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. 21, 2018

Editor's note

In a recent poll of more than 800, 90% of people said that in their area there was a shortage of qualified ECE teachers. 

It's been a decade since our sector last faced a serious teacher shortage and then it was due to the government setting targets for qualified teachers in teacher-led services. The causes are very different now. 

This week Dr Alexander outlines the reasons for the growing shortage of qualified ECE teachers, explains options available to service providers and discusses what employers must do if they want to attract and retain staff. You can view the 6 minute video of her talk in the new ECE open discussion forum (click here).  The video is also posted on Facebook and received more than 4.5k views over the weekend.   

Once you've viewed the video, dip into the selection of articles on various topics we've listed for you in this newsletter. 


In this week's newsletter

1. Do you have an awesome service?
2. Death - what you can do to help children through a difficult time
3. Emergency re-location
4. Cashflow
5. What will become of kindergartens now the traditional kindy has become extinct as we predicted but still hoped it wouldn't?
6. Supporting mums to breastfeed and express milk, and managing the reactions of others
7. Colouring-in pictures and books should you provide these or not? 


1. Joining offer to new ECE service members

Do you have an awesome service?  For one week only, a 20% discount on annual subscription is available to awesome centres and home-based services who would love to join ChildForum.

1. Enjoy 24/7 access to essential information and also to unique information that only ChildForum provides.

2. Grow your team's professional capacity as their  knowledge and understanding increases, they implement new ideas and strategies for better outcomes, and their professional identity is affirmed. 

3. Be well-informed and up-to-date. Obtain access to guides, information and ECE expert and economic management insights that non-members can be misinformed about it and disadvantaged by not knowing and having access to. Never worry about missing out. 

4. Ask  questions and pick up tips on child care and early education matters from ChildForum's experts and fellow members through our forum.

5. Have 24/7 complementary access to all past and current issues of the NZ-International Research in ECE Journal - giving a vast library of 20 years of published research articles on a very wide range of early childhood, teaching, parenting, research, and policy topics and issues.

6. Concrete evidence of your service's commitment to quality.  Let parents and others know that your service holds membership and that only the best services can join ChildForum because services that do not uphold the ECE Service Code of Ethical Conduct Code of Ethical Conduct or do not show a commitment to improving may have their membership withdrawn. 

7. Free promotional listing of your service's contact details including a direct link to your website and phone number for parents looking for early childhood education at My ECE  (

8. Free registered user status for the Parent Survey tool PLUS free analysis of responses and a confidential pdf report prepared by the research team at ChildForum (worth minimum of $260.00 per licensed service).  No longer will you have to be bothered with designing and carrying out your own parent surveys for feedback - it will be done professionally, independently and with a survey instrument that has been well tested and tried in different early childhood services across NZ. (see more details on the Parent Survey)

9. Discounts and/or preferential customer support with external suppliers that have a strong reputation in the sector - such as 'Storypark' for online portfolios and 'Edusafe' for staff training in manual handling and worker health and safety.

ChildForum membership can save you money, time and energy because we have so much information and knowledge all in one place at ChildForum - and if you can't find what you are looking for you can ask. 

This offer expires next Monday at midnight (24 Sept).  Some conditions apply and not all services may be accepted as members (see T&Cs). 

Use the discount code of "newmember"at the checkout when joining online at  


2. Death - what you can do to help children through a difficult time

Last week a teacher was killed in a west Auckland car crash on her way home after work. It reminded us of the tragic death of a Napier kindergarten teacher in 2014 who died ten days after the car she was driving was driven into. 

In the event of the death of a child or person known at your service, the impact will be extensive on children, yourself, members of your team and your community.

A helpful article is available and because death is not always predictable, maybe you should read and discuss it with team members now.

> Go to the members' article on death of a child, teacher or someone known


3. Emergency re-location

If for any reason, such as fire or flooding, your service's building or grounds become unusable and you need to organise relocation quickly make sure you know what the procedure for this is. 

Last week, for example, a Wellington Montessori centre discovered after asbestos testing that children and adults had been exposed to asbestos for two months following work done to replace cladding. As well as on the centre's buildings asbestos was found in the playground, garden and compost bin.  It is moving to a new location so children can continue to attend.  

 > Go to the members' article on relocation due to emergency closure


4. Cashflow

Cashflow problems can be a hassle to any early childhood service but there are ways to reduce the hassle and come out smiling

> Learn more and get helpful tips in this article written by NZ Childcare Finance specialist Lena Thomson


5. What will become of kindergartens now the traditional kindy has become extinct as we predicted but still hoped it wouldn't?

The days of the traditional kindergarten, free sessional preschool education for any child for around 3 hours a day with all qualified teaching staff, has all but disappeared. There is little to set a kindergarten apart today from any other early childhood centre. 

There is not one free kindergarten left in NZ that still holds a sessional licence for one group of children in the morning, closing for lunch, and another group of children in the afternoon. All are licensed and funded as all-day kindergartens.

So it's coming to decision time for the Government as to whether to allow kindergartens to continue to have funding privilege and special recognition.

Give your opinion on the current poll: "Should kindergartens under kindergarten associations be kept in the state education system?"

  • Yes all kindergartens under associations including all-day care kindy and fee charging
  • Yes - but only if it is free for any child and provides sessional preschool education
  • No

login or get a password to login and then vote here 


6. Supporting mums to breastfeed and express milk, and managing the reactions of others

A mother wrote to ChildForum saying that she had two children under 3 attending childcare and has always felt welcomed and supported to breastfeed and express milk at the centre. However, a father complained to the centre that it made him uncomfortable to see her expressing milk. The centre director asked the mother if she could agree on a compromise.

> Go to the article


7. Colouring-in pictures and books should you provide these or not? 

This is an interesting question that has been hotly debated in the past and has recently come up again with a new generation of teachers and service owners and providers.

Check out the personal and professional opinions on this in our members' article and learn what is cool and not cool about giving children pictures to colour in


So much more is available

Go to our website  You will find practical advice, policy guidance, the latest news, survey reports, original research and analysis. 


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Who is this for?
Ideal for parents, students, teachers, researchers, teacher educators, policy analysts and children's specialists.
$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
or for students $60.00 short-term 6 month access.
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ECE Service 
Group Membership

Who is this for?
A service that has licenced one or more ECE services with the Ministry of Education (including home-based, parent, and teacher-led).
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A shared username and password for your service group.

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Libraries, universities, polytechnics and organisations wishing to have access to the NZIRECE published journal and its articles.
$150.00 annual renewable in November each year.
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