Early Learning Regional News – October 2019

Regional News updates for October 2019 from the Directors of Education for each Ministry of Education region.

Tai Tokerau Regional News

Strengthening Early Childhood Learning Opportunities (SELO) - Akoranga Tuitui Whānau

Two girls with fake Moko tattoos 

Arohanui and Harinui Early Childhood Learning Centres in Kerikeri have embraced the opportunity to join a SELO professional development programme and are now working with their local iwi, Ngāti Rēhia on an initiative to provide children with culturally responsive and effective teaching practices.

Girl poses with stick in field

They have relished the opportunity to connect to their local tangata whenua and were keen to learn, pūrakau being told, local history of their tūpuna and traditional kaupapa Māori practices including the correct dialect for their region. This partnership was a great example of whakawhanaungatanga, where relationships were built and together they shared their aspirations for Māori children and every child within their multicultural community.

They were able to form bonds and receive a great deal of knowledge from leaders and elders, such as Crystal Harden and Kipa Munro of Te Runanga o Ngāti Rēhia, whose rōpū name is Akoranga Tuitui Whānau. These bonds were strengthened by a group of passionate kaiako from the centre who attend fortnightly evening wānanga. A collaborative programme was created which emphasised what they wanted to achieve for their tamariki over the term. They felt an integral part of this programme was connecting to their local landmarks and surroundings, in order for tamariki without Māori roots to feel a sense of belonging and a place to stand/ tūrangawaewae.

Ngāti Rēhia have also supported them with centre events, for example they were able to hold a whakatau for new families and new kaiako at the beginning of the year, with kaiako from the centre being an active part of the ceremony such as learning to karanga during the whakatau.

One of the biggest highlights for the centre has been the recent celebration of Mahuru, Spring, out at their marae Ngaherenui. Ngaherenui is their taonga, a special wilderness area set on the same 2 acres of land as Arohanui and Harinui, so this holds great mana for the centres. Through their connection with Ngāti Rēhia, they have developed appropriate kaupapa and the tamariki at the centres have been able to sleep in the open air building on the site.

A comment from the centres below sums up their experience:

“This support and learning has empowered our kaiako involved and the tamariki to feel confident, knowledgeable in what we teach, to have an on-going relationship with tangata whenua and know we can ask for support or invite them along to any of our events. Every centre should have strong connections or knowledge to be able to fully commit to their obligations as educators to recognise and uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi, to celebrate and acknowledge the culture and the language every day.

Through this connection we have deepened our understanding and knowledge of Te Ao Māori. The learning has been invaluable to us and we will continue with respect and understanding to build on this relationship.

Ko Rangitane te maunga
Ko Kororipo te Pā
Ko te awa o ngā rangatira te awa
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Ngaherenui te marae
Ko Kahikatearoa te rohe
Ko Ngāti Rēhia te hapu
No nga hau e wha ngā tamariki
Ko Arohanui me Harinui ahau”


There have now been 79 confirmed cases of measles in Tai Tokerau. In order to protect our community, the Northland District Health Board are offering measles vaccination to those they deem most vulnerable, i.e. those under thirty years of age.

They have shared their immunisation priorities below:

  1. Scheduled immunisations at 15 months and 4 years
  2. One dose of MMR for those aged <30 years who have not had a previous dose
  3. People aged 30-50 years based on clinical judgement e.g. they are immunocompromised, live with someone who is unable to be immunised (such as an infant under 15 months), are frontline healthcare staff or a teacher at an early learning service, primary or secondary school.

DHB Clinics for 15 months, 4 years and up to 30 year olds who have not had an MMR are held in:

  • Whangarei - 22b Commerce Street – Tuesday and Thursdays – 8.30am until 4pm
  • Kaitaia – Kaitaia Hospital Whare – Thursdays – 12.45pm until 4pm.

Further information about Measles and Immunisation can be found on the Northland DHB website.

Measles information - Northland DHB website(external link)

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

Auckland regional news

Malo ni,

Next week is the final in this year’s series of Pacific Language weeks - Tokelau Language Week. We encourage you to reach out to your whanau and community to see if families would like to share any Tokelauan language, culture or identity related activities with your tamariki during this week. Below we share how our offices have been celebrating language weeks for Te Wiki o te Reo and Uike lea faka-Tonga – we would love to hear your stories too, please send them to kat.ashmead@education.govt.nz.

Pacific Language Weeks - Ministry for Pacific Peoples website(external link)

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori | Māori Language Week

On 9 September our Auckland offices launched Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. Staff learnt about the rich history of Te Reo: how it has survived and experienced revitalisation since the 1970s.

Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori - ‘Let’s make the Māori language strong' - was the key theme for 2019, and something our staff are journeying towards. We are embracing new opportunities to learn and develop our cultural competency to further enable us to work with and for Māori akonga.

Te Wiki o Te Reo has been an exceptional week full of opportunities for our staff to learn and grow in various aspects of Te Ao Māori: from language classes to Māori games, tunu kai, mahi rāranga, daily karakia, waiata and more.

Stacy and Scotty Morrison presenting at the front of the room

On 11 September, we were joined by the inspiring duo Stacey & Scotty Morrison, to introduce our staff to Toro Mai – a Te Reo Māori digital learning platform from Massey University. All Ministry staff in Tāmaki Makaurau now have access to this resource. We look forward to collectively advancing our Te Ao Māori knowledge, positively influencing the way we work towards building Māori success in schools and across the sector. 

Uike lea faka-Tonga | Tongan Language Week

Mālō e lelei! Fakakoloa ‘o Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e tauhi fonua: A Tongan perspective of enriching Aotearoa, NZ.

On Monday 2 September the Auckland office launched Tongan Language Week with a celebration of language, identity and culture. Thank you so much to the wonderful students from Favona Primary School who came to visit our office and perform for us.

Thanks also to Rowandale School who invited our staff to join their celebration – it was fantastic to see the entire school participating proudly and enthusiastically as well as many parents and whanau.

Census 2013 data shows that 78% of New Zealand’s Tongan population reside in Auckland, and that for the 60,336 total Tongan population in NZ, the median age is 19.4 years. Tongans make up 5.5% of the Auckland student population (15,623). Auckland’s largest Pacific populations reside in the local board areas of Māngere-Ōtāhuhu (39,045) followed by Ōtara-Papatoetoe (31,671) and Manurewa (25,020).

Tongan students preforming in traditional attire at front of room
Favona School Tongan students performing
at the Ministry launch of Tongan language week

Tongan students in traditional attire performing on stage in front of crowd
Student performance at Rowandale School

Measles: Information for Auckland early learning services

The latest updates from Auckland Regional Public Health Service regarding measles in Auckland can always be found on their website. Alternatively, you can phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for immediate health advice.

Measles outbreak in Auckland - Auckland Regional Public Health Service website(external link)

Immunisation Registers

Immunisation registers provide information about the immunisation status (i.e., what diseases a child has been immunised against) of each child enrolled at early learning services or primary schools. An immunisation register is a critical tool in the event of a disease outbreak.

The Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995 require that all kōhanga reo, early childhood services (including Playcentres), primary schools and kura kaupapa keep an immunisation register of children attending, where they copy the information from a child’s Immunisation Certificate.

Early learning services and primary schools are responsible for:

  • maintaining an up-to-date immunisation register;
  • ensuring that the parents or guardians of a child are asked to provide the Immunisation Certificate for each child attending their service or school; and,
  • recording the information from the Immunisation Certificate (or the fact that it was not shown) on the immunisation register.

For more information about your responsibilities under these regulations visit the Health Ed website.

Responsibilities under the regulations - Health Ed website(external link)

Tuia 250 Roadshow

This year, New Zealand commemorates the 250th anniversary of the first onshore encounters between Māori and non-Māori, and the feats of Polynesian navigators and explorers who reached and settled in Aotearoa New Zealand many years earlier.

The Tuia 250 commemoration includes a three-month voyaging event which will see waka hourua, New Zealand tall ships, the Endeavour replica and naval ships visit sites of significance around the country between October and December. The flotilla commenced with an opening ceremony in Gisborne earlier this month.

Waka hourua will be at Maraetai on 23-24 October, then moving the interactive promotional display vehicle over to the Viaduct Harbour for a series of flotilla activities on 25 October, and then open to the public on 26-28 October (Labour Weekend).

A programme of events will take place with resources and activities for schools, wānanga, and community interaction with the voyaging event, day sails and talks with crew.

These resources are available as part of the Tuia Mātauranga 2019 national education programme which supports teaching and learning and highlights local people, places and events that shaped history. The programme is aimed at inspiring young people to explore their own stories of who they are and where they are from so they have an understanding of their whakapapa and identity. The programme will be delivered in a way that encourages children and young people to take a leading role in their own education and in their communities.

For further information and resources please go to the Tuia Mātauranga education programme website.

