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Early Childhood Alert, No 23, 2016


1. Issues with the new updated Te Whāriki early childhood curriculum that the Ministry is going to have to address

2. Two serious safety incidents at Auckland centres in November

3. Early childhood teachers are made of money - Education Minister

4. Giving away awesome new children's picture books - 5 to be won

5. Home-based ECE new health and safety licensing requirements - effective immediately 

6. Food safety rules are being improved - giving your direct input to MPI is easy and the only way to truly be heard

7. New research

8. Highchairs - Should you be using them?

9. Call for Nominations of ECE Services for the Hall of Excellence and the Wall of Shame 2016

10. Christmas activities, present making, games and how to discuss the meaning of Christmas with children


Buy, sell, swap, ask for a job or advertise for new staff, get help with your research, start up a new discussion, share and get ideas on any early childhood matters - Take a look and start using the awesome new online Discussion Forums for ECE services and individual members.  
Go to www.childforum.com and near the top of the screen look for the tab "DISCUSSION FORUM" click on the discussion forum to view 


1.  Issues with the re-written Te Whāriki

There are multiple issues for the Ministry of Education to address before it finalises a re-written Te Whāriki early childhood curriculum.

These are to do with (a) the timeline for re-writing, consultation and finalisation, (b) unconscious biases, (c) document design, and (d) document content.

Many teachers are already expressing a lack of ownership and sense of disempowerment due to the process that the Ministry of Education has undertaken. And there are other issues too.

> Learn more about the issues and add your concerns (and praises!)


2.  Two serious safety incidents at Auckland centres in November

> Article about a tree falling on several toddlers during strong winds

> Article about a child's death on equipment in a centre playground

To reduce, control or eliminate the risk of a serious safety incident at your service 

> Use the ECE Daily Checklist for Hazard Identification and Safety Management

> Make sure the adults responsible for children display good supervision skills - read more about what these skills are

> See this discussion on playground safety standards and risk assessment

> Be sure you know and understand what your centre or home-based service needs to be doing under the new Health & Safety at Work Act


3. Early childhood teachers are made of money - Education minister

See what the Minister of Education slipped in so it would get little public attention the week when the country was otherwise occupied with earthquakes (and major flooding and slips in Wellington)

> Catch-up on the news story


4.  New children's books give-away

Go to any article on our early childhood website at www.childforum.com and add a comment, question or tip.

Adding a comment to any article will place you in the draw with a good chance of possibly winning one of 5 amazing picture books generously donated by NZ Children's books.  

barefoot books 11) A Dragon on the Doorstep
Play hide-and-seek with a dragon, a crocodile, a gorilla and all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. The rhyming text explores familiar rooms of the house, and encourages imaginative play. Book with CD edition includes song sung by acclaimed children's performer Fred Penner.

2) Creepy Crawly Calypso
Jump and jive from one to ten with a boisterous band of bugs in this selection that introduces creepy crawlies and calypso instruments. After the rhyming story, there are fascinating facts about the insects and calypso bands, as well as a simple music score. Book with CD edition includes song sung by Richard Love, Panache and Alex Hutchings.

3) The Great Race
Race with the animals of the Zodiac as they compete to have the years of the Chinese calendar named after them. The excitement-filled story is followed by notes on the Chinese calendar, important Chinese holidays, and a chart outlining the animal signs based on birth years.

4) The Elephant Ears
How did African and Indian elephants first find their homelands? Find out in this clever modern fable that explores animal habitats and teaches children to value everyone’s unique qualities.

5) My Granny Went to Market
A Round-the-World Counting Rhyme
Fly away with Granny as she takes a magic carpet ride around the world, collecting a steadily increasing number of souvenirs from each exotic location! This rhyming story will take young readers on an adventure to different countries while teaching them to count along the way.


5. Home-based ECE new health and safety licensing requirements - effective immediately

Wow how is it possible that changes come in without giving services lead-in time to ensure compliance? Well it happens!  

See the latest changes for H&S in home-based ECE services

> Rules and regulation updates section pages 


6. Food safety rules are being improved - giving your direct input to MPI is easy and the only way to truly be heard

The Ministry of Education is recommending that early childhood services submit their own individual feedback directly to the Ministry for Primary Industries regarding food safety regulations and notices.  

What's being proposed?

  • Fewer sanitising, record-keeping, and procedural requirements for lower risk businesses.
  • More detailed requirements for national programme businesses using specific processes, to help them know their food is safe.
  • Innovative or unique processes must use a food control plan.
  • Technical change to sous vide cooking in the template food control plan.
  • Greater flexibility in the timing of a business' first verification.
  • Small change in what verifiers need to report.
  • Revoke unnecessary rules and keep existing ones that are still needed.

Lean more and see a video at the MPI's website. Give your views directly to the MPI through its survey to make sure your voice is heard and does not get changed or lost by sending your submission to a childcare business lobby or other group. Consultation closes on 5th December.  


7. New research - Developing family relationships within a school environment to support children's transition to school 

Children in the early years of life face many changes and transitions and the provision of a supported playgroup on a school site enables the continuity of early childhood programmes and offers a pathway for a smooth transition to the school environment. Research has shown that when children from disadvantaged families participate in playgroups, better social and emotional outcomes are realised. The findings of this research offer insights into the importance of the formation of relationships between parents, children and the school community when transitioning children to school.

> Go to the NZRECE Journal, Vol. 18, for this article by researchers Marianne Knaus and Judy Warren


8.  Highchairs - Should you be using them?

There is a very good reason why early chilhdood services in earthquake risk regions in particular should not be using highchairs for restraining and feeding children.

> Read more


9. Call for Nominations of ECE Services for the Hall of Excellence and the Wall of Shame 2016 

Nominations are now open for entrants to the "2016 ECE Services Hall of Early Childhood Excellence" and for the "ECE Services Wall of Shame". You may already know and want to nominate a service that really shines. Or you may know a service that has had practices far below the standard expected.  

The nomination form can be found by going to www.myece.org.nz  and scrolling down the home page to the section about this.


10. Christmas activities, present making, games and how to discuss the meaning of Christmas with children

In early December it's time to be planning Christmas activities and present making.

In this article are ECE appropriate:

  • ideas of easey peasey presents for children to make
  • art and craft activity ideas
  • games and play activities, and
  • discussion of what to say and how to talk with children about Christmas and the reasons for the celebration.

> Read More



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