Early Learning Regional News – September 2019

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

Tai Tokerau Regional News

Tēnā koutou katoa

Mauri stone – Dawn Ceremony

A dawn ceremony marked the customary laying of the Mauri stone on our new site at Kaka Street on 27 August. The Mauri stone gifted from the rohe o Te Parawhau represents the life force and mana of the important work that will emanate from this building. The karakia was led by kaumatua from Te Parawhau, bestowing a blessing on the foundations of the new building, completed by sharing breakfast together with our staff – ngā mihi nui ki nga rangatira o Te Parawhau.

Attendees of dawn service listen to karakia.

Attendees of dawn service pose for photo.

Understanding and Working with trauma - Creating Calmer Learning Environments for Early Intervention

The Creating Calmer Learning Environments programme has been working with 15 early learning services in mid-north Kaikohe, Moerewa and Paihia. They have been looking at Early Intervention when working with whānau and tamariki affected by trauma, as part of the expanded behaviour services in Te Tai Tokerau.

The programme was developed around tino rangatiratanga of each service. It allows each service choices of professional development and tailors delivery times to meet their needs.  The aim is to work with the service, whanau and tamariki to assist tamariki and whānau who are affected by trauma. They also provide education about the kinds of long term support that can be given to tamariki who are affected by trauma. 

A series of workshops with services delivered the following topics:

  • Brain development and working with trauma
  • Wellbeing and resilience
  • Play
  • Mindfulness
  • Autism
  • Working with severe behaviours
  • Music therapy
  • Dance therapy

A key phrase for the professional development has been “Kei a tātou te ara tika / the answers are within us.”  The benefits for communities and services come from smaller groups engaging in discussion about their own issues and finding their own solutions.  Whanau and community within each service are finding their way forward with the help of the information presented in the programme.

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

Auckland regional news

Nĭ hăo, tenā koutou, fakatalofa atu, ni sa bula vinaka, and fakaalofa lahi atu

This week New Zealand is celebrating Chinese Language Week. For inspiration on learning Mandarin, visit the NZCLW website where they celebrate Mandarin Superstars – New Zealanders who have gone on a language learning journey that has greatly enriched their lives.

Chinese Language Week website(external link)

Mandarin Superstars - Chinese Language Week website(external link)

This week is also the Mental Health Foundation's Mental Health Awareness week. The theme for this year is: Explore Your Way to Wellbeing | Whāia te ara hauora, Whitiora. Taking care of our mental health is a critical part of adult life, and it is never too early to help children learn the importance of good mental health, and the skills required to maintain it. Learn more about the five ways to wellbeing or find activities to do with kids on the Mental Health Awareness week website.

Mental Health Awareness Week website(external link)

Five Ways to Wellbeing - Mental Health Awareness Week website(external link)

Schools and kura - Mental Health Awareness Week website(external link)

You will also be aware that New Zealand celebrated Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week a couple of weeks ago.

Māori Language Week website(external link)

Celebrated each year since 1975, Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is becoming a major fixture on the national calendar. It provides an opportunity for concentrated promotion, raising awareness and generating lots of interest and positive change for te reo Māori across Aotearoa.

'Whāia te ara poutama o te reo ka tohatoha ai'

The chosen theme for 2019 was 'Kia Kaha te Reo Māori’. ‘Kia Kaha’ is well understood in New Zealand English with its meaning of ‘be strong’. We often talk about languages as if they are people – talking about wellbeing, language health, strength and revitalisation. So when we say ‘Kia Kaha te Reo Māori’ we’re saying - ‘Let’s make the Māori language strong'. 

Developing a sense of nationhood and unique identity

Te Reo Māori is a taonga of Māori, guaranteed under the Treaty of Waitangi. The Māori Language Act 2016 also makes clear that te reo Māori is for every New Zealander and a valued part of our national identity. All those who learn te reo Māori help to secure its future as a living, dynamic and rich language. As you learn, we come to appreciate that diversity is a key to unity. Kia Kaha! 

A supply of Maori language week posters and booklets (Te Reo Taiao and Te Reo Hangarau) has been distributed to all ECEs, kōhanga reo, schools, and kura – you can also look up further resources, ideas and reports about revitalisation.

