunciation guides, cultural information, songs and activity ideas you can use. Fakatakitaki ki ei! (Give it a go!).

Ministry for Pacific Peoples website(external link)

Tsunami Safer Early Learning Services and Schools Project

Wellington early learning services and schools are being encouraged to practise tsunami drills as part of a one-year project that has just been completed by East Coast Life at the Boundary (LAB).

East Coast LAB identified over 250 early learning services and schools within mapped tsunami evacuation zones along the East Coast of the North Island. Tsunami are significant hazards for much of the New Zealand coastline, so it is important for early learning services and schools to know how to prepare and respond, especially to natural warning signs.

A team of experts provided advice and have helped develop a toolbox of resources. This toolbox will be used by Civil Defence and Emergency Management Groups when supporting early learning services and schools to prepare and respond to earthquakes and tsunami.

East Coast LAB project leader Kate Boersen says the resource covers everything from planning and hazards to evacuations and bringing families back together. It will enable Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups to easily provide technical advice to early learning services and schools when they are developing, reviewing or practising their emergency management plans for tsunami.

"Planning for emergencies is the responsibility of boards of trustees and early learning service providers, and it is essential these plans are flexible, well known and practised," she says.

This project was funded by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management. It involved a team of advisors from the Ministry of Education, Tairawhiti, Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu-Wanganui Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups, the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office, GNS Science and Massey University.

Maps and guidance are available on the East Coast LAB website and will shortly be available on the Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management website.

East Coast LAB Guides(external link)

Ministry of Civil Defence(external link)

Tapasā – new resource for teacher of Pacific learners

The Ministry has recently released a new publication – Tapasā. This is a resource developed to support teachers to work more confidently with Pacific learners and aid culturally responsive teaching.

Teachers of Pacific learners can use Tapasā as a guide and make use of the variety of case studies that demonstrate different scenarios where Pacific culture and practices can be included in classroom lessons.

An e-copy of Tapasā can be downloaded from the Te Kete Ipurangi website(external link). 

Additional hard copies can be ordered from Down the Back of the Chair(external link).

Anna Wysocki – staff profile

Anna Wysocki

Tēnā koutou katoa.

I have 3 children who all participated in different early learning services and I provided parent help during that time. It was a great opportunity to see the enjoyment and benefits this gave each of my children.

I have worked for the Ministry for 12 years, initially coming in for 2 weeks to cover a colleague’s annual leave. In 2010, I transferred to the ECE Team as a Senior Support Officer. In my role I am responsible for actioning any licence amendments for early learning services and any general ECE enquiries across the 3 Education Teams in our region. I also provide support to the 6 senior ECE Education Advisors as required. I really enjoy working with the sector and my colleagues to help make a difference for our tamariki and their whanau.

Outside of work I volunteer for a number of organisations, including the Christian Charitable Trust which provides funding for Budget Advisors to give free budgeting advice to individuals and families. It’s great to see the positive impact this is making for so many people.

You can contact me at anna.wysocki@education.govt.nz or phone 04 463 7029.

Ngā mihi


Tōfā ni

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

Kāhui Ako and ECE engagement update

Congratulations to the Mohua (Golden Bay) ECE cluster who have not only formally joined the Kāhui Ako, but successfully applied for and been granted the funding to support ECE engagement in the process. The application process and funding details are available on the Ministry's website.

Funding for early learning in Kāhui Ako

We now have over 40 early learning services who have completed an Expression of Interest (EOI) process for joining their local Kāhui Ako. This has included most Playcentres, a vast majority of education and care services and most home-based services. In Marlborough, Kellie Warren is working with Deborah Lomax to support wider representation into Kāhui Ako for the early learning sector. On the West Coast, Kellie and Joanna will provide support through the REAP group meetings.

Several ECE clusters around the Nelson region are focused on mahi relating to transitions. Most clusters have representation through 2 to 4 ECE members at the regular Kāhui Ako meetings who report back to the wider group on a termly basis. Gwen Gilmore has supported this process by gathering resources and support material into one space for each group.

Te Puna Reo o Tuia te Matangi – Kia Ora Expo

Te Puna Reo o Tuia te Matangi is a certificated puna kōhungahunga (Māori-medium Playgroup) located on the site of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia te Matangi. As part of the educational programme, the puna has been providing opportunities for their whānau to learn about services available in their rohe to support their whānau to thrive. This inspired the puna to host a ‘Kia Ora Expo’ last month, to extend this opportunity to the wider community.