Tuia Mātauranga education programme website(external link)

Service Provider Contact and Emergency Contact

The service provider contact and the emergency contact person are two important points of contact between your service and the Ministry of Education. The service provider contact is a person nominated by the service provider to represent its management and this person’s name is displayed on the Certificate of Licence. We will contact this person regarding any matters relating to licensing. The service provider contact should reside locally, this means within the geographical area of the Auckland Ministry office. The emergency contact person is someone who would be best to contact in the event of an emergency, when we need to connect with you as quickly as possible to know if you need our help.

If your service has recently changed service provider contact, or will be doing so in the future, it is your responsibility to contact the Ministry of Education to ensure we have the most current contact details for these people. It is an easy process to change the name of the service provider contact, simply contact Auckland.contacts@education.govt.nz and we can send you the appropriate form to fill out and return.

Similarly, please ensure that we have the correct details for the emergency contact at your service. If you think that your emergency contact details need updating, send an email to Auckland.contacts@education.govt.nz with the new emergency contact person’s name, email address and contact phone numbers.

Key dates for licensing over Christmas and New Year

As the end of the year is rapidly approaching, we thought it would be useful to advise you of the cut-off dates for submitting applications for new services to the Auckland office.

The Ministry of Education must take all reasonably practicable steps to make a decision on a licensing application for a new service within 30 working days of receiving a complete application. A ‘complete application’ means that all documents to support the application, as listed on the application form have been submitted. Applications need 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 (i.e. contains all required documents) before a visit date can be confirmed.

To licence a new service Deadline for completed applications
By 6 December 2019 Monday 11 November 2019
By the end of January 2020 Friday 13 December 2019
To amend a licence Deadline for completed applications
Prior to 10 January 2020 Monday 9 December

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

If an application is received outside these timeframes, we cannot guarantee a licensing decision will be made for your ideal opening date. Please contact one of our Education
Advisors should you have any questions about this.

Feel free to get in contact with me.

Ke manuia koe i te alofa o te Atua,

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.

Proposed testing of Mataara - Emergency Contact Tool
In the previous Bulletin we mentioned that Mataara, the Ministry’s new emergency management tool, is now live and is designed to improve communication between the Ministry, schools and early learning services during emergency events.

We had the opportunity to use Mataara following our recent weather event in the Coromandel. This was the first time the Ministry used Mataara for a larger emergency. Thank you to the services in the Coromandel and Hauraki areas who responded during the civil defence emergency.

This was the message sent out to emergency contacts: “Message from the Ministry of Education: Kia ora, we’ve been advised of Flooding in your area. Please reply: 1 (Open); 2 (Open-NEED HELP); 3 (Closed); or 4 (Closed-NEED HELP). If you need help, we will contact you as soon as possible”.

We identified a few issues from this event following a review of the use of Mataara for schools and early learning services. These included:

  • emergency contact numbers being incorrect due to data entry errors and changes in staff at schools or early learning services,
  • emergency contact being overseas at the time of the event,
  • the nominated emergency contact was the same person for several services and they did not know nor tell us the status of all services in the area,
  • people did not respond to the text, and
  • connectivity issues.

We are about to do an update of emergency contacts and numbers in our database. Therefore we have decided to delay the proposed regional test until the update has been completed. Further information regarding a future trial will be notified at a later date.

If you get a message such as the one above from the Ministry of Education please respond to the text. Mataara operates in real time so the system is updated as soon as you reply. We will follow up with a phone call if you have indicated you need help or you do not reply to the text. You can reply to the text again if your status changes. The text is free of charge.

Licensing application cut off dates for 2019

The end of the year is fast approaching. If you are wanting to submit an application to the Hamilton office to licence a new service by 20 December, our office must receive a complete application no later than 15 November. If an application is received after this date, we cannot guarantee a licensing decision will be made by your ideal opening date. Please remember that the application needs to contain all required documentation before a visit date can be confirmed.

The Hamilton office will close for the Christmas and New Year holiday on Tuesday 24 December and reopen on Monday 6 January 2020.

Embracing our Whenua

Early learning services are often looking for ways to link their programmes with Curriculum Criteria 5. The following story will assist you in developing a curriculum that acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua.

C5 Acknowledgement of tangata whenua

Inspired by the recent Ngaahihi Incorporated Society ‘He waka eke noa’ SELO professional development, kaiako from Play to Learn Early Learning Centre in Hamilton have been considering the importance of authentically connecting to our Kiingitanga, Tainui, local curriculum and historical events. As a result, tamariki have been learning more about their Kiingitanga leaders, both past and present. Additionally, their learning pathway has led the group to research children’s questions associated with the creation story and the battle of Rangiriri. The carvings on Tohu Maumahara, the memorial gateway associated with the battle at Rangiriri, inspired tamariki to create their own interpretations of Tohu Maumahara through the use of blocks, drawings and by using small sticks to carve into playdough.