Maori language week posters - Te Wiki o te Reo Māori website(external link)

Te Reo Taiao - Te Wiki o te Reo Māori website(external link)

Te Reo Hangarau - Te Wiki o te Reo Māori website(external link)

Resources - Te Wiki o te Reo Māori website(external link)

Reports about revitalisation - Te Wiki o te Reo Māori website(external link)

More language weeks are coming up over the next few weeks, including:

  • Tuvalu Language Week – Sunday 29 September – Saturday 5 October
  • Fijian Language Week – Sunday 6 October – Saturday 12 October
  • Niue Language Week – Sunday 13 October – Saturday 19 October
  • Tokelau Language Week – Sunday 27 October – Saturday 2 November

Ko Wiriwiri rāua ko Kina

The University of Auckland has launched an interactive app that combines early Māori and Pākehā history with learning te reo Māori. The story follows the adventures of two fictional girls, Wiriwiri and Kina, as they start school and learn to write their first letters and syllables in te reo. The app has special features including a way to create and record your own pepeha (personal introduction), and the ability to click on each individual word for pronunciation help. It also offers curriculum links, learning activities, a historical timeline for printing and sharing, and an extensive list of further resources. 

Production of Ko Wiriwiri rāua ko Kina was supported by the Ministry of Education’s Te Aho Ngārahu, an initiative aimed at improving access to quality local curriculum resources in te reo Māori. The app can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play.

Ko Wiriwiri rāua ko Kina - Apple App Store(external link)

Te Aho Ngārahu - Education website

Messages from Auckland Regional Public Health Service

The number of measles cases in Auckland has now risen to over 1060 and cases continue to spread. All early learning services should now have received direct communication from Auckland Regional Public Health Service including flyers to include in your newsletter or send home with children. If you have not received this email please contact Kat.Ashmead@education.govt.nz and we will ensure it gets to you.

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

On 12 June, Auckland Region Public Health Service announced that the first measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination has been brought forward to 12 months from 15 months in Auckland because of the region’s measles outbreak. Please ensure that you share this information with your families to give children the best chance of staying safe.

News - Auckland Regional Public Health Service(external link)

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.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service(external link)

Rise in gastro from farm animals

There has been a rise in gastroenteritis across the Auckland region from children’s contact with farm animals. While rural schools are seeing cases in their students from calf-rearing, and pet and agricultural days, petting zoos can also pose risks.

Please promote hand hygiene at your early learning service, especially if there are animals on the premises or on trips. When children touch animals, their food or enclosures, they can transfer germs from faeces, urine or saliva from their hands to their mouths.

Hand washing and good supervision are essential:

  • Make sure children, parents and staff wash their hands after any contact with animals
  • Ensure there is good access to hand washing facilities or offer hand sanitiser
  • Hands should be washed:
    • before eating and drinking
    • after contact with animals, animal waste and potentially contaminated surfaces or equipment
  • Do not allow eating in an area where there are, or have been, animals.

Salmonella, campylobacter, giardia, cryptosporidium, and E-coli are all transmitted by animals. These cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, but are also linked to serious complications such as kidney failure in young children.

Disease and Illness - Auckland Regional Public Health Service(external link)

New Zealand ShakeOut

ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is happening at 1.30pm on 17 October 2019. Taking part is a great way for young people to learn the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake. It’s also a great opportunity to practice your tsunami hīkoi (evacuation walk) if you are in a coastal area. More information about New Zealand ShakeOut is available on the Get Ready website.

New Zealand ShakeOut - Get Ready website(external link)

Feel free to get in touch with me.

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 tēna mā tēnā koutou katoa.

Celebrating Tongan Language Week

Thanks to Big Hugz Early Learning Centre, in Hamilton, for sending us these beautiful photos of their children who proudly performed a Tongan cultural dance in front of the Tonga Rugby Team, Hamilton Mayor, parents and community members. The service were invited to perform by TOPA (Talents of Pacific Academy). Yvonne Hsu, the service owner, said that “it was a privilege to be part of this event, the children (aged 20 months to 5 years) were confident on the stage. A highlight of the show was Eric (4 years old), who stole the show by speaking and singing into the microphone in front of a large audience”. 

What a fantastic way to celebrate Tongan Language week.

Children performing on stage in  a field.

Three photos of children preparing for performance.

Measles Alert

We have recently emailed all early learning services a letter from the Waikato District Health Board Clinical Director, Public Health. 

A copy of that letter has now been posted on the Waikato District Health Board website

Waikato District Health board website(external link)

Please ensure that you read and act on this advice. Please direct any queries to Waikato District Health Board on 07 838 2569.

Service Provider Contact and Emergency Contact

The service provider contact and the emergency 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 Waikato Ministry office. The emergency contact person is someone who would be best to contact in the event of an emergency, when we needed 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 an education adviser 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 any of the education advisers listed below, with the new emergency contact person’s name, email address and contact phone numbers. 