Miraka Norgate, Health Promoter form the Nelson Marlborough District Health Boar 

The Kia Ora Expo was a fun whānau day which included entertainment for the tamariki, kai and a kapa haka performed by ākonga from the kura. Stalls with representatives from various organisations provided information on safe sleeping and transportation of tamariki, dental health and nutrition, learning to swim and financial advice etc. The event was well supported with manuhiri coming from as far away as Motueka from Te Kōhanga Reo o Te Awhina. Ka mau te wehi!

Te Puna Reo o Tuia te Matangi operates from 9am to 1pm from Monday to Thursday. For further information about the puna please contact Sweety Tamepo on 027 217 6655 or Misty Ormsby on 027 916 9489.

Collingwood Playcentre transition to school

Collingwood Playcentre has a very strong reciprocal relationship with Collingwood Area School, which adjoins their playground, and the new entrant classroom is in viewing distance from the Playcentre.

The parents, along with the kaiako from the school and Playcentre, decided on what they wanted and needed in a transition to school programme. They are keeping the needs of the tamariki at the forefront, answering questions about starting school, and helping them feel good in the school environment.

Every Wednesday tamariki aged 4 to 5 years head to the classroom where they are greeted by their class friends (many of whom are fellow Playcentre friends that have now started school), and one of 3 kaiako to join in with their class for about an hour.

Through these regular visits, tamariki are becoming comfortable with the everyday routine at school and familiarising themselves with the many questions of where to hang their bag, put their lunch, find the toilet, where to go for help, and most importantly forming good relationships with their teachers and peers before embarking on their new adventure at school.

They have found that their tamariki are transitioning to school with ease and are very happy in this environment with a great sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Not only is this important for the child but their parents too. They are comfortable in knowing that their tamariki have made great relationships with the kaiako and class peers, their questions and concerns have been answered, and they know that their tamariki will be well looked after.

"It takes a village to raise a child" – at Collingwood Playcentre they believe every child deserves the best start to their learning and that’s why they give so much love and passion to their centre and programme.

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

Canterbury regional news

Kia ora

Disability and Learning Support Action Plan

Consultation on the draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan closes on 31 October 2018.

You can still get involved by providing your feedback through the online survey. Visit the Education Conversation website for details of the draft Action Plan and survey.

Disability and Learning Support Action Plan - Education Conversation website(external link)

In addition to the online survey, we are holding three meetings in Canterbury to share the draft Action Plan:

  • Monday 29 October 2018, 1.00pm – 3.00pm
    Ministry of Education Christchurch office
    48 Hereford Street, Christchurch.
  • Monday 29 October, 6.30pm – 8.00pm
    Ministry of Education Christchurch office
    48 Hereford Street, Christchurch.
  • Tuesday 30 October 2018, 6.30pm – 8.00pm
    Southern Trust Events Centre, Timaru.

These meetings are to discuss the proposed actions in the plan, the most important actions to be taken over the next few years, and whether there are any gaps.

Space at these venues is limited so if you would like to attend please contact events.christchurch@education.govt.nz to RSVP. Please ensure you state which meeting you would like to attend. Please accept our apologies if your first choice of meeting is oversubscribed.

Ten Year Strategic Plan and Education Conversation

As you are aware the Government is currently developing a Ten Year Strategic Plan for early learning. This Strategic Plan will set the direction for the whole early learning sector and the sector will be given an opportunity to provide feedback on a draft plan.

Your feedback about the draft plan will contribute towards a better understanding of the views of those involved with early childhood education (ECE). To learn more about the early learning Strategic Plan see the Education Conversation website.

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

As at the beginning of October there were 15,500 contributions to the Education Conversation. The initial report on the main themes from the first 11,000 responses can be downloaded from the link below:

Kōrero Mātauranga Survey [PDF, 579KB](external link)

Ministry Christmas close down and licensing application cut-off dates

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, I thought it would be useful to advise you of the cut-off dates for submitting applications into the Christchurch office for licensing new services during this period. The dates which the Christchurch office will be closed over this period will be advised in the November issue of this Bulletin.

The Ministry of Education has a statutory responsibility to take all reasonably practicable steps to make a decision on a licensing application within 30 working days of receiving a complete application. A ‘complete application’ means that all documents to support the application, as listed on the EC/8, EC/1C or EC/1HB form, have been submitted. Therefore any application for licensing needs to be submitted at least 30 working days prior to the date you wish it to be effective from. The closure period for the Ministry of Education is not counted towards ‘working days’.

