ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


Early Childhood Alert No. 3, 2018

In this newsletter 

  1. ECE Conference Calendar
  2. Being prepared to cope with the worst as Cyclone Gita arrives in NZ
  3. How about cooking some traditional style noodles as part of marking the Chinese New Year? 
  4. Easter fun activities to introduce

  5. Banning children's birthday cakes

  6. Leaving a baby to cry
  7. The benefits of background music 
  8. When a child or teaching colleague has severe allergies
  9. Information for anyone doing research or a self-review on teacher gender or male teachers
  10. Non-contact time: what you need to know about entitlements and how much teachers can need and why 

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1. ECE Conference Calendar

See which relevant conferences and events in 2018 have so far been highly recommended - some you may not yet know about

> Go to the ECE Calendar page


2. Be prepared to cope with the worst as Cyclone Gita arrives in NZ 

Listen to Civil Defence advice. Depending on where you are located you may be advised or told to stay home, to close your service and give children and all staff a day (or more) off. 

Below is ECE Service Member info

Flooding:  Be prepared for floods to occur wherever your early service is located, and particularly if located in a low-lying area, near the coast, rivers and water, or downstream from a dam

> Read more:  what to check and precautions to take, how to respond should flooding occur and procedures to follow

Power cuts: Learn what actions you need to take if the power goes off and is not restored quickly.  Also how centre teachers and home educators can protect children's health and safety and turn the nuisance situation into something positive for children.

Read more:  what not to do and what you can choose to do when the electricity supply is cut 

Strong winds:  On a daily basis home-educators and centre teachers should be doing a daily hazard check of all areas that children have access to.  As well visiting teachers, managers or service owners should ensure that this happens. Immediate action should be taken to remove a hazard, fence it off or fix it.  In strong winds, outdoor equipment may need to be secured, doors closed, and curtains or blinds pulled to reduce the risk of harm from breaking windows. All trees should be properly checked and any branches at risk of falling should be removed. 

> Read more: Hazard identification and ECE safety management checklist 

> Public news story that contains important learnings for all teachers, managers and service owners: "Several toddlers were injured, one critically, after a tree fell in high winds on children at an early childhood centre."  

When your centre or home-based ECE can't remain open but children need care:  This article covers what arrangements can be made whilst keeping within the law and adhering to education regulations, including such questions as to whether or not staff can look after children in their own homes and sharing space with another service. 

Read more: When care for children needs to be provided but the service building is unusable (info for ECE service members)


3. How about cooking up some traditional style noodles as part of marking the Chinese New Year?  

Get some great ideas here to implement with children for celebrating the 2018 Chinese New Year


4.  ECE Easter fun activities to introduce for children

Early childhood professionals have shared their best ideas for Easter activities and games. Included in the article also are recipes for Easter eggs, hot cross buns and Easter biscuits.

> Go to the Easter teaching activities and teacher self-reflection article


5. Banning children's birthday cakes

Early childhood centres may ban birthday cakes for reasons such as healthy eating policy and to reduce the stress for staff of coping with children's birthdays when they have mega group/class sizes.

While at other services reasons for not banning include supporting children's sense of belonging, respecting family values and following cultural norms for celebrations.

There is much good discussion on the issue that you may like to read and contribute to - see the ECE ChildForum Facebook page by clicking here


6. Leaving a baby to cry

A reminder that attachment caregiving is expected to be practised at all early childhood services. It is harmful and against the intent of early childhood regulations for children's safety and emotional wellbeing to leave babies to cry it out or until their parent arrives, or to leave it until their allocated primary caregiver at the service is available. 

How early childhood services (even large services) can effectively implement primary caregiving

Q&A on problems and solutions around primary caregiving and infant care

Controlled crying to train children to settle themselves to sleep - how this is done, the debate and what you need to know (ECE service member info)


7. The benefits of background music 

Research has shown that noise can reach potentially harmful levels in early childhood centres. But background music when managed well can act to reduce noise levels at specific times of the day and create an auditory environment which is likely to be conducive to positive social interaction and learning. If you don't remember or haven't already come across the study by Wellington researcher Daphne Rickson, it is well worth reading.

> Click here to go to the NZ-International ECE Research journal study page for the abstract and login to view the full article


8. When a child or teaching colleague has severe allergies 

Read more:

Food allergy management information (ECE Service member info)

Asking parents/caregivers of a child with anaphylaxis to sign a release form before accepting the child's enrolment - can you? should you? templates


9. Information for anyone doing a research project or self-review on teacher gender and male teachers

See more at the link below on:

  • What a national survey showed about sector views on the involvement of men in ECE
  • Gender equality and childcare work
  • Male teachers' stories 
  • Links to further information and research articles that may interest you

 Gender and men in ECE


10. Non-contact time: Entitlements and how much teachers can need and why

If you are working at or managing an early childhood service, this is important information you need to know and have a good understanding of

Go to the non-contact time article


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