Waikato office ECE team

Team member Contact details
Mere Lawson-Nuri (Manager Education, Waikato) mere.lawsonnuri@education.govt.nz
Phone: 07 8508960  
Mobile: 0272838686
Terri Burridge terri.burridge@education.govt.nz
Phone: 07 8587172   
Mobile: 0272833679
Pixie Macalister pixie.macalister@education.govt.nz
Phone: 078580127  
Mobile: 0272315807
Ulu Nawaqavanua ulu.nawaqavanua@education.govt.nz
Phone: 07 8373127  
Mobile: 0274055486
Linda Baxendine linda.baxendine@education.govt.nz
Phone: 07 8373156   
Mobile: 0276217381
Ali Bell alison.bell@education.govt.nz
Phone: 07 8580126  
Mobile: 0274047401
Gill Brown gill.brown@education.govt.nz
Phone 07 8587140  
Mobile: 0274597376
Mariana Ruakawa mariana.raukawa@education.govt.nz
Phone: 07 8373117  
Mobile: 0275716172
Tracey Martin tracey.martin@education.govt.nz
Phone: 07 8580120  
Mobile: 0278864255

Tuia Mātauranga

The Tuia Mātauranga 2019 national education programme supports teaching and learning, highlighting local people, places and events that have shaped history as a context in the development of their local curriculum.

This year Tuia – Encounters 250 (Tuia 250), commemorating 250 years since the first Māori/non-Māori meetings, will recognise the extraordinary voyaging traditions and cultures of the Pacific and the feats of the early European explorers. 

Te Whanganui o Hei/Mercury Bay is one of four landing sites in Aotearoa New Zealand where Māori and Pākehā first met during James Cook’s 1769 voyage. It is therefore a significant place for Tuia 250 commemorations. Tuia 250 celebrations kick off in the Whitianga area with a pōwhiri at Wharekaho in mid-October. If your service is planning to be involved with these commemorations, we would love to hear any stories from your experiences to share with the wider early childhood community.

If any schools, kura, early learning services, kōhanga reo or whānau would like to find out more information regarding Tuia Mātauranga 2019, please refer to the following links;

Voyaging from the past into the future

www.mercury250.org(external link)

Canterbury Schools/Early Learning Services Lockdown Review and Mataara Emergency Contact Tool Test

The recently released review into the Lockdown that took place during the 15 March events in Christchurch has a number of interesting findings. 

Canterbury Schools/Early Learning Services 15 March 2019 Lockdown Review [PDF, 1.6 MB]

The report recognised that the Ministry of Education’s existing emergency guidance is effective and accurate. The report recommended the Ministry of Education need to work with NZ Police to develop new Lockdown guidelines for a range of potential emergency management scenarios in schools, kura, early learning services, kōhanga reo and whānau.

Preparing for emergencies, traumatic incidents, evacuations and lockdowns

New guidelines are currently being developed. Training and information sessions to introduce the new guidelines will be held as soon as practical.

The report also highlighted the need to strengthen and improve communication systems to support the Ministry of Education and NZ Police to contact schools and early learning services as quickly as possible. A new Mataara Emergency Contact Tool has been developed to help address this issue. You will have read about Mataara in previous issues of the Bulletin.

The Waikato regional office will conduct a test of the new Mataara tool during the last two weeks of September. 

For early learning services in our region, a text will be sent to the registered emergency contact person’s mobile number asking for a response. For test purposes only, the emergency contact will be asked to text back the number “1.” In a real emergency there would be 4 option choices for a response.

For your action now, in every early learning service – please ensure:

  • the emergency contact person is aware that a test of Mataara is scheduled for the last two weeks of September, and
  • the emergency contact person is aware that they should text the response  “1” when the test message is received.  

The test message will enable us to measure the reach and effectiveness of the Mataara system in the Waikato region and will also allow us to assess the accuracy of our recorded emergency contact numbers.

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

I hope that you are managing to keep up with all that is happening in the education world at present.  It is certainly a busy time.  By the time you get this edition of the Early Learning Bulletin, the winners of the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards will have been announced.  A huge congratulations to all those that entered these prestigious awards. 

How did you and your service get on during te wiki o te reo Māori – we certainly had lots of fun and activities in our regional offices.  Send us some pictures and write a story for the October edition of this bulletin.

A few notices for this month.

ERO’s draft quality indicators for ECE

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

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

Targeted Assistance for Participation

Recently two Targeted Assistance for Participation (TAP) funding grants were awarded in our region. TAP funding grants are offered through the Government Electronic Tendering Service and are available to increase participation in the early learning sector.  Ko Tūwharetoa Te Iwi Trust (Turangi) along with Avaniu Pasifika (Merivale – Tauranga) were successful applicants for TAP funding in the last round. We look forward to seeing the outcomes in each of these areas and to the creation of more child spaces for tamariki and whanau. 

Celebrating and Supporting Playgroups

I proudly support the diversity of early learning provision available across this region and would like to especially acknowledge and recognise the important role that playgroups have in our local communities. Playgroups support whanau and tamariki in a wide variety of ways. Currently we have a cluster of playgroups receiving SELO funded PLD, to support the dedicated playgroup co-ordinators and committees to organise and deliver meaningful sessions. We have had positive feedback about the significant impact this PLD is having on parent-led sessions.

