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Early Childhood Alert No. 9, 2017

Welcome back from the Easter break or if you are on holiday for a bit longer we hope it's going well for you.

Quite a few major news stories for ECE have occurred over the past week.  

In this week's newsletter we give you a quick run down on the things that have happened that you are most likely to want to know or want more information on.

If you are not currently a ChildForum member and are looking to join, go to our website to join or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Birthday cakes, breast-milk and confining children's movement: A look at ERO's new report on food, nutrition, and physical activity in ECE services

The Education Review Office’s new report may attract some comment for not going far enough on some matters and omitting others. Find out what these are.

> Read more


Pay equity for women 

Today's media is reporting that a pay equity settlement could lead to large pay rises for about 55,000 low-paid, mainly female workers in three government funded service sectors as part of a deal between unions and the Government.

There would appear to be little reason why this could not be extended to include early childhood teachers and unqualified workers, especially in the public sector but also in the private sector as wage costs have historically been taken into account in calculating funding rates. For women and the small number of men working in early childhood education, a sector that government policy wanted to remain female dominated and low paid and has not responded to calls for policy and action on gender diversity, news of the pay equity deal for care workers will be encouraging.  

Just under 98 per cent of all staff working with children in licensed early childhood service are women – 24,788 females to 494 males. The early childhood sector provides a strong example of occupational segregation which contributes to and helps to explain the gender pay gap in our society and acts to restrain the full utilisation of women's and men's talents across the economy.

> Read more about gender politics in an ECE comment article


Practising teacher criteria and code of ethics being replaced by new single code

This change will directly and very personally and professionally affect every teacher and all new and future graduates with a teaching qualification. Don't leave it too long to look into the changes.

> Read more


A new Te Whāriki curriculum is rushed through 

A new early childhood curriculum replacing the current ‘Te Whāriki’ document has been published on the Ministry of Education website -- without prior announcement until its release today (Wed 12 April 2017) and near the eve of the long Easter weekend and the start of term break.

The curriculum’s draft revision faced strong criticism from many in the sector regarding content and presentation, and the Federation of Rudolf Steiner Schools sought legal advice and wrote to the Minister claiming that the consultation process breached statutory and legal requirements. Chief executive of ChildForum Dr Sarah Alexander says that the final copy is significantly better than the draft, the Ministry having obviously put in a large effort to get things right.

However, there remain some major deficiencies that could have also been put right had the Ministry done more work on this. PS: The Hon Hekia Parata is handing over her ministerial role on the 1st May so it's no surprise that there was pressure on the writers and on the Ministry to get the re-write and publication done at speed and this has been unfortunate. 

> Learn more


ECE teachers see red over higher fee charges that come in the guise of “consultation”

Early childhood teachers are furious with the higher fee charges for certification that the new Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (ECANZ) has put out for ‘consultation’. The increased ECANZ fees are seen by teachers as not bringing them any added benefits and they cannot see what they get for their money.

ECANZ is the only body that provides teacher certification and oversees matters of teacher discipline and conduct. ChildForum chief executive, Dr Sarah Alexander says another professional body for teachers should be considered, so teachers have a choice for certification.

> Learn more about the increased charges, how this might affect you and the consultation 


Writing or reviewing your service policies?

Make use of the information on our website:

  • policy template
  • easy to follow steps for policy development
  • criteria to use for assessing the 'goodness' of the policies your service has
  • how to ensure policies are successfully implemented

> Go to ECE Service Member resource


ANZAC day with children

Here's a great source of information for busy people on what you need to know about the history etc of ANZAC day to answer children's questions, great ideas for appropriate activities, and not forgetting ... the ANZAC Biscuit Recipe!

Go to online resource information


How appropriate are graveyard crosses in playgrounds and teaching toddlers about death and sacrifice in war 

Last year the Ministry of Education chose to support the Field of Remembrance Trust and sent its packs to early childhood services to implement. We wonder how many people kept the pack and will be using it again?  

>  Go to the news story and add your comments  


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