Please remember that the application needs to be complete (that is, contains all required documents) before a visit date can be confirmed:

  • to licence a new service prior to Christmas – a complete application needs to be received in our office by Monday 12 November (this date allows 30 working days for us to make a decision)
  • to licence a new service in January – a complete application needs to be received in our office at least 30 working days prior to when you wish the new licence or amendment to take effect.

If you think that you might require a licensing visit for any purpose (including temporary relocation, alterations or amendments) in December, January or early February, please let us know by emailing ece.canterbury@education.govt.nz.

Applications received outside these timeframes cannot guarantee a licensing decision will be made by your ideal opening date. Please contact one of our Education Advisors if you have any questions about this.

Canterbury District Health Board projects

The Ministry of Education frequently collaborates with other government and non-government agencies in the interests of children and their whānau. The Canterbury District Health Board, as one of these agencies, has asked us to circulate information about 2 current projects. Please see the information below about the Gateway Assessment Programme and the invitation to attend a workshop on oral health.

Gateway Assessment Programme contributing to brighter future for children and young people

'Gateway' has been up and running in the Canterbury District Health Board for 7 years. It is making a big difference to the health and education of children and young people coping with adversity and who have come into the care of Oranga Tamariki or who are involved in a Family Group Conference.

The Gateway process is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. It involves a holistic and global health assessment of the child/young person and their family which is completed by a paediatrician, youth health assessor and psychologist if required. The Gateway health assessment process for under 5 year olds includes an education profile completed by the ECE provider and the gathering of information from all 3 Ministries to inform a full and comprehensive medical and psycho-social health check, health assessment report, multi-disciplinary meeting and inter-service agreement (plan).

The health assessment report recommendations made by the paediatrician are discussed at a multidisciplinary meeting with Oranga Tamariki and the Ministry of Education, and an inter-service agreement is completed. The health assessment report identifies interventions to improve the overall health, education and wellbeing of children with their families. The interventions, as agreed to by all the stakeholders and guardians, are followed up 3 months after the assessment to check they have been completed.

Many Gateway children and their families have a combination of health and education problems that have gone unidentified or untreated prior to them coming into Oranga Tamariki care. Often the complexity of the problems means that no single agency is able to provide the full package of care and services required. These children will often have a number of barriers to accessing health services such as parents with health or psycho-social concerns.

Gateway has its own primary mental health provider which in Christchurch is the Methodist Mission. The Mission provides or facilitates a number of programmes for our Gateway children/young people and families such as Watch Wait and Wonder (attachment programme), trauma therapy, and home-based family behaviour support.

The child or young person and their family are involved as partners throughout the process and must give consent to the release and sharing of information before the Gateway process can progress. At the completion of the Gateway assessment a report is sent to the family’s Oranga Tamariki social worker and general practitioner and a shortened version of the report with the recommendations is sent to the Ministry of Education.

A mother whose children went through Gateway assessments says, “I want to say thank you for all the help and support you gave me and my children when I could no longer cope with the family struggles … Learnt a lot from you guys who have been involved ... feeling ashamed is not useful, talking to someone and asking for help to get back on track is.”

How you can support Gateway’s success

The Oranga Tamariki social worker communicates with and will provide the ECE educational profile for the teacher to complete with their observations. The educational profile is returned to the Gateway Service enabling the health assessor to be fully informed when completing the Gateway assessment report.

The ECE provider will receive the recommendations from the completed Gateway health assessment report and inter-service agreement/plan for their enrolled child to support educational planning, and this may also have recommendations for the teacher to consider putting into place to meet the child’s needs.

If within ECE it is found that a child or young person could benefit from a Gateway assessment, the Oranga Tamariki social worker needs to be advised so a referral can be made.

For more information on the Gateway process, or to request a copy of a Gateway assessment report for a child attending ECE who is involved with Oranga Tamariki, contact Linda Stokes, Gateway Assessment Coordinator, on 03 364 0905.

Oral Health Service Development Group invites participants to Oral Health Information and Education Workshop

Date: Thursday 8 November 2018

Venue: Design Lab, 17 Print Place, Middleton, Christchurch

Time: 9.30am to 1pm

Purpose of the workshop: To work with on-the-ground providers around what their needs are for oral health information and education, and what is required to support them to ensure consistent oral health messages are given.