The service reports that “Through authentic and appropriate connections, tamariki have a sound understanding about the battles that occurred over land and now identify the Tohu Maumahara as the symbolic gateway on the Rangiriri battle site.”

Boy playing with building blocks on tableGirl sitting in chair displaying her interpretation
O’Shay Tipene-Hohepa (top image) 
and Mila-Rose de Thierry-Stone (bottom image) 
with their interpretations of Tohu Maumahara

In addition to linking with Curriculum Criteria 5, this example of teaching and learning connects well with the government’s vision for the future of education. This was expressed earlier this year in Kōrero Mātauranga and with recent changes to the NZ Curriculum announced by the Prime Minister, ensuring that all learners and ākonga are aware of key aspects of New Zealand history.

Kōrero Mātauranga – Education Conversation website(external link)

New Zealand history to be taught in schools by 2022, says PM Jacinda Ardern - Stuff(external link)

Mauri ora!

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

Firstly I’d like to thank you all for the work you, your teachers and staff do for our children. The last three months was an exceptionally busy time with several big announcements and multiple engagements from early learning through to vocational education. Can I please encourage you to read the updates in this month’s bulletin, and I encourage you to go to the link below where you can read about the Government’s five objectives to help shape a stronger education system with all New Zealanders. It has also set out a series of actions, to achieve these objectives over ten years, and to realise the vision for the future of education.

Shaping a Stronger Education System with New Zealanders - Education Conversation website(external link)

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

On the 19 September, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the awards ceremony and gala dinner at the Banquet Hall of Parliament. Our region had six finalists, the highest number for any region – four of which were early learning services, two of which won their category.

Well done to:

Education Institute Award
Rotorua Boys’ High School Winner of Excellence in Leading and Supreme award
Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa Winner of Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Tiaki Early Learning Centre Winner of Excellence in Health and Wellbeing Education



Education Institute Award
Te Kōhanga Reo o Tarimano Finalist Focus Prize
Te Kōhanga Reo o Tarimano Finalist Excellence in Engaging
Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa Finalist Focus Prize
Toitoi Manawa, Fairhaven School Finalist Health and Wellbeing Education
Toitoi Manawa, Fairhaven School Finalist Excellence in Leading
Rotorua Boys’ High School Finalist Excellence in Health and Wellbeing Education
Rotorua Boys’ High School Finalist Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Elstree Kindergarten Finalist Excellence in Engaging


Attendees of awards pose for photo

AvaNiu Pasifika Workshop

SELO provider AvaNiu Pasifika will be holding a Pacific based workshop 23 October 2019 from 6pm – 8pm. The workshop venue and final details are to be confirmed. The workshop will focus on cultural awareness around language and pronunciation and aims to promote improved culturally responsive practises for ECE teachers.

For more information, or for registration, please contact admin@avaniu.co.nz.
Keep an eye out in your emails for more Pacific PLD opportunities. If you need to update your service email address, please contact Michelle Grant-Broughton on 07 349 7393.

Awhi’s Little Lambs

The teaching team at Awhi Educare shared some lovely photos of their children and the baby lambs.

As part of their spring celebrations, a kaiako brought two baby lambs to the centre for the children to interact with. The children also got to name the lambs – ‘Awhi’ and ‘Milkshake’. The children were excited to see, touch and talk to the lambs. They learnt about respecting animals and treating them with kindness, and also health and hygiene practices when interacting with animals.

For more information on animals at your service, please see the licensing criteria on our website.

HS16 Animals - Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services

Three children playing with two lambs
Child playing with lambs


We can never have too many reminders about handwashing. It is very important to ensure that we are promoting and encouraging handwashing with all tamariki. Children who are capable of independent toileting should be able to access handwashing facilities safely and without adult help. If there is a door or gate to the facilities, this must be able to be independently opened by children.

For more information about toilet and handwashing facilities please see the licensing criteria on our website.

