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. 8, 2018


  1. 'I love you mum' - Mother's Day
  2. Reminder to take sunhats off
  3. Which early childhood centres in New Zealand are pro-gun? - See the list 
  4. What constitutes seclusion?
  5. News: Teacher health and safety needs addressing
  6. Training in manual handling to help keep staff safe at your ECE service
  7. Hazard identification and management daily checklist template
  8. New book reviews
  9. Children's picture book discount available
  10. SELO Māori language professional development provider wanted


1. 'I love you mum'

Mother's Day is for mums or the special person/s who takes on the role for a child. It's a special occasion with a history that is interesting to learn about. Make use of the ideas and activities including gift-making provided by early childhood educators here.

> Mother's Day history, activities and gift-making ideas 


2. Reminder to take sunhats off

Making children wear sunhats year-round and covering up from the sun can be dangerous for children's health. During the winter months (typically viewed as running over Terms 2 & 3 in NZ ECE and schools) sunhats and other sun protection measures are usually not necessary and can be harmful for children's health. It can be harmful because some UV radiation exposure through being outdoors is important for vitamin D production. Vitamin D is really important for young children's bone, muscle and brain development. However, when the UVR levels are high or there is high reflectivity (e.g. off snow) then measures need to be taken to protect children's skin and eyes.

> Learn more


3. Pro-gun 

It's extraordinary isn't it, to see any support for the pro-gun lobby that is strong in America creeping into early childhood education? The business lobby group representing some early childhood centres, the 'Early Childhood Council' has come out in support after the Evolve Education Group, with brands that include ‘Learning Adventures’ and ‘Lollipops’, declared itself to be pro-gun.    

See the list of centres represented by the ECC


4. What constitutes seclusion?

Early childhood services must not use seclusion, this is legally not permitted.

So if an early childhood teacher takes a disruptive child into a room and remains with the child until the child is ready to return to the rest of the group is this a valid method of behaviour management support or is it banned?

Seclusion is placing a child in a room involuntarily, alone, and from which they cannot freely exit, or believe they cannot freely exit. To be defined as seclusion an action must meet all three of these tests.


5. News:  Health and safety in early childhood workplaces  

This week a new report highlighted the injury, physical and mental health problems that early childhood teaching staff and supervisors can experience. While there now appears to be greater awareness of the importance of health and safety, problems remain unaddressed and solutions to improve work health and safety are needed. 


  1. Executive overview
  2. The survey
  3. The nature of injuries, physical and mental health problems
  4. Implications for children
  5. Recommendations arising from the findings

> See the full report and learn more “Staff safety in early childhood education workplaces"

For a related news article click here "Early Childhood Teacher Health & Safety Needs Addressing"

NZ Herald social issues article by here

Radio NZ story here

The Project threenow interviews here


6. Training in manual handling to help keep staff safe at your ECE service 

Manual handling is a Key Work Hazard in the ECE Service Environment. Manual handling involves any form of lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, nursing or holding children or objects. 

Think about your day. The number of times you lifted children:

  • On/off change tables
  • On/off the floor
  • In/out of cots, etc...

It goes without saying that creating an excellent learning environment is always at the forefront of your mind, but it is important to also note that the majority of your day is spent doing manual handling tasks.

The team at Edusafe are experts at teaching people to safely and effectively engage with their work environment to optimise their productivity while ensuring staff are using preventative measures to mitigate health and safety risks. Edusafe helps people working in an Early Childhood environment to comply with their legal responsibility, as per the recent Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA).

Benefits include:

  • A better understanding of health and safety from all staff at your service
  • A decrease of reported injuries
  • Documented legal compliance with the new 2016 health & safety laws (NZ)
  • Can help to decrease ACC levies
  • Improved staff health and morale
  • Reduced stress levels throughout teams
  • Teams feeling valued and cared for by the service
  • Great induction tool for new teachers

In consultation with the early childhood sector, Edusafe has developed a cost effective and interactive online manual handling course aimed at developing the capabilities of you and your team. The online training takes about 1 hour per person to complete. At the end of the course, each participant is issued with a certificate, valid for 12 months, which can be used as evidence of professional development. It also gives employers documented evidence of legal compliance with the new H&S at Work Act for staff training on manual handling. 

> Go to more information  


7. Hazard identification and management daily checklist

This checklist is to assist in conducting and recording the daily inspection. When using the checklist keep in mind the individual situation of your service, its buildings, grounds, children and adults. The checklist covers regulatory requirements and also reflects recent cases of child harm and accidents that have occurred. Examples include: severe burns to a child at a childcare centre from being bathed in boiling water (a failure of management for not ensuring water temperature was not correctly set and checked before use); the trampoline death of a 1 year old in home-based ECE; a rotten tree falling on toddlers in windy conditions at a childcare centre, a gate falling off its hinges at a preschool, several cases of children escaping from a kindergarten association's childcare centre due in part to problems with staff supervision.

> Go to the checklist (ECE Service subscribers)


8. New book reviews

Counting book in te reo
Number counting books can bore young active children who need a good story to hold their attention. But a new New Zealand made book, Ko Kiwi Ma, is surprisingly engaging.
As well as helping children with counting (1 to 10) Ko Kiwi Ma supports learning te reo Maori by way of NZ fauna. Each object or animal is located in the environment in which it would normally be found such as the shell is on the beach and the kahawai is in the ocean.
> Find out more here

Te Whare
Te Whare is suitable as an educational picture book for toddlers as well as being useful as an early reader for children of school age.
Written in te reo Maori it introduces vocabulary for furnishings within a home such as chair, table and cupboard.
> Find out more here


9. Children's picture book discount available

A 15% discount is kindly being offered by Barefoot Books to any ChildForum member. This is your opportunity to get low-cost educational and highly attractive books to give to children as leaving presents, birthday or Christmas gifts, add to your children's book collection, or to get a book for a special teaching topic.

> Take a look here


10. SELO Māori language professional development provider wanted

The Ministry of Education is seeking to contract a service provider, or a group of service providers’, to deliver its SELO Whakapiki i te reo Māori Professional Development (PD) programme services for Early Childhood Education services (ECE) commencing 01 July 2018. The closing date for proposals is 17 May 2018.

> Find out more


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