A morning tea will be provided and tea and coffee is available from 9.15am.

Please register by 5pm on Friday 26 October 2018 or contact Tracy Abbot at tracy.abbot@cdhb.health.nz or phone 03 378 6738.

Finally, I look forward to talking with you at the next Futures Network hui (details are below) about recent developments in education. Please email barbara.madden@education.govt.nz if you have any topic that you would particularly like me to cover.

Futures Network meeting

Date: Tuesday 13 November 2018

Time: 9.30am to 11.30am

Venue: Ground Floor Conference Room, Te Uruti, 48 Hereford St, Christchurch (cnr Hereford St and Cambridge Tce)

Please note that numbers able to attend are limited by the size of the venue so it is important to RSVP to barbara.madden@education.govt.nz by Friday 9 November. We will end with a shared lunch – please bring something to contribute to this. Tea and coffee will be provided. 

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

The dates for the first 2 Futures Network hui for 2019 have been set as:

  • Tuesday 19 March, 9.30am to 11.30am
  • Tuesday 18 June, 9.30am to 11.30am.

Please put these in your diary now. Dates for the rest of 2019 will be in next month’s Bulletin. All 2019 hui will be held in the Conference Room, Te Uruti, 48 Hereford St, Christchurch.

Mā te wā

Coralanne Child
Director of Education for Canterbury
Phone: 03 378 7345
Mobile: 027 420 0251
Email: coralanne.child@education.govt.nz

Otago-Southland regional news

Director’s message

Kia ora koutou and warm greetings.

I hope you all enjoyed Labour Weekend – the last long weekend before Christmas, which is now only 9 weeks away! This last month has seen continued engagement with the government work programme, with a particular focus for Māori and ensuring whanau are able to contribute their views to the future direction of education. I have included a summary below of the Education Summit hui, Ngāi Tahu, hosted as an example of one of these engagement opportunities.

Also included this month are some positive engagement stories including PowerUp in Oamaru, and Winton Kindergarten’s Takatimu Waka project, as well as celebrating success with early learning services recently receiving Category 4 ERO reviews. I have also included a reminder about accident and incident reporting, as well as information about Incredible Years for those starting to think about 2019 professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities.

Education Summit hui

Ngāi Tahu hosted an Education Summit hui at Moeraki on 28 and 29 September. Attendees included Ngāi Tahu representatives including Kaitoko, representation from education agencies such as the ERO and NZSTA, as well as PLD providers. I was able to talk about Māori engagement in our work programme, and the wider government work programme that is underway.

We were also invited to talk about PLD in schools and early learning services. There are an increasing number of requests from services for Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) support to enhance bicultural responsiveness. As interest grows, higher demands are placed on rūnanga who may be already committed in many areas.

The hui was a great chance to share with Ngāi Tahu about how we manage the SELO procurement process. It also provided an opportunity to discuss how best to provide support about Māori responsiveness within the Ngāi Tahu context, and to share perspectives as part of our continuing working relationship with iwi in education.

An exciting development that Ngāi Tahu shared was its set of cultural standards that are based on whānau aspirations. These include Manawa Reo, Manawa Whenua (knowledge of whakapapa and cultural heritage), Manawa Tikanga (cultural confidence and engagement in cultural environments), Manawa Kāi Tahu (knowledge of tribal history), Manawa Tangata (community connections and whānaungatanga) and Manawa Mātauranga (effective engagement in traditional-based learning opportunities). The next step is the development of criteria and competency levels around these that will be most useful to our schools and centres.

Education Conversation website(external link)

Winton Kindergarten Takitimu waka

The theme of the Murhiku Polyfest this year was story-telling and Winton Kindergarten wanted to retell the legend of Takitimu. The tamariki researched and learned about the legend and talked about the best way to re-tell what they had learned. From this the idea of an art installation to artistically represent the upturned Takitimu waka was born.

This led the tamariki into their community to find a spot for the waka, to meetings with the local school and local council to get permission for the waka to be installed, and to finding the person to help create and carve it.

The end result of the mahi and passion of the tamariki, whanau, teaching team and the community getting behind the project is this beautiful Takitimu waka that is installed at the local Ivy Russell Reserve in Winton.