Tamariki and whanau; playing, interacting, exploring and dancing at their playgroup sessions:

Children playing in a hall under parent supervision.

Woman helps two children with their books.

A child dances in front of a parent.

Rotorua ECE Festival 2019

The Rotorua ECE Festival will be held at the Harvest Centre, Malfroy Road on Friday 18 October. 

If you have not yet received a flyer and registration form (via email) to participate or attend, please contact Shari Brell at shari.brell@education.govt.nz. The last day for registration is September 25.

We are proud supporters of this event, and look forward to the celebrations and festivities.

Child Matters – Child Protection Seminar

Child Matters in partnership with Oranga Tamariki, provide free seminars. ‘Working Together for Vulnerable Kids’ is an all-day 9am - 3pm seminar that provides an opportunity to create a child protection network in your community. 

The next seminar being offered in our region is in Tauranga on October 18 2019.

Please visit the Child Matters website to check locations, availability and to register.

Seminars - Child Matters website(external link)


Measles is a highly infectious disease that affects both adults and children and is more serious than many people realise. 

We have had confirmed cases of measles in the Bay of Plenty and would like to remind early learning services to maintain their immunisation registers as required under the Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995.  This allows unimmunised children who have been in contact with someone with measles to be identified quickly to help reduce the risk of further spread.

What to do if measles occurs in early learning services and schools:

Once a notification of measles is received by the local public health service, the early learning service the child attends will be contacted urgently by public health staff who will provide information and advice to the manager or principal. This is the time to report the notification to the Ministry of Education. Any child or teacher with measles must stay away from their service while infectious.  Unimmunised children, or those with no immunity to measles, who have been in close contact with a measles case during the infectious stages, will be excluded from their service for 14 days from their last contact. 

Measles - Toi Te Ora Public Health website(external link)

Education sector - Toi Te Ora Public Health website(external link)

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 2018 Monday 11 November
By the end of January 2020 Friday 13 December


To amend a licence Deadline for completed applications
Prior to 10 January 2020 Monday 9 December

Change of Management workshop

Wendy McNamara and Nicole Young, ECE Advisers at the Ministry of Education Tauranga, will be holding a Change of Management Workshop at the our Tauranga Office on 1st Ave on 9 October from 10:00am -12:00pm. Please contact Wendy McNamara to register your interest wendy.mcnamara@education.govt.nz

We encourage any new early learning service owners who are yet to complete their Change of Management process, or people who are considering purchasing a service, to attend.

Please email our advisers if you would like to know more information or to confirm your attendance.

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

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

It is with a sense of excitement, tinged with some sadness, that I’m letting you know that I am leaving my current position to become the new Director of Education for the Wellington Region.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with all of you as the Director of Education Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti these last three years. The people, opportunities and experiences have been fantastic.  I’ve really appreciated the ongoing support and commitment and am very proud of what we have achieved together for our region.
I am due to take up the new role in Wellington at the start of October. 

We are pleased to announce that Claire Hague will join us as Acting Director from 1 October 2019 until 30 June 2020.

Claire is shortly stepping down from the Napier City Council and has extensive experience in education and governance. Her background in education includes; 7 years as Deputy Chief Executive, Eastern Institute of Technology and around 7 years as Principal of Napier Girls’ High School, as well as consultancy work in ECE, Primary and Secondary Schools.

Claire’s skills and experience along with her local knowledge, networks and experience in education will be valuable in her leadership of our Hawke’s Bay | Tairāwhiti team.

Teacher Supply Initiatives

You will have been advised of the recent announcement by Minister Hipkins for initiatives to help ease teacher supply pressure in ECE over the short-medium term.  You can read more about this on the Education website. 

Growing our teacher workforce - Education website

New Appointment

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Sandra Kersey to the role of Manager Learning Support. Sandra has had an extensive Public Service and child focused career, along with well-established networks across Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti, we are very fortunate to have her join our team.

Nathan Wallis PLD session – thanks

Thank you to those of you who managed to attend one of the recent PLD sessions Nathan Wallis presented in Napier and Havelock North. These sessions were well received with over 300 people attending some sessions, including early learning and school teachers, parents and caregivers. Nathan gave easy to understand explanations of the neuroscience and offered practical strategies for dealing with typical but difficult to manage behaviours. We’ve heard that some kids are already engaging their parents in discussions about their reptile brains! 

Early Learning Participation

Overall ECE prior participation for children who entered school in the second quarter of 2019 was 97%, remaining constant since 2018. Full details and breakdowns are available on the Education Counts website. 

