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This year seems to be the year for addressing challenges and making changes
In the coming weeks there will be some releases of new information that we look forward to sharing with you (watch out for this).
Politically, there is a chance once the Government's new Strategic Plan for ECE and the Ministry of Education's review of Home-based ECE is done that positive changes will begin to be rolled out - unfortunately while the Labour-led Government knows what the needs are in ECE it hasn't done anything concrete for the sector so far. But we are hopeful and everyone we talk to remains hopeful too.
The more than 100 year old Auckland Kindergarten Association was very close to being successfully steered away from being a provider of public community-based free kindergartens. Now it's facing the challenge of securing its unique identity and preserving quality for current and future generations of children. In early 2017 a plan to change the hours of operation of all the AKA’s kindergartens, extending to 7-hour day attendance for children and not closing for school holiday breaks was announced by the AKA management. As the plan was implemented the ChildForum Early Childhood National Network revealed to others in the early childhood sector and to the country what was happening through a series of articles and opinion pieces. The AKA became headline news in the media. AKA parents, teachers, and community members including some AKA life-members pushed in earnest to have more say on the changes. Below you will find a link to a new article that provides an update on what's been happening since.
Enjoy reading the variety of items below and there will be more next week.
Did you miss last week's newsletter on quality, legal requirements and keeping within the rules? Click here to view.
In this week's newsletter
- No quick recovery for Auckland Kindergartens from the effects of the equivalent of a wrecking ball
- Practices around issuing fines when children are picked up late or arrive early
- Force regularly used against children
- Code of Children's Rights in ECE
- Eleven- hour days for some children
- Responding to parents’ wishes to bargain over fees and other charges
- Help with doing an inquiry or action research to study some aspect and make a change
- WINZ subsidy rate increase
- New research: Making sense of the New Zealand approach to professional standards for early childhood education
- "Putting the Cog into Cognitive": Theories to put into practice
1. No quick recovery from the effects of the equivalent of a wrecking ball for Auckland Kindergarten Association kindergartens, teachers, children and families
2. Practices around issuing fines when children are picked up late or arrive early
> See the original news article on “Mum charged $55 for picking up her child from daycare one minute late”
> ECE Providers' article – Actions ECE providers take against parents who do not stay within their booked hours, what you need to know before charging parents and also a summary of research on the effects of charging a late fee on parent behaviour
> Parent article – Recommended to share with parents and caregivers (on your website, in your fees policy)
> A parent’s perspective - an opinion article published on Stuff
3. Force regularly used against children
A newly graduated teacher has been deregistered by the Teachers’ Disciplinary Tribunal for physical and psychological abuse of children at a Havelock North centre (owned by the Evolve Company). The teacher’s representative argued that her employer neither provided appropriate support and mentoring nor pointed out that the methods used were unacceptable. The tribunal ruled that nevertheless the teacher should not have behaved in the way she did.
On the My ECE website for parents there is information indicating that the centre was placed on a provisional licence by the Ministry of Education, and after 12 days had its full licence restored. This occurred a month or so after the teacher’s departure from the centre.
4. Code of Children's Rights in ECE
There continue to be horrific stories of abuse of children and some services failing to protect children. We can change this!
Every infant, toddler and young child has rights as users of early childcare and education services (as made plain by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1992 and the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993).
Print a copy of the Rights of Children in ECE and ensure your service's owner/manager, board members, teachers and parents all have opportunity to discuss and agree to personally and together take responsibility to uphold children's rights.
5. Eleven-hour days for some children
Before and after-school care is the experience of around 3 percent of NZ children. And, the number of children in some form of after-school care is on the rise. An expert warns that while good childcare has its place, very long hours can be tiring and stressful for children while parents and children are missing out on valuable time for bonding
6. Responding to parents’ wishes to bargain over fees and other charges
What if a parent wants to bargain over a fee increase or a charge, or comes from a country where bargaining is common?
7. Help in doing an inquiry or action research to study some aspect and make a change
It's about this time of year that we see a rise in the number of early childhood services undertaking an inquiry into some aspect of practice or environment. Also, most third or final year students on placement will have assignments that involve carrying out a piece of action research in an early childhood setting.
8. WINZ subsidy rate increase
Are you aware of the increase in WINZ subsidy rates this year?
9. New research: Making sense of NZ's approach to professional standards for early childhood education
Should NZ early childhood teachers have professional standards specific to ECE or standards shared across primary, secondary and ECE? This research paper examines this question and identifies reasons for the current approach taken in NZ and limitations
10. "Putting the Cog into Cognitive": Theories to put into practice
It is usual for teachers to put theoretical perspectives of practice behind them immediately after graduating and the essay-writing is over - but this doesn't have to be so. The purpose of this article is to breathe life into the work of theorists, relevant to early childhood teaching and inspire you to gain a new depth of satisfaction from your teaching
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