PF20 Toilet/handwashing facilities - Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services

Child washing their hands in sink

Key dates for licensing over Christmas and New Year

Christmas is soon approaching. If you require any new service to be licensed or any amendments to licences over this time, please follow the guidelines below:

To licence a new service Deadline for completed applications
By 6 December 2019 Monday 11 November 2019
By the end of January 2020 Friday 13 December 2019
To amend a licence Deadline for completed applications
Prior to 10 January 2020 Monday 9 December 2019


Safety Checking Requirements

Earlier this month you would have received an email reminding you of the Safety Checking Requirements. Please ensure that safety checking meets the requirements of GMA7A and the Children’s Act 2014. All children’s workers who have access to children are to be safety checked in accordance with the Children’s Act 2014. Safety checks must be undertaken and the results obtained before the worker has access to children. The results of the safety checks must be recorded and the record kept as long as the person is employed at the service. Every children’s worker must be safety checked every three years. Safety checks may be carried out by the employer or another person or organisation acting on their behalf.

Please see the licensing criteria on our website for more information.

Safety Checking GMA7A - Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services

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

Please note that our Education Advisors endeavour to be responsive to the needs and requirements of the sector, however they are booked well in advance for licensing visits. At this time of year there is limited room available in calendars to attend to non-urgent or unscheduled requests, except for incidents or complaints. Please plan your requests in advance with Advisors, and ensure that you have all documentation completed.

Ia Manuia

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

Hawke’s Bay, Tairawhiti regional news

Tēnā koutou

I started in my role as Director of Education for Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti on 1 October, and it has been an absolute pleasure to learn more about the work that the early learning sector is doing on so many fronts.

As I settle into the new role I look forward to meeting some of you to discuss how we can continue to support your mahi.

I am very grateful to Roy and the staff who have made my transition into this new role so much easier.

Professional Development Ahi kōmau – Ignite the flame within

This early learning symposium is a professional learning and development opportunity for Early Childhood and New Entrant Teachers in Tairawhiti and beyond.

Its content is designed to stimulate and challenge and is focused around early years and early school education.

Some of the key themes discussed in the conference will encapsulate the critical space of developing cultural identity, language; transitions, strengthening relationships between early learning services and schools, and the value of play based curriculum and leadership development.

  • When: 8th-10th November 2019 (Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
  • Where: Lawson Field Theatre, Fitzherbert Street, Gisborne
  • Cost: Registration $40.00 per attendee. Registration closes Thursday 7 November 2019

You can register to attend through the link below.

Ahi Komau Early Learning Symposium registration form(external link)

For more information please see the event’s facebook page.

Ahi Komau Facebook page(external link)

Ngā mihi

Claire Hague
Director of Education Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti
Phone: 06 831 0667
Email: claire.hague@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.

Establishing a new early learning service: timeframes and submitting applications

When someone is interested in setting up a new early learning service, the Ministry sends them a licensing pack to ensure the process for applications is understood. The pack contains information about submitting an application and setting the date for the licensing assessment visit. The process is summarised below.

In order to set a date for the probationary licensing assessment, all required documentation listed on the EC/1 application form must be completed in full and submitted to the Ministry. This includes the resource consent and all aspects of the building sign-off (including code of compliance), fire service approval for the service’s evacuation scheme, and the health report. A date for the licensing assessment visit will then be negotiated with you.

Your application should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of your preferred licensing assessment visit date. The Ministry of Education will take all reasonably practicable steps to make a decision within 30 working days following receipt of all required and completed documentation. If all is compliant at the licensing assessment visit, it will take a week to issue the probationary licence.

Please do not make any commitments to prospective users of the service as to its first day of operation. It is a requirement that the licence is displayed before the service begins operating. If there is a delay with the Ministry issuing a licence, the service will not be able to operate until the licence is received.

Key dates for licensing over the Christmas period

With Christmas rapidly approaching, we advise the following timelines.

To licence or certificate a new service The deadline for completed applications
By 20 December 2019 Monday 4 November 2019
By the end of January 2020 Monday 2 December 2019
To amend a licence The deadline for completed applications
Prior to 3 January 2020 Friday 13 December 2019

To help with our planning please let us know if you think that you might require a licensing visit for any purpose (including temporary relocation, alterations or amendments) in January or early February 2020. Please email ece.twm@education.govt.nz.

Education Review Office’s draft quality indicators for ECE

The Education Review Office (ERO) recently published the draft indicators of quality for ECE on its website. ERO is consulting on them through to 30 November, prior to implementation from early 2020. I strongly urge you to go onto ERO’s website and have a look at what is proposed and provide any feedback that you have.

Indicators of quality for ECE – Education Review Office website(external link)

Pacific Fono Feedback

Thank you to those who attended and provided feedback at the Pacific Education Fono held on 12 September in Palmerston North. There was a great turnout of early learning services and youth. Attendees had the opportunity to share their aspirations supporting Pacific education for the next 10 years.