Participation - Education Counts website(external link)

New Zealand ShakeOut

ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is happening at 1.30pm on 17 October 2019. Taking part is a great way for young people to learn the right actions to take before, during and after an earthquake. It’s also a great opportunity to practice your tsunami hīkoi (evacuation walk) if you are in a coastal area. 

More information about New Zealand ShakeOut is available on the Get Ready website.

New Zealand ShakeOut - Get Ready website(external link)

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

Let’s go APE – Professional Learning Workshop

We would like to thank all of the early learning services who registered for the SELO funded professional learning workshop. It is scheduled to be held on Saturday, 30 November 2019 at the Awapuni Racecourse in Palmerston North. It is great to see a large number of services register for this event.  

Registrations filled fast and a waiting list is currently available for any services who missed out.

For further information, please contact LEAP Education at chrissy@leapeducation.ac.nz.

We will be looking to provide further opportunities like this one in the future.

New licensed services

Welcome to the new early learning services and playgroups we have licensed or certificated across our region: 

  • The Redwoods Country Kindergarten – New Plymouth
  • Okato Playcentre – Okato
  • Rockmybaby Homebased – Palmerston North
  • Puddleducks Featherston Street – Palmerston North
  • Palmy Playgroup – Palmerston North

Two New Service Managers in New Plymouth

We’d like to welcome Julie Armstrong and Renee Anderson who have joined our New Plymouth office as service managers. Julie is on a six month secondment from Oranga Tamariki, a social worker with a strong operational management background and a Masters in Health Science. She has also worked in youth justice and mental health including planning and funding for a District Health Board.

Renee joins the Ministry from St Joseph’s Catholic School in Hawera where she was in the position of deputy principal, and also one of the across school lead teachers in the South Taranaki Kahui Ako. 

Key dates for licensing over the Christmas period

With Christmas rapidly approaching and to help us meet your licensing and certification requirements over this period, 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 4 December 2019


To amend a licence The deadline for completed applications
Prior to 3 January 2020 Friday 13 December 2019

If you have 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 notify us in advance for any possible temporary relocation, alterations or amendments to your licence you may need in January or early February 2020. Please email ece.twm@education.govt.nz.

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

Ngā mihi

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

Wellington Regional News

Kia ora tātou

Erika retired from her role as Director on 13 September after an extensive career in education. Erika’s career has included six principal roles across Wellington and Christchurch and she has also held the role of Director of Education for Wellington and Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast. Erika is currently on a well-deserved holiday. In the meantime, I am acting in the Director role until Roy Sye joins our region, from his role as Director of Education in Hawke’s Bay on 1 October.

Ngā mihi


Waitohi Kindergarten

Two boys building with duplo.  Two children looking out round window Child poses next to play kitchen.

The northern Wellington suburb of Johnsonville has a new kindergarten – Waitohi. This is located in the new community hub which also houses a library and a cafe. The kindergarten replaces Johnsonville Full Day Kindergarten, which was in an old villa nearby, since demolished.

Waithohi Kindergarten, part of Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens, caters for 35 children and is open for ten hours a day, 49 weeks a year.  The proximity of the library will give the kindergarten a special focus. 

Head teacher Anne Masterton says the children all came from Johnsonville Kindergarten next door. They had been discussing the move for a long time so were well-prepared.  They had watched the new building going up, and had visited the space before they moved in at the beginning of August.

Alisha is one of those who is excited about the new space, particularly the sink.

“I like it because the taps turn off by themselves “ she says.

“The toys are the same. My friends are the same.”

Alisha particularly likes the new kitchen equipment, and stands proudly by the small pantry and stove. “Those things are so cool” she says.

Asked whether he misses the old kindy, Khubaib Hani says he prefers the new one. 

Anne says the great thing about the space is that it was purpose built, and the team has been able to think about the learning environment, and set it up to be attractive and inviting for learning, as well as homelike. “It’s comfortable and cruisy” she says.

 “Everyone adjusted well, and the families have been really positive about the new space” says Anne. “The children are like they have always been here.”

When the new library opens, there will be a strong connection between the two services. Librarians have already been to visit the children in their new space, and the kindergarten has windows that look down to the library.

Anne says the children already have a sense of ownership, talking about when “our library” opens.

Pacific Education Fono

This is a reminder that we are running a series of Pacific fono to check back in with our Pacific communities on the design of the Action Plan for Pacific Education. Here are the dates again for you if you would like to attend or let your parent community know. 

A summary of the 2018 feedback can be found on the Education Conversation website.

