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


Latest Early Childhood Alert No. 19, 2018

Editor's note

Saturday is officially the first day of Spring in NZ. Daffodils are already out. Lambs are appearing in paddocks across the country. Families of ducklings can be seen crossing the roads near some ponds and lake-sides. Blossom is appearing on the trees. 

Other countries go with the equinox.  But NZ sets the date of 1st Sept to keep record keeping simple.  Keeping things simple, now isn't that a nice idea?  


Simple: Opportunity to care for an an orphan lamb

A lamb gives children a new responsibility. A lamb is a new playmate and a friend that will love them unconditionally.

A lamb is gentle. It delights in playing and loves to run and skip with children. 

This is a pet that is dependent on care for survival and that will teach children to nurture.

Introducing a pet lamb to your early childhood service is an excellent way to naturally support children to spend more time outdoors running, jumping and skipping and enjoying the spring weather.

This member's article gives an outline of what you need to know in regard to:  how to get a lamb; agreements with the farmer and with your children for fostering the lamb; preparing for the lamb and what you need; day to day care and feeding; hygiene; lamb training; and regulations.

 > Go to more 


Simple: Trees are a good thing for every service to have and children can be safe too

Climbing safety and fall heights, read more

Sunshade planning and use of trees, read more


Simple: Planting and growing edible food in ECE

One of the joys of encouraging children into gardening is the pleasure of seeing, tasting and sharing the results of the effort. Setting up and keeping an edible garden going takes very little work in comparison to the huge rewards. Every early childhood service can implement these ideas simply.

> Read more


Simple: Assessment

When you realise there are choices for writing learning stories the task becomes much more manageable.

> Read more 


Simple: Mindfulness

Listening to rain (mindful listening) or lying outside under a tree looking at their leaves (mindful seeing) are simple techniques for focusing children’s attention.

> Read more on mindfulness and awareness techniques in ECE


Simple: Adequate staff resourcing

Government funding or lack of while important, cannot be blamed for poor human resource management. There are kindergartens and childcare centres that have low staff turn-over and high staff satisfaction – these things are about workplace relations. 

As well, there are centres that have 100% qualified teachers throughout the day including lunch-times which are valuable times for children’s learning and essential to have skilled supervision in place. How do these centres do this? A simple solution to ensuring 100% qualified teachers is to employ at least one additional qualified teacher to the minimum ratio requirement in the teaching team. Some centres have a manager who is also a qualified teacher come onto the floor over the lunch period to provide cover.

>  Read more and learn from the 2017 case study of the Auckland Kindergarten Assn


Simple: Strategies to help ease the stress for a child of transitioning from home to ECE

Tips to share with parents and caregivers to make this a happy experience

My ECE parent website article


Simple: Being wise to scams

We don't want to see any early childhood service get scammed but it is up to the individual and what their awareness and understanding of online fake enrolment, cheque and other potential fraud is.

> It's helpful to be reminded of the information in this old article, click here for it 


Simple: Standards for the outdoor play area

Outdoor activity space must be:

  • Connected to indoor space.
  • Easily and safely accessed by children.
  • Safe, well-drained and suitably surfaced for a variety of activities.
  • Enclosed by structures and/or fences and gates ensuring children cannot leave premises without adults knowing.
  • Available for the exclusive use of the service during operating hours.

(Note that children are known to climb fences and to wander through gates when left accidentally open. Active supervision by adults of children is important to make sure no child leaves without adults knowing. Structures and/or fences and gates should ensure no child can ‘be taken’ without an adult at the centre knowing. Under Regulation 58 a centre must ensure that no child leaves with any non-authorised person).

Source: My ECE plain english guide to education regulations and centre requirements


Review of regulatory requirements and expectations for the home-based ECE sector

See last week's newsletter by clicking here for a short video on what the key proposals are. See also the discussion on how home-based improvements could impact on centres and others in ECE. 


Māori Language Week, 10th-16 Sept. 

If you would like to do more than incorporating some Māori words and activities for a week then check out a story published at My ECE on how making every week Māori Language week in an early childhood education centre is do-able. Find out more.


Father's Day, 2nd Sept. 

For activity ideas in ECE and gifts to make go to our member's Father's Day article here 


Free use of land and building for a new centre

The Ministry of Education is looking for someone to establish and operate a new early childhood centre in Waverly, South Taranaki.  A surplus building is available at the Waverly primary school. It is being offered rent-free. The initial lease will be 3 years with right of renewal. The Ministry's main concern is that the provider will be able to start immediately and has financial backing to renovate the buildings and outdoor area to licensing standard. The approved provider will not be able to sell the business without the approval of the school and the Ministry. The RFP documents are available on GETS or contact Leigh Owen at the Ministry of Education. Closing date for proposals: 18 Sept 2018


Childcare property for sale

The property, including land and buildings, on a 10 year lease by a childcare centre in Helensville is for sale. The centre is licensed for 52 children. It is operated in a 1900s fully renovated villa. Marketed by NAI Harcourt's agent  Isaac Tankard, the business achieves annual income of $100,048 (plus GST and outgoings) and there are guaranteed rental increases each year. It is scheduled to go to auction on 13 Sept.  


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