This feedback is now shaping our future education system. It is adding a Pacific voice to the NCEA Review, Tomorrow’s Schools Review, Reform of Vocational Education (ROVE) as well as to the Government’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, the Early Learning Strategic Plan and other parts of the education reform programme.

To learn more about the Pacific Education conversations “What you said” and “What’s next”, including the Pacific Fono summary findings, please visit the Education Conversation website.

Pacific Education Fono - Education Conversation website(external link)

BestStart Palmerston North's 30th Birthday Celebrations

BestStart Palmerston North celebrated their 30th birthday on September 25th. BestStart were lucky enough to have previous teachers come along as well as children currently attending whose parents also attended when they were children.

Bryanna Jackson, who’s Mum worked with us when she was 7 years old had her passion for teaching ignited through coming to the centre after school. Bryanna is currently the Head Teacher of our Toddler's Room and Bryanna's son attends in the infant’s room. Christine Foster, our longest serving teacher of 27 years and our youngest child Lucas Ellis, cut the cake as part of our celebrations.

Two woman and a boy pose for photo in a classroom
Bryanna Jackson (head teacher) her mum and
son Logan

A woman and baby boy cutting a cake
Christine Foster and Lucas Ellis cutting the cake

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

Ngā mihi

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

Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast regional news

Marlborough Polyfest

Last month saw the very successful launch of the Marlborough Polyfest. This ground breaking event for our region was organised by Lynette Leota from Breakthrough Centre NZ in collaboration with community and education leads and was supported with funding from the Ministry of Education, Ministry for Pacific Peoples, REAP Marlborough and local community businesses. St Mary’s School hosted the event and the MC’s for the day were Tatyana Manoa and Joshua Leota from the Marlborough Colleges who did an excellent job of engaging the crowd. Early learning services, schools and community groups were represented performing a range of songs and dances from traditional through to hip hop and fusion pieces. The 250 strong group of primary schools performing a combined Sāsā was one of the many highlights of the day and it was fantastic to see even our youngest learners from the Samoan playgroup, Samoa A’oga Amata Blenheim, taking to the stage. This event is an amazing platform to encourage learners to stand strong in their languages, identities and cultures and we look forward to many more to come.

Behind the stage and crowds at Marlborough Polyfest

Safety Checking and The Children’s Act

Early leaning services must ensure that they are safety checking their core children’s workers correctly and have a clear policy/process around this. This includes home-based services contracting educators to their service. Children’s workers who are new to the service must be fully safety checked before they start work. Children’s workers employed in their current role since 1 July 2015 must also be safety checked by now. A new safety check must occur for every children’s worker every three years.

There are several components to a safety check, and one of these is a police vet. Services must keep detailed and accurate records to demonstrate that all children’s workers have been safety checked. These records must be retained for at least as long as the person works in the service. Records must be provided to the Ministry of Education on request.

Please be aware that when non-compliance of safety checking is found, it will most likely result in the early learning service licence being suspended with the potential of the licence being cancelled.

There is information on our website about the seven aspects of a safety check and risk assessment. All aspects of the check must be completed. Responsibility for safety checking always rests with the employing or contracting organisation, and they should exercise due diligence when relying on checks undertaken by others.

Please also note that The Children’s Amendment Act 2018 changed the name of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 to the Children’s Act 2014. When services next update their policies they should also update the name of this Act within any references.

Information about the Children’s Act can be found on the Education website. Our site includes information about who is required to be safety checked with guidance about students on practicum, relievers and existing staff.

Child protection

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

Canterbury | Chatham Islands regional news

Kia ora

It was great to see so many of you at the Futures Network hui on 1 October where I discussed the findings from the lockdown review. The last hui for the year is to be held on Tuesday 3 December. This hui will be the annual conversation with me and I am keen to know what you would like to hear about. Please email Barbara.madden@education.govt.nz if you have any matters you would like me to cover.

You will have noticed that the Ministry is continuing to engage with the sector around the various reviews we are undertaking. As I write this, we are currently consulting on the draft Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) and the 10 year actions from the Shaping a Stronger Education System review, as well as primary qualified teachers and the role of person responsible.

Shaping a Stronger Education System with New Zealanders

Consultation has started on changes to person responsible regulations

Additionally, the Education Review Office is consulting on draft quality indicators. Do make sure that you have your say.

Indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most - Education Review Office website(external link)

Close off dates for licence applications were notified in last month's bulletin. This year our office will be closed from Tuesday 24 December and reopening on Monday 6 January 2020.

September early learning bulletin

School age population and the schooling network

Following a presentation on school age population and the schooling network to Canterbury schools, I would like to share the statistical data with you as you may find it interesting. The information shared with schools provides us with the opportunity to discuss the latest network data as we continue to work with schools to provide sufficient space for local students, futureproof the network to allow for forecast growth and maintain a sustainable network of schools across Greater Christchurch.

Greater Christchurch school Networks presentation [PDF, 984KB](external link)

I thought you might appreciate the below video from Talking Matters on the importance of talking with and alongside infants and toddlers to support language development, especially in their first language.

Talking Matters - a campaign to get everyone talking to babies and young children - Child and Youth Wellbeing website(external link)

Ōtākaro Art Festival

Fiona Rodgers and the Kidsfirst Kindergartens Richmond Team

The across schools Ōtākaro Art Festival was a wonderful event incorporating performing arts, visual arts and crafts, organised by Victoria Shaw as part of the Kuhi Ako ki Ōtākaro.

Participating in the early childhood sector were three Kidsfirst Kindergartens Richmond, Shirley and MacFarlane Park, Beststart Marshlands and Just Kids Merrington, Bickerton Kaahurangi and Bickerton Kakariki. This was very much a collaborative event involving all the early learning services. Prior to the evening event we all received part of a panel to complete with our children under the umbrella title of ‘Belonging’. This was then collated to form the one large panel below which will be on public display.

Colourful mural called 'Belonging'

The week-long celebration of Art was organised by Victoria Shaw and her team and included a number of workshops. At Kidsfirst Richmond we were delighted to be involved in rope making and mini mosaics, both hands-on activities our tamariki thoroughly enjoyed.

Wednesday 16th September was the night for the live performances. As a team, Kidsfirst Richmond decided that we would not participate in the live performance rather via a short film on our iPad. Through this medium we could showcase Richmond as a place where we celebrate the rich diversity of the many cultures that attend. ‘Together as One’ is a tribute to our whole community of learners and whānau who come together as one, forming a sense of belonging.

This whole experience was an exciting venture that brought communities together as an opportunity to showcase and celebrate art in many forms through the various ages. It really achieved that sense of belonging.

All thanks to Victoria Shaw and her team for organising such a terrific event – thank you.

Being Creative Renovating the Family Corner- Rhona Day Kindergarten Temuka

What started with a curious question, “what do you like to do in the family corner?” quickly grew into some wonderful idea sharing and endless possibilities.

As kāiako looked at renovating the family corner within the kindergarten, what better way to start collecting ideas than with the tamariki, as they are the ones who use this space daily.

The tamariki were asked 4 questions...

  1. What do you like to do in the family corner?
  2. What could we add to the family corner?
  3. What colours would you like to see in the family corner?
  4. What could we change in the family corner?

Kāiako documented their responses to ensure information that would be used when looking at how this space could be enhanced reflected what tamariki suggested. Their amazing suggestions sparked discussions and idea sharing between the tamariki, demonstrating the beginning of a collaborative process regarding the upgrade of the family area.

The same 4 questions were put out for whānau to contemplate and offer ideas or suggestions. It was interesting to see what thoughts other adults had as to how we could enhance this space for the tamariki.

To build on the ideas that tamariki offered, kāiako offered an opportunity for tamariki to share these ideas in other ways.

Firstly, tamariki drew some 2D artist impressions of how this space might look once renovated.

Children's 2D pictures pinned to the wall

Secondly, tamariki were offered an opportunity to explore a 3D model of the space and to look at how the layout of the furniture could work within the space.

Both of these methods explored a variety of avenues tamariki could use to express their thoughts and ideas, building on their problem solving skills, sharing their ideas in a variety of ways, and engaging in discussions with their peers as they created and explored the potential of the environment. These were displayed on the wall as a way to continue the discussions and to share tamariki ideas and possibilities with whānau.

A child plays with the 3D design of the room

The renovation also included changing the colour scheme within this space, and what better way to inject some colour and design aspect than by adding wallpaper to the walls.
Continuing on with the collaborative approach to sharing ideas and engaging the whole community in the decision making, a voting system was introduced for whānau and tamariki to consider which wallpaper was to be used within the space. The voting process was over 3 days, to ensure everyone had the opportunity to voice their thoughts and suggestions.