Pacific Education - Education Conversation(external link)

 Date Day Time Area Venue
23 Sep Mon 6pm-9pm Lower Hutt Naenae College
910 High Street
25 Sep Weds 6pm-8pm Porirua Wellington Disability and Learning Support Fono
Mungavin Hall
27a Mungavin Avenue
26 Sep Thurs 6pm-9pm Porirua Tokelau Fono
Whitireia Polytechnic
Door 1
3 Wi Neera Drive

Andrea Williams
Acting Director of Education for Wellington
Phone: 04 463 8686
Email: andrea.williams@education.govt.nz

Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast regional news

Welcome to our new Senior Education Advisor ECE – Stacey Lean 

Kia ora, my name is Stacey and I am a born and raised Nelsonian, living here with my husband Alex. I come from a background in early childhood education as a senior teacher working within New Zealand and Australia for the past 11 years.

I am excited to be joining the team here at the Ministry of Education as a Senior Education Advisor - ECE. Thank you all for making me feel so welcome, I am looking forward to meeting you all.

Stacey Lean.

MOE Pacific Education Fono Blenheim

This will be an opportunity to work with us to design the next action plan for Pacific Education.

Venue: Marlborough Boys College Auditorium, 5 Stephenson Street, Blenheim

Date: Tuesday 24 September

Time: 6pm–9pm (catering provided)

Last year, Pacific communities shared with us what a good education system looks like for them, their family and their community. The fono will focus on:

  • Have we reflected your voices in the work we have done so far?
  • How do we know we are making progress towards the change you want to see?

To find out more information please visit the education conversation website. Please promote this opportunity with your Pacific families and communities.

Pacific Education Fono - Education Conversation website(external link)

Discretionary Funding

Please ensure you and your service are up to date with the information around ECE discretionary funding and the record keeping that sits behind this. These rules apply to all licensed early learning services including home-based and parent/whānau led. It is expected that attempts would have been made to find another certificated teacher to cover before discretionary hours are used, and records made of these attempts. 

Discretionary Hour

A discretionary hour is an hour that a service can claim an Other Teacher as a Certificated Teacher for the purposes of the Staff Hour Count. Services that must complete the Staff Hour Count may record the hours worked by relievers who are Other Teachers as Certificated Teacher Hours for the purposes of the Staff Hour Count for up to 60 hours during a funding cycle. 

Discretionary Situation

A situation in a parent/whānau led service funded at the quality rate, when a qualified reliever is not available to replace a qualified parent or whānau member who is absent. Or a situation in a home-based education and care service funded at the quality rate, when a co-ordinator is not available to replace the specified coordinator of the service. A discretionary ‘situation’ includes any situation where coverage was not available, including lunch breaks, sessions, or full-days of operation depending on the operating structure of the service. 

Discretionary Hours Record Keeping

Service providers must keep evidence of attempts to contact a certificated teacher to cover the absence. 

Further information can be found in the ECE Funding Handbook.

ECE Funding Handbook

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 koutou,

I have settled back into work routines after returning from a wonderful vacation. Many thanks to Susan Schneideman for acting in my absence.


As you are all aware measles is circulating in New Zealand, particularly in the Auckland region. While the risk of catching measles is lower for the rest of New Zealand there is a risk if you are travelling to Auckland, and also a risk that people travelling from Auckland to other regions may spread measles. We have advice on our webpage and for more information on symptoms and stopping the spread of measles, visit Ministry of Health main Measles page.

Measles information - Education website 

Measles - Ministry of Health website(external link)

The Ministry of Health has guidance around legal powers during infection disease situations.

Infectious diseases in early learning services and schools - A guide to legal powers - Ministry of Health [PDF, 141 KB]

There has been some debate about whether early learning services can exclude children who are unimmunised from attending the service. The Medical Officer of Health has the right to exclude unimmunised children from attending a service. Early learning services have the right to exclude children who have infectious diseases including measles (refer to HS26 for centre based services and HS23 for home based services). Further information about exclusionary periods can be found in Appendix 2.

HS26 - Response to infectious illnesses

HS23 - Response to infectious illnesses

Appendix 2: Infectious diseases for criterion HS26

If you have any questions about this please contact one of our Education Advisers or email ece.canterbury@education.govt.nz.

Ministry of Education end of year close down and licensing application cut off dates.

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 Christchurch 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 license a new service prior to Christmas, a complete application needs to be received in our office by Monday 11 November. This date allows the 30 working days in order for us to make a decision.

To license 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 January or early February, please let us know by emailing ece.canterbury@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.

Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Programme (TCM) and Incredible Years Parent (IYP) – 2020

The programmes are for teachers and parents of children aged 3 – 8 years. These programmes help to reduce challenging behaviours in children while increasing their social and self-control skills. The programmes also guide teachers and parents to become more reflective and skilled practitioners and parents.

Teacher Programmes 2020

For teachers there are seven full day workshops for early childhood programmes. The first six are spaced at regular intervals over a six month period and the seventh is held approximately three months after the sixth workshop. This means there are some programmes beginning in Feb/March 2020 and others beginning June/July of the same year.

