Early Learning Regulatory Update – May 2019

Regulatory reminders for the Early Learning sector for May 2019 including Changes in employment relation laws, changes to cohort entry and more.

Changes in employment relation laws

The Government has recently made changes to employment relation laws that may have implications for you.

From 6 May 2019, depending on the hours worked per day, employees are entitled to:

  • one or more 10 minute rest breaks
  • one 30 minute meal break.

You can read more about these changes on the Employment New Zealand website.

Staff on a break cannot be counted towards the adult-to-child ratio and the 50% qualified teachers requirement. More information about this can be found on our website.

The ECE Funding Handbook notes that breaks/absences under 15 minutes do not need to be recorded on your Staff Record.

Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 - Employment New Zealand website(external link)

Knowing the ratio requirements for an ECE service

Qualification requirements

3-B-2 Teacher-led education and care services - The ECE Funding Handbook

New law on cohort entry

The Education Amendment Bill (No. 2) has recently been passed and is called the Education Amendment Act 2019. The new Act makes some key changes to cohort entry which take effect from 1 January 2020.

The key changes are:

  • children will be able to start school in cohorts, but only after they have turned five, and
  • there will be two entry points per term, one on the first day of term, and one at a mid-point during a term.

The Minister of Education is required to set the mid-term dates by 1 July each year that apply to the following year. For the 2020 mid-term start dates, the Minister of Education will Gazette the mid-term start dates by 1 July 2019.

Cohort entry policies that have been developed prior to 1 January 2020, can continue until that date. This means that schools that currently have a cohort entry policy in place can continue with their existing policy until 1 January 2020.

Existing cohort entry policies will automatically be updated on 1 January 2020, to reflect the new legal requirements. Schools who wish to continue with their current cohort entry policy are not required to redevelop their policies or to undertake further consultation. However, consultation with school communities will be required if a school wishes to return to a continuous entry policy.

Schools will continue to be required to consult with their wider community before they can adopt a policy of cohort entry. This include consulting with local early learning services.

Other changes brought in by the Education Amendment Act 2019 are on our website.

Education Amendment Bill (No 2)

New Zealand Gazette website(external link) 

Government announces principles for engaging with Royal Commission into Historic Abuse

Cabinet paper released

On 8 May, a Cabinet paper was released that sets out how the Crown will approach the Royal Commission into Historic Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions.

The Cabinet paper sets out 6 principles that will shape how the Crown will behave, engage and respond to the Royal Commission. The Crown is to identify actions that government agencies, including the Ministry of Education, can start taking to demonstrate these principles.

Government announces principles for engaging with Royal Commission into Historic Abuse

The Royal Commission and education settings

The Ministry will keep you updated on the Inquiry as it affects education settings. We will do this primarily through updates to the Early Childhood Advisory Committee and this Bulletin. We will also provide you with any guidance from the Royal Commission or Crown agencies for those who are the subject of claims.

Disposal of records

A reminder that on 28 March 2019 the Chief Archivist revoked the authority to dispose of all records held by public offices that may be relevant to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions. The notice will remain in force until the Chief Archivist revokes it.

He Pānui Kōhungahunga – Issue 47 – April 2019

More information about the Royal Commission

Questions about the work being done by the Royal Commission, including how individuals can take part in proceedings, can be directed to the Commission through their website or emailed to abuseinstatecare@royalcommission.govt.nz.

Contacting the Commission - Historical Abuse in State Care Royal Commission website(external link)

Further background information in a previous issue of this Bulletin – He Pānui Kōhungahunga – Issue 43 – November 2018

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