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Early Childhood Alert No. 13, 2017

Members let us know if there is an issue that is affecting you or if you are seeking ideas or information on an early childhood matter or topic. Should you not hold a current membership contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a membership form.  Or, join easily online as an individual (student or full membership) or apply for membership to cover your whole ECE service at www.childforum.com 

Current topics and what's in this week's newsletter: 

  1. How NZ stands apart from other countries in ECE
  2. Questions about food, choking and eating in ECE services
  3. NZ's own developer of 'Early Reading Together' receives well-deserved recognition
  4. In the news - Management goes up against parents and their children
  5. Cultural competencies framework for teachers of Pasifika children
  6. Start counting the number of police vets
  7. Teacher certification/ registration induction and mentoring – how to and which way is the right way
  8. Rugby, rugby, rugby for children in ECE
  9. Weekend part-time job opportunity - lower North Island
  10. Call for research participants
  11. Suicide awareness teaching in the ECE curriculum


1. NZ stands apart from other NZ countries in its ECE ownership, says the OECD

One way NZ is exceptional in its ECE is that almost all ECE services are privately owned, but NZ is 10th in the OECD on the amount of public money it spends as a percentage of its GDP.  NZ is even higher in private ownership than the United States at just 41% of private ECE services. In schooling in NZ the reverse is true - the majority of schools are publicly owned and public money goes into these public schools. 

> See news story for more


2. Questions about food, choking and eating in early childhood services

Do you have children who don't want to eat what they are given or are picky eaters?   See guidance on management, responding to parent concerns, child anxiety, and teaching strategies and tips,etc

Does your service prepare and serve food?  How to go about achieving verification and discussion of the benefits of compliance with the Food Act outweighing the cost

Compliance with ECE regulations - what are the legal requirements for food and drink?  Find out here

Healthy Heart Award - what this is and how to apply  Find out here

Birthday cakes and birthday treats - should you allow children this?  What are the issues for ECE services and how to manage these?  Learn more

Out of early childhood centres that voluntarily offered their menus for analysis, what did researchers conclude about the nutritional value of food served?  Read more

Choking - steps you can take to minimise the risk of a child choking on food and serious choking incidents in ECE services  Find out here


3. NZ's own developer of 'Early Reading Together' receives well-deserved recognition 

Helping all children to develop a love of language and reading and the range of language and literacy abilities they need is what the Early Reading Together programme is all about. It is a fabulous (evidence-based) programme that early childhood education services provide and can also partner with local libraries and primary schools if they wish. It can really make a difference in enhancing the support which parents/whānau provide for their children's language and literacy development. So it is with huge delight that we have learnt our own kiwi developer of the programme Jeanne Biddulph has been appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in recognition of her services to literacy education.

> Read more 


4. In the news - Management goes up against parents and their children  

The Auckland Kindergarten Association says its balance sheet is healthy and its not short on cash. As not all parents are leaving their children for full 6 hour days and are instead arriving later and picking up earlier, it plans to extend to 7 hours in most kindergartens to get the message across to parents that children must attend at least the full 6 hours. If this works it will bring in more money through parent fees and taxpayer funding to fund expansion or for other purposes. The changes are expected to impact on teacher non-contact time and remove its kindergartens from association with schools that have term breaks and 6 hour days. 

> Radio NZ interview

> Petition

> Policy changes, arguments and about the direction the kindergarten system is heading in general


5. Start counting the number of police vets

From 1 July the first 20 checks for an ECE service provider a year are free. The introduction of charges to use the police vetting service affects only ECE service providers that submit 21 or more vetting requests (e.g. due to reasons such as high staff turnover, having a very large staff or many licensed services), The charge is $10.00 per person for vetting request. Services that are a registered charity and have given NZ Police their charity registration number can get an exemption from all charges for vetting requests. If your service is facing extreme hardship financially you can complete a form to apply for exemption.

> Read more  


6. 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 on Tapasā closes on 30th June.

> Learn more and give your feedback


7. 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


8. Rugby, rugby, rugby for children in ECE 

> Bringing sports into the early childhood curriculum and ideas and tips for teachers

> Providing for boys' play interests in ECE

> How may female educators find common ground with some dads

> Involving children in watching rugby games and what children can learn about desirable attributes in players etc


9. Weekend part-time job opportunity - lower North Island

Better Outcomes NZ is looking to recruit ECE qualified people to assist with supervision when a parent has an access visit with a child. Better Outcomes NZ is a reputable MSD accredited organisation delivering the gold standard in services to children, parents and stakeholders.

Vacancies are available in Wellington, Porirua, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Wairarapa and Kapiti. At least 2 hours a week sometimes more, and will fit around your schedule each weekend or second weekend and perhaps some weekdays.You will be well remunerated in a rewarding role and will receive training and ongoing support. An exciting opportunity to apply your ECE knowledge and experience to provide better outcomes for a child or children when supervising a parent having access. You must have a current teaching practising certificate and First Aid Certificate. To apply or find out more about this role please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


10. 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.


11.  Teaching children about suicide

Go to the My ECE facebook page and scroll down to see the following recent post: 

Suicide awareness is now to be taught to 3 year olds. To quote: “While the word “suicide” won’t be used directly with three-year-olds, discussions around feelings of “not wanting to be here” or “wanting to die” could be addressed”.
WHY are children so young in childcare experiencing such emotional turmoil that this is recognised to be necessary? Do you think in NZ with the push for children to spend more of their time in care that our early childhood teachers should be teaching suicide awareness too?
The mental health and suicide awareness program will be begin in Australia early next year and 2000 early childhood education services and 6000 schools are expected to be involved by June 2019.

> view the full post and add your comment/ reaction 


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