The time between workshops allows teachers to practise TCM strategies. The Ministry of Education provides a $1000 financial contribution per teacher attending the programme. This is to assist with the cost of relief teachers after they have completed workshops 1 and 2.

Parenting Programmes 2020

Canterbury is offering a selection of programmes to be held in Timaru, Ashburton, Rolleston, Rangiora, Aranui, and Burnside. Options are also available to be responsive to community needs in other areas.

For parents, the programme is 14 weeks long with parents meeting for 2 ½ hours one morning or evening a week. It does not run during school holidays. The programme is free for parents to attend and resources are provided on a weekly basis.

Enrolment Information for all Christchurch based programmes

Enrolments are welcome in both parent and teacher programmes at any time.

For general enquiries or enrolment information for either programme please email: Incredibleyears.Canterbury@education.govt.nz.

Post 15 March Update

We continue to provide support for children and families who have been directly or indirectly affected by March 15. This support includes a dedicated learning support service manager, Fiona Bartley, who liaises with Ministry of Social Development case workers, Victim Support and other agencies. If you have concerns about the wellbeing, attendance or engagement of a child in an early learning service or school setting, please email Fiona.bartley@education.govt.nz.

Post March 15 – updated interagency news

We are working with many government and community organisations to support those affected by the 15 March attacks.

Representatives from these agencies and groups meet regularly to gather up-to-date information, which is published in the newsletter Our Future Together - Te Kohao Pounamu.

Our Future Together - Te Kohao Pounamu - Canterbury Resilience Hub(external link)

The Ministry of Social Development's weekly newsletter has information about support available for anyone affected by the Christchurch tragedy.

Christchurch newsletters - Work and Income New Zealand(external link)


Creative Classrooms have developed a range of sing along books in te reo Māori which you can access on their website.

Te Reo Singalong Books - Creative Classroom website(external link)

Their website says the following about these resources.

“Te reo Singalong series is written and performed by Sharon and Alan Holt and is very popular amongst New Zealand schools. Learning te reo Maori is made easy when combining a song book and CD. Singalong books are written in Maori but have an English translation at the back of the book. The books are beautifully illustrated with very familiar New Zealand scenery and characters. These resources require no prior knowledge of Te Reo. They have guitar cords and extension activities too. The topics covered are also varied from Matariki to Taku Mokai. An excellent teaching tool for Maori songs and waiata.”

Futures Network

Next hui

Date: Tuesday 1 October

Time: 9.30am – 11.30am


Ground Floor Conference Room

Te Urutī       

48 Hereford Street

Christchurch (corner Hereford St and Cambridge Tce)               



Ministry of Education update – March Lockdown Review findings, an opportunity to ask questions

Community Notices

Break – opportunity to network


Wellbeing within diversity - an opportunity to understand different cultural perspectives on children and learning, including parent voice.

Panel Members: Mastura Abd Rahman (Senior Adviser, Migrant and Refuge Support, Ministry of Education)

Parent voice – parents from Hagley Community Preschool – “what makes a good child and how can early learning services support diverse parent perspectives”

Bee Williamson (Curriculum Lead, Hagley Community Preschool) – How her early learning service is working to support diverse perspectives.

If you wish to attend, please RSVP to Barbara.madden@education.govt.nz by Friday 27 September. Please also advise if you wish to share any information in the community notices section of the agenda. It would be appreciated if you could bring something to share for morning tea. Tea/coffee etc will be provided.

The date for the final hui for this year has been set for Tuesday 3 December. This is an opportunity for a conversation with Coralanne Child, Director of Education Canterbury and Chatham Islands. Please note this in your diaries now.

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 Pasifika greetings

I hope you are enjoying the lengthening spring days, along with blossoms, spring flowers and lambs.  Although the worst of the winter weather is hopefully behind us, we may still need to contact you in the event of severe weather or other emergency – so please let us know if your emergency contact details change, or check with your Education Adviser if you aren’t sure what information we hold.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

It was a privilege to attend the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards ceremony and dinner at Parliament House on 10 September.  

It was a pleasure to spend time with the team representing Winton Kindergarten, who were one of four finalists in the Excellence in Teaching and Learning section.  Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa ultimately won this section, but the evening highlighted the successes of all finalists, and was a true celebration of the impact quality teaching and learning, strong community and whānau relationships and effective leadership can make. 

All finalists featured in short introductory videos (Winton Kindergarten’s was the only one to feature snow), and I would encourage you to have a look at not only Winton Kindergarten’s summary video, but those of other finalists.  Early learning was well represented – winning two categories and featuring finalists in all categories except one.

Entries are now open for 2020 and further information, including all summary videos of this year’s finalists can be found on the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards website.

Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards website(external link)

SELO – Supporting the Implementation of Te Whāriki

During 2019 we engaged Kidsfirst to deliver a SELO contract following on from the professional learning that supported the implementation of Te Whāriki - He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa Early Childhood Curriculum (2017). 

