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Early Childhood Alert, No 13, 2016


Risk assessment of playgrounds and children's activities

When the Health and Safety at Work Act was brought in concerns were expressed by the education sector. For example, does the Act mean children can’t climb trees in ECE anymore?

Then there’s NZS 5828: Playground Equipment and Surfacing to think about.

Well the good news is that it’s pretty much all good news. Far from prohibiting tree climbing, the Health and Safety at Work Act provides the ECE sector with the opportunity to use developmentally appropriate safety measures, taking into account the necessary risk associated with children’s learning and skill development.

The other piece of good news – the Ministry of Education has acknowledged that the playground standards, NZS 5828, is not legally enforceable in ECE, but should be used as a guideline. This is a great opportunity for a really sensible ECE safety approach!

Helpful article for ECE service providers on risk assessment and developing safety approaches that support Te Whariki


A book every early childhood professional will enjoy and gain a lot from reading

In “Men who teach young children” author Dr David Brody provides a penetrating look at not only the lives and personal beliefs of male early childhood and kindergarten teachers but also the cultural values and conditions that have shaped and influenced the path they travel.

Through the eyes of male teachers in six different counties Dr Brody examines how men who are successful teachers of young children have crossed the gender boundary. He reports on observations of the teachers’ practices and interview material concerning their path to teaching, what they do in their job and their methods of teaching and caring for children.

Along with providing a study of gender and men in teaching this book provides a fascinating look at the personal philosophies and pedagogical styles of expert early childhood teachers. For example, we learn about the teachers’ different and similar ways to supporting children to be independent, to doing nappy changing and toileting and even their approaches to decorating their classroom walls. Dr Brody found multiple ways of caring and nurturing young children among the teachers, yet all were expert teachers and all were tuned into the emotional state of the child and able to effectively read the situation and the reality for the child

>  See more 


Māori costumes for children and Māori resources


My name is Leigh Rau and with my whanau we created Kanikani Kids in 2004. I am of Ngati Raukawa decent, Otaki and my husband Tahi, is Ngati Tipa, Port Waikato. We live in Otaki with our daughter Aroha.  Our focus today is as a Māori Resource provider, and we offer a range of contemporary traditional Māori resources, e.g. rakau, dolls, flax baskets, etc.

The costumes we make are designed for Kohanga, pre-schools, schools, adult Kapahaka and home. Our Piupiu have the traditional Taniko weaving incorporating hard wearing contemporary fabric. The costumes are available in standard colours of red, black and white BUT can be made in your early childhood service or Kapahaka colours. Our costumes are multi-fit, reversible, durable, machine washable.

We offer a discount of 10% to ChildForum ECE Service members on purchases over $200. Note that ChildForum has not asked for commission on sales and this is not a paid advert.  ChildForum simply recommends our resources and wants its members to receive the maximum savings because it recognises the quality of what we provide. 

> Go to the online information and order page 


Winter school holiday activities at home and for children in ECE services open over the holiday period

Make pet rocks

Creative ideas for extending interest in the sandpit

Introduce rhythm ribbons (great for taking music outdoors and keeping warm through physical activity)

Go plane spotting and track the travels of planes in real time (all you need is a computer and online connection)

Teach the boys and girls to play a new sport - e.g. soccer, skipping.

Learn about slow cooking and create yummy winter food

Make a volcano

Take a trip to the museum, library, zoo ...

Learn and teach children hip hop

Plant growing and science activities indoors 

...  See lots more

>  Go to the early childhood activity 'how-to' articles


Management Forum - Presentations and speaker notes now available online

>  Available for ECE service members who were not able to make the Forum in May 2016 



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Let us know in 150 words or less and your news may be included in the next newsletter.

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