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. 22, 2018

Editor's note

We are moving into Term 4 which is always the busiest time of year!  Sun protection becomes important again and we are delighted to share with you a toolbox of information and activity ideas to meet this health and safety requirement and have fun and great learning at the same time.

If you are back to work next week after the school holidays or know of children returning to ECE after a break then we recommend this enjoyable article - "7 tips to ease back into the swing of things"

As the go to organisation for advice, analysis and research on early childhood education and care, we've provided public comment on a range of issues in the news over recent weeks (see the section on "In the News".)


In this week's newsletter

1. Sun protection begins in Term 4 - What you need to know, discussions, policy template, and resources
2. In the news issues
3. Upcoming national and cultural celebrations 
4. ECE Scholarships 2019 and other grants for financial assistance
5. Health and safety - Manual handling training 25% discount
6. Formal screening of young children for giftedness, dyslexia and dyspraxia
7. New Zealand ShakeOut earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, 9.30am next Thursday
8. Employing relievers
9. Students and research supervisors - Call for Papers
10. Contract and tender opportunities (Incredible Years Programme)


1. Sun protection begins in Term 4 - What you need to know, discussions, policy template, and resources

> to provide or not provide sunhats for children - an open discussion in the Forum

conversation ideas for talking with children about sun protection and activities: suitably themed songs and rhymes, group games, science activities, art and craft, and drama/ pretend play 

> sun protection policy for centres and home-based service. Includes:  legal and professional accountability, guidelines for policy development, the recommended frequency of and reasons for review, and a policy templates  (ECE service info)

> the responsibilities of the service provider for sun protection and knowledge all team members should have (ECE service info)

> tips and recommendations for creating and maintaining effective and acceptable natural shade and built shade structures at ECE services (ECE service info)

> best practices recommended by World Health Organisation, the NZ and Australian Cancer Societies, and health experts for best clothing, sunscreen, sunhats, shade protection for children at centres, when travelling in cars and going for walks, etc.  Also, details what you need to know about special considerations for infants. 


2. In the news

Men the answer to lack of early childhood staff

> See Stuff article by Ruby Nyika

While school-aged kids are enjoying a well-timed holiday sleep in, early childhood expert Dr Sarah Alexander says parents trying to get toddlers and babies to childcare today will be finding this a particularly difficult Monday morning.

> See NZ Herald article

A Thames mother says she is disappointed with how the Ministry of Education dealt with her childcare complaint. The mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said "a serious" police investigation was launched into the treatment of one of her children at Sealey Street Childcare, in Thames, but found MOE of no help.

Find out more in the Stuff article by Jake McKee Cagney

Fears that abuse at daycare happened for six years - TVNZ 

Little Wonders Centre in Havelock North downgraded  

See NZ Herald article by Simon Collins

Government looks to improve regulation of home-based ECE

> See analysis by ChCh Press education reporter Adele Redmond

 Kids Count Pukekohe, one of a chain of seven Kids Count centres in Auckland, Rotorua and Wellington, has been found to have breached regulations on health and safety, premises and facilities, curriculum, and governance, management and administration.

> See article by NZ Herald's Simon Collins

Kidsfirst kindergartens has proposed closing 4 centres claiming 'financial issues'

> See Stuff article by Adele Redmond and Joanne Carroll 


3.  Upcoming national and cultural celebrations

For cool early childhood activities and teaching ideas go to the following:

 Diwali - information and activity ideas for ECE services

>  Halloween (31st October) discussion and ideas for ECE services

>  Guy Fawkes (5th November) age appropriate ideas for young children and link to info on safety issues and discussion


4. ECE Scholarships 2019 and other grant grants for financial assistance

TeachNZ offer two types of ECE Scholarships for 2019. The scholarships cover the full cost of course fees plus a gift of $10,000.  Applications close soon - so get in quick. 

> Find out more about these scholarships and other grants and opportunities


5. Health and safety - Manual handling training 25% discount

As per health and safety legal requirements it is essential that all team members know how to keep themselves safe within an early childhood environment. The majority of the day is spent doing manual handling tasks such as bending, lifting, carrying, etc. 

Online training is available, at very little cost, that can be undertaken at a time convenient to you. Each participant is issued with a certificate as evidence of professional learning and for compliance purposes.

> Go to the full details 


6. Formal screening of young children for giftedness, dyslexia and dyspraxia 

Universal screening of all children between the ages of 6 and 8 for giftedness, dyslexia (reading problems), and dyspraxia (clumsy movement) looks likely to be introduced by the Ministry of Education. Should this occur earlier, in early childhood education?  The draft plan is currently being consulted on before it becomes government policy for implementation.

> Learn more and influence what happens


7. New Zealand ShakeOut earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, 9.30am next Thursday 

Many early childhood services will be doing an earthquake drill on this date/time and practising a tsunami hīkoi (evacuation walk) if located in a coastal area on 18th October.

> Turtle drop video. Sleeping children and cots. Safety of children in highchairs and other restraints

Earthquake… Quick, Turtle drop” - Reflections