This contract focused on one or more of the five key areas to strengthen practice:

  1. A rich curriculum for every child
  2. A focus on learning that matters here
  3. Affirmation of identity, language and culture
  4. Parents and whānau engaged in their child’s learning
  5. Personalised pathways to school and kura

The delivery model was personalised to individual early learning services, introducing the main changes to Te Whāriki and supports for emerging leaders.  Members of the early learning sector who participated in this SELO contract expressed their appreciation, particularly in terms of much they learnt from the open conversations and the value of networking with other services.

Educators at the Blue Duck Early Learning Centre in Te Anau joined the programme. This is a recently licensed remotely located early learning service.  They fed back that the programme encouraged evaluation and linkage within Te Whāriki, which enabled them to further refine, strengthen and articulate their individual room aspirations and priorities. This means that each room team has a clear vision of learning, which supports its individuality while still maintaining a sense of unity and understanding within the wider centre. The result has been to embed ‘guiding lights’ within each room to ensure the ongoing delivery of quality learning and outcomes for all tamariki.

Ōraka–Aparima Cluster – Māori Achieving Success as Māori

The Ōraka-Aparima cluster consists of members of the management and leadership teams of the Riverton Childcare, Riverton Kindergarten, Riverton Primary School and Aparima College. Representatives from the local Ōraka-Aparima Rūnaka participate in termly hui to focus on their strategic goals for Māori Achieving Success as Māori. The cluster agreed on kaitiakitanga as a collaborative focus. Activities to support this focus have included working on a seedling project with the local marae, supporting a workshop on the local native bat colony, and organising joint performances at the Polyfest. Teachers have shared curriculum plans for teaching Te Reo and tikanga across the services and schools so kaiako can gain skills and confidence and appropriate PLD can be sourced.  This has helped to ensure that the tamariki experience a sequenced and planned approach to language learning. Some teachers are also participating the Te Ahu o te Reo ki Murihiku Te Reo course. 

Two children standing in front of table covered in lights.

In July the cluster held a community Matariki event which meant whānau could join with their tamariki and children of all ages could interact together.  Riverton Childcare provided warm soup made by the children.  Aparima College hosted the event and groups offered a range of stations or activities such as kite-making, a relaxation tent with reading material including Matariki pukapuka, and a reflection tree to acknowledge ancestors. There was also an opportunity to make poi and join in waiata. A collaborative group art piece was also created.  To end the evening there was a fire poi demonstration.

Minister Jenny Salesa’s visit to Punavai Ole Atamai Pre-School

On 5 September, Minister Salesa visited Punavai Ole Atamai Pre-School, in South Dunedin.  The children welcomed her by performing items they have been practising for the Dunedin Polyfest.  This was a wonderful opportunity for the Minister to meet with children, staff and members of the wider community, as they shared their different Tongan Language Week activities, along with other aspects of the curriculum programme. 

It was also great to have some of these families attend the Pacific Education Fono that evening, held at the Otago Polytechnic.  This fono was a chance for the Pacific community to reflect on some of the themes that have emerged in relation to Pacific education from the Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation so far, and to share some of their feedback with Minister Salesa.

Playgroup Funding Report

A huge shout-out to our wonderful playgroups in Otago and Southland and the parents and volunteers who spend time and effort completing the yearly PG5 Playgroup Funding Report and submitting their operational funding into our online Education Resourcing System (ERS).  We have had an excellent response rate to getting the operational funding claims in on time and want to thank you for meeting our deadlines. 

Due to our large geographical area we have a higher than average number of playgroups that often are the only early learning service option for those rural and isolated areas.  The value for the community, parents and children in attending playgroup is so much more than education.  It is about community connections, making friends, social interaction, not only for the children but also parents, wider whanau and the lifelong volunteers and supporters of playgroup.  

Thank you to the many parents and volunteers that give up their precious time to create great education spaces and opportunities for our tamariki and being those tireless volunteers that complete all the jobs that keep our playgroups going year after year. 

If you are interested in setting up a playgroup please see our guide on the Education website.

Establishing a certificated playgroup

A reminder that early learning services across Western, Central, or Northern Southland can contact either Chris or Kathryn for any queries they may have.

Name Contact
Chris Cooper
Education Adviser ECE
Phone: 027 809 8573 
Email: chris.cooper@education.govt.nz 
Kathryn Palmer
Manager Education
Phone: 027 332126
Email: kathryn.palmer@education.govt.nz

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

Ngā mihi mahana

Aimee Te Tau
Acting Director of Education Otago-Southland
Direct Dial: 03 471 5264
Cell phone 027 705 8663
Email: aimee.tetau@education.govt.nz

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