Early Learning Regulatory Update – June 2019

Regulatory reminders for the Early Learning sector for June 2019 including Preventing infant and toddler choking in our early learning services.

Preventing infant and toddler choking in early learning services

A joint letter from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health was sent to service provider contacts on 4 June 2019. This letter requests that services re-familiarise themselves with Ministry of Health guidance. In the letter there are links to Ministry of Health information on how to prepare food for young children.

The Ministry of Education is considering how its licensing criteria for early learning services and certification criteria for playgroups can better help early learning services to minimise or eliminate the risk of children choking on food. We will keep you updated through this Bulletin.

You can read the letter on our website: Preventing infant and toddler choking in our early learning services [PDF, 261 KB]

Preventing infant and toddler choking in early learning services

If you have any questions, please send your queries to the ECE Information Mailbox: ECE.info@education.govt.nz

Three regulatory changes taking effect from 1 July 2019

Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

Changes to information sharing provisions under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 come into effect on 1 July 2019. These changes will provide a clearer framework for early learning services to use when working with other agencies to support the wellbeing and safety of children.

In practice, these changes are likely to be more directly relevant for early learning services than information sharing provisions under the Family Violence Act (refer below), because they involve children.

Full guidance about the changes were due to be published on 18 June 2019 on the Oranga Tamariki website.  The Ministry is also developing guidance for the education sector to use for any day to day requests that come up. This guidance will be available in early July 2019.

Information sharing - Oranga Tamariki(external link)

Family Violence Act 2018

Information sharing provisions under the new Family Violence Act will provide a framework for early learning services to share or seek information to protect the safety of family violence victims. 

The Family Violence Act guidance is due to be published shortly on the Ministry of Justice website.

Information sharing guidance - Ministry of Justice(external link)

National Care Standards

The National Care Standards ensure that every tamaiti and rangatahi in the care of Oranga Tamariki receives an excellent standard of care.   

The new standards include provisions to support collaboration and information sharing between a child’s social worker and their educator, for the benefit of the child.

The level of collaboration set out in the new standards are similar to what would be requested from an active and involved parent.  The new standards will contribute to better educational outcomes for children in care.

The standards will be implemented gradually, with incremental improvements over time. More information is available on the Oranga Tamariki website.

Care standards - Oranga Tamariki(external link)

We will provide further information on all three regulatory changes in future Bulletins.

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