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Early Childhood Alert No. 11, 2017


  1. What's your wish for Government spend on early childcare and education in Thursday's Budget?
  2. Kindergarten going, going, gone from our ECE system  ....  are you happy for this?
  3. Induction and mentoring for Teacher Certification/ registration
  4. Pay rates and working conditions for early childhood staff  

  5. Penalty to parents of children under 6-years who don't attend school regularly
  6. Grass turning to mud
  7. Strangulation and child safety proofing playgrounds 
  8. It's not long until Matariki now
  9. News on the Grapevine


1. What's your wish for Government spend on early childcare and education in Thursday's Budget?

Quickly add your wish and read other wishes and guesses for the Budget announcements: Click here to go to the early childhood online wish page.

PS:  There are gift vouchers up for grabs if your wish or guess comes true and your name is drawn for a prize (vouchers generously provided by NZ Childcare Finance Company which provides short-term loans to ECE services). 


2. Kindergarten going, going ....  are you happy for this?  Can we encourage commitment to retaining Kindergarten's unique point of difference in the NZ ECE system?

An open letter has been drafted setting out issues, concerns, and opportunity to secure the future of kindergarten for future generations of children to enjoy.  You are invited to share this, and add your comment or name in support before a final copy of the letter is published next week.

> Go to draft letter 


3. Induction and mentoring for Teacher Certification/ registration – what to do and which way is the right way?

An article on this topic is now available: "Becoming a fully certified teacher is not just a ‘tick off the list’, it is a way in which you can become a better teacher. Investing time and effort into your teacher certification will ensure that your teaching practise will positively influence learners, colleagues and ECE as a whole".   The article covers:

  • Why do I need to get certificated?
  • What is involved?
  • How should I set up my folder?
  • What sort of goals should I choose?
  • What should I put in my folder?
  • Who should be my mentor?
  • Some helpful resources

> Read more


4. Pay rates and working conditions

There is good discussion, including overview of minimum rates set by the Ministry of Education at the following link:

> Pay, working conditions and job perks


5. Penalty to parents of children under 6-years who don't attend school regularly

Just a reminder that children will now be able to start at a public primary school, if the school supports this, before Age 5 depending on when their birthday falls during the school term. Once enrolled it is now compulsory for children to attend. It will not be possible for parents to keep their child at home for a couple of days or even an afternoon who is not coping or needs a rest. It will be illegal in most cases to withdraw a child from school and re-enrol in ECE. Parents of 4- and 5-year old children enrolled at school who do not attend as required may be fined up to $30 per school day, not exceeding $300 for a first offence and $3000 for subsequent offences. While at the moment it is unlikely that the Ministry will seek to prosecute parents of young children, we remain concerned that parents may not be aware that school is now compulsory once enrolled even if the child is under 6 years of age. This is something that all early childhood teachers and managers need to let parents know about to assist them to be fully informed. 

> Read more 


6. Grass turning to mud

In winter the grass can get muddy. In summer it's got to be mowed. It's not uncommon for early childhood centres today to have no natural grassed area for children's outdoor play. As cities grow, fewer and fewer children have access to the traditional backyard for play at home. So the debate on real grass versus artificial turf in educational settings and what kind of childhood we want children to have will grow - quite literally! 

However, pick up some good common sense advice in this new article on having grass and having artificial turf and maintenance so that whatever your early childhood service decides to have, it will work best for you, your staffing team and children. 

> Go to ECE management members' guidance on grass and artificial turf in ECE settings


7. Strangulation and child safety proofing playgrounds 

Unfortunately the Ministry of Education continues to keep secret incidents of serious child harm in early childhood services and does not willingly communicate information so there can be awareness to help prevent similar incidents.

But possibly as an indication that there has been a serious strangulation event, the Ministry in its newsletter to early childhood services this week includes a link to general information on 'managing strangulation hazards on play equipment' published this month by Worksafe NZ.

> Go to Worksafe NZ article

See and use the daily checklist for ECE service hazard identification and management   


8. It's not long until Matariki now 

Are you starting to think about Matariki and prepare? Here's a link to an easy to read and publicly share ChildForum article with ideas for involving young children.

> Go to public article


9. News on the Grapevine

Future Kids is opening a new centre that will be eco-friendly and incorporate ways to support children emotionally and physically, including yoga and mediation. 

>  Go to article published on Stuff

Little Wonders early childhood centres look set to be sold to a big national player (the Evolve Company) as their owner sells-down South Island assets.

> Go to article published on Stuff

There is exciting news that the Ministry of Education is opening up funding to ECE services for access to Early Reading Together, workshops for parents.

> Read more on the NZ curriculum website
> If your service is not eligible through the Ministry, you can still access ERT directly   


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