Kāiako had numerous ideas shared with them, building a bigger picture of what the potential is within this space. Kāiako are wanting to create a space for the children to feel at home within, that adds further dimensions to their imaginary play, and a space that whānau felt they had a voice in creating.

Work was completed with the support of a parent during session times, so the tamariki could observe and be a part of the changes throughout the transition. Resources were donated to the kindergarten therefore keeping the cost for the renovation minimal.

The community have been very impressed with the changes made, and the tamariki have been utilising this space more. They have taken great pride and ownership of this space within their learning environment.


Room arranged with furniture and supplies


Room (furniture and supplies) rearranged following children and parent feedback

Futures Network

  • Date: Tuesday 3 December
  • Time: 9.30am – 11.30am
  • Location: Ground Floor Conference Room, Te Urutī , 48 Hereford Street, Christchurch (cnr Hereford St and Cambridge Tce)
  • Agenda:
    • Welcome
    • Community Notices 
    • Conversation with Coralanne Child – Director of Education Canterbury and Chatham Islands
    • Shared lunch – opportunity to network

If you wish to attend, please RSVP to Barbara.madden@education.govt.nz.

Join us on Facebook(external link)

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss any ideas or issues. I look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy this month’s bulletin.

Mā te wā

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

Otago, Southland regional news

Kia ora koutou and warm Pacific greetings,

We are into Term 4 with much happening in the Education space over the next few months and I know you will be starting to plan end of year concerts and celebrations already! In particular I have referenced the development of the ERO Quality Indicators and encourage you to give feedback on these. A reminder about applying for Playgroup grants and a welcome to our new Early Intervention Teacher are also included in this issue.

What Indicates Quality in Early Learning Services

Early learning whānau / kaiako your feedback is wanted now.

What matters most? is the question posed by the Education Review Office (ERO) in the document on Indicators of quality for early childhood education.

Indicators of quality for early childhood education - Education Review Office website(external link)

Reading this draft document is well worth the time.

As you read, you will recognise the inspiration aim of Te Whāriki.

“The indicators of quality:

  • focus on valued learning outcomes for all children as articulated in Te Whāriki
  • foreground the relationships required to enact Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ the Treaty of Waitangi
  • focus on the conditions that are most likely to provide equitable opportunities to learn and promote children’s learning
  • reflect the interconnectedness of the conditions required to promote and sustain continuous improvement and innovation
  • describe what is observable or measurable
  • signal the shift to an evaluation orientation that requires professional knowledge, expertise and engagement
  • are underpinned by a research-based theory of improvement.” (ERO, 2019)

The quality framework for evaluation and improvement in centre–based early learning services (initially) gives visual clarity to the purpose and direction of ERO.

It is vital that all those involved in the early learning sector provide feedback on the draft indicators.

We recommend you examine this work individually and in groups, and then provide written feedback.

ERO has also produced a survey and consultation ends 30 November 2019. We urge you to have your say.

Indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most - Survey(external link)

Special Grants for Playgroups

All certificated playgroups can apply for special grants. The grants are discretionary grants to assist playgroups to cover large costs that can’t be met through playgroup operational funding. The grant may contribute to or meet the full costs of what is applied for.

Playgroups can apply for up to $5000 in a funding year.

Forms to apply for a special grant have been sent out to playgroups via email. These are due back to your Education Adviser by 25 October 2019.

They can also be downloaded along with a factsheet from the Playgroup Funding Handbook on the Education website.

Playgroup Funding Handbook

If you would like to discuss applying for a grant please get in touch with your Education Adviser.

Early Learning Team

Our Dunedin office has recently been reconfigured and our Early Learning Team, including Education Advisers and Early Intervention staff are now working in a new environment together. This has enabled a more open and collaborative working space, where colleagues are able to share ideas and communicate more effectively.

Our Early Intervention Teachers are:

  • Grant Ramsay, Marg Crosswell, Tania Barker, Sharon Chapman and Aven Hamilton (Otago)
  • Amy Barnett, Heidi Boniface, Jasmine Savage-Heads, Jenny Tattersfield and Sue Ovens (Southland)
  • Sarah Gordon (Oamaru)
  • Karen Anderson (Cromwell)

Staff profile picture - Tania Barker 

I am pleased to announce that Tania Barker has accepted a permanent position in the Dunedin based team as an Early Intervention Teacher. Tania was a Head Teacher at Kaikorai Kindergarten for 17 years and we are very pleased that she will be able to share her knowledge, experience and strong relationships with the sector in order to strengthen our support to the tamariki in our area.

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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