Children from Winton Kindergarten at the Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Tr

Winton Kindergarten were also awarded the Kaitiaki Award at the Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust Polyfest 2018.

Well done to the tamariki, teachers, whānau and community of Winton for taking this journey and providing this special taonga for all those who live under the majestic Takitimu Mountains. What started as a project for the Polyfest Art Exhibition turned into a creative journey and a real community collaboration, and is a wonderful example of how participation in this event connected with authentic learning opportunities.

Tālanga a Waitaki – PowerUP Ōamaru

Delivering better education outcomes for Pacific children and young people is one of the Ministry’s key priorities, and a key driver in the Government’s education work programme. One way in which we support this is through Pacific PowerUP, which is aimed at building the capability, knowledge and voice of Pacific families and communities to drive and accelerate Pacific educational success. Tālanga a Waitaki, a PowerUP Plus programme, was established in Oamaru this year. This area has a rapidly growing Pacific population, and establishing PowerUP was an opportunity for this community to work together to enhance the outcomes for its young people. 

Tālanga a Waitaki runs each week at Oamaru Intermediate School during the term and caters for the whole family, including an early childhood group. On average, at a session we have tamaiti aged between 3 months and 5 years, mostly of Tongan descent. Children meet with qualified ECE teachers in a classroom set up with resources (books, blocks, balls, puzzles and playdough) and are free to explore their environment. Free play is encouraged, followed by music, singing and dancing, where tamaiti enjoy using their bodies and dancing alongside their friends.

Sessions are run at the same time for parents, with workshops designed to help them navigate the New Zealand education system, understand the benefits of participating in early learning, support their children to strengthen literacy and numeracy, as well as gain NCEA to access future training or education.

The Incredible Years Teacher Programme for 2019

The Incredible Years programme started 25 years ago in the United States and is now in a number of countries around the world, as well as throughout New Zealand. The programme has been rigorously evaluated and has been found to produce highly effective results, especially in reducing challenging behaviours in children and increasing their social and self-control skills.

The programme is available to early learning and primary teachers of children aged 3 to 8 years. This includes 6 one-day workshops spaced at regular intervals, usually 3 to 4 weekly over a 6 month period. Between sessions you get the opportunity to put into practice the practical strategies focused on throughout the day’s workshop. The programme concludes with a follow-up 7th half-day workshop approximately 3 months after Workshop 6.

The Ministry of Education provides a $1,000 financial contribution for the early learning service or school for each teacher attending the programme to assist with the cost of relieving teachers.

Parent and teacher programmes will be run throughout Otago-Southland in 2019. For further information and to request an Expression of Interest (EOI) form please email: enquiries.dunedin@education.govt.nz.

Incredible Years website(external link)

Accident and incident reporting

Recently we have been notified of a variety of accidents/incidents within our services. This is a timely reminder to think about your health and safety obligations for the safety and wellbeing of all children attending early learning services or Playgroups.

The links below are to the Ministry of Education health and safety guidelines for early learning services and can assist you in reviewing your policies and procedures. Of note, as per criteria HS34, where there is a serious injury, illness or incident involving a child whilst at your service:

These are the relevant licensing criteria:

Centre-based Home-based
HS12 Hazard Management HS11 Hazard Management
HS27 Medical Assistance and Incident Management HS24 Medical Assistance and Incident Management
HS34 Incident Notification to the Ministry of Education HS33 Incident Notification to the Ministry of Education

We have also produced a factsheet with further guidance around your reporting requirements under the WorkSafe and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

If you would like any further advice on health and safety regulatory reporting requirements please contact your Education Advisor.

Congratulations on ERO report

Congratulations to the following services for receiving a Category 4 – Very Well Placed ERO report so far in 2018:

  • Casa Nova Kindergarten
  • Edna McCulloch Kindergarten
  • Holmes Kindergarten
  • Mornington Playcentre
  • Skiwiland Coronet Peak.

These services have been identified as consistently effective in promoting children’s wellbeing and learning, and performing highly in relation to ERO’s evaluation indicators for Ngā Pou Here. Well done to all the educators, staff, tamariki and whanau who have contributed to the positive culture in these environments.

A reminder that more information about the process can be found at He Pou Tātaki – How ERO reviews early childhood services(external link).

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

Ngā mihi mahana

Julie Anderson
Director of Education Otago-Southland
Direct dial: 03 471 5217
Mobile: 027 836 4846
Email: julie.anderson@education.govt.nz 

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