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Early Childhood Alert No. 12, 2017


  1. Court fines centre $245,000 for overcharging parents and misleading about subsidies
  2. Te Whāriki workshops and support available for implementation
  3. Cultural competencies framework for teachers of Pasifika children
  4. Questions over providing children with pain relief and administration of medicine
  5. Make sure parents get what they are entitled to with the WINZ childcare subsidy
  6. Winner of the Budget competition
  7. Teacher registration induction and mentoring – how to and which way is the right way
  8. Call for research participants
  9. Matariki activity ideas and celebration in ECE
  10. Children's picture books - update and replenish your collection
  11. On the grapevine - news  


1. Centre fined $245,000 for overcharging parents and misleading about subsidies

Today, Thursday 8th June, an Auckland centre was fined for overcharging parents. The prosecution was brought by the Commerce Commission under the Fair Trading Act. The company pleaded guilty to making false and misleading representations as to the price of its services and as to the existence of the parents' right to the full government subsidies. Being the whistle blower was very stressful on a parent and her son, whom she had to withdraw from the centre.

The company signed an agreed statement of facts stating that between May 2013 and July 2014 it claimed on its invoices that it received a government subsidy of $4.70 an hour for each child, and charged parents a top-up of $7 an hour to make up to a full hourly rate of $11.70.

In fact, the Ministry of Education was paying the company $10.32 an hour for the first 20 hours a week for each child aged 3 to 5 under its "20 hours Early Childhood Education (ECE)" policy, and $5.73 for every extra hour up to 30 hours.

The subsidies increased to $11.33 and $6.64 in February 2014, when the centre became entitled to a higher funding rate because 80 per cent of its teachers had become qualified.

They increased again to $11.43 and $6.70 from July 2014 due to Budget changes. Meanwhile the company wrote to parents in May 2014 saying the parental top-up would rise to $9 an hour from July to bring its total fees to $13.70 an hour, stating that the "20 hours ECE contribution" was still $4.70 an hour.

>  Read the full story by Simon Collins


2. Te Whāriki workshops and support available for implementation

Some early childhood services are advising that they were unaware until very recently that there is professional development available and are going online to book a workshop to find that all the workshops they could attend in their area have already been booked out. Information about the workshops and what you need to know for support is available.

> Go to news story online


3. Cultural competencies framework for teachers of Pasifika children

Tapasā is the Samoan word for “compass”, representing a framework, or navigational tool for teachers, which aims to develop teachers’ understanding of the unique requirements of Pasifika children and provides practical guidance. Consultation is now open on Tapasā

> Learn more and give your feedback


4. Questions over providing children with pain relief and administration of medicine 

Pressure from parents and confusion over administering painkillers such as Panadol, Pamol and Ibuprofen could be putting the health of children in early childhood education services at risk. Reports from teachers and carers show conflicting views and interpretations in ECE services over whether such painkillers should be administered to children while in care.

>  See the latest information and good practice guidance on the relevant Ministry of Education licensing requirements, what to do if a child becomes unexpectedly ill or in pain while in care, how long must a child wait before they can receive pain relief, accidental overdosing, why some parents/ guardians are doping their children to try to hide illness,and helping parents to make the best choices


5. Make sure parents get what they are entitled to with the WINZ childcare subsidy

A good information sheet is online with the updated rates for 2017 - share with parents to make sure that everyone who may be eligible knows about this and doesn't miss out. Includes circumstances under which you can get the subsidy, tips on applying, links to application form and change of circumstances form, etc

Go to more 


6. Winner of the Budget competition

There was only one winner. To find out the winner: Click here to go to the competition page,  Thank you to NZ Childcare Finance Company for supporting this competition.


7. Matariki activity ideas and celebrations 

Around New Zealand early childhood services are involved in planning and preparing for Matariki.

> Read more and pick up some great activity ideas


8. Teacher certification/ registration induction and mentoring – how to and which way is the right way

We get a lot of questions about teacher certification/ registration, folder requirements, what to do, mentoring and mentors, etc. Information and answers covering what people most want to know and problems that arise are now in an online article for students, teachers and ECE service members. The article also includes key links, such as to the Teacher Registration Support Scheme and key ECANZ online pages

> Go to teacher registration/ certification article


9. Call for research participants

Early childhood teachers and parents wanted for a study on responding to children’s problematic interactions with their peers
Participation involves completing an online questionnaire. Participants can be living anywhere in NZ. Further information is provided on following website: www.childspeers.com where potential participants can learn more about the overall research project and from there they are linked to the questionnaire. The research is being carried out by Athena Maghsoudinejad (PhD Student, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington).

Auckland centre managers and owners, and qualified early childhood teachers are wanted for a study on how teachers construct their professional identity.
For teachers, participation is by way of being involved in two focus group meetings with other teachers at the University of Auckland outside of usual working hours. Centre owners and managers participate in a one-hour interview at the University of Auckland. The research is being carried out by Kiri Gould (PhD student, University of Auckland). If you can help Kiri by participating please contact her, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  She is happy to answer any other questions you have.


10. Children's picture books - update and replenish your collection

On the Children's Books NZ website, ChildForum members can get 15% off the price of any books and resources. The books are affordable, high quality, and beautiful!

> Find out more and get the link


11. News on the Grapevine

NZ losing kindergartens as we know them and three groups make a call for more funding in general for ECE, by Simon Collins
> Go to NZ Herald article

Kindergartens becoming daycare by stealth parents say, by Jody O'Callaghan
> Go to ChCh Press/Stuff article

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, by Kelley Tantau
>  Go to 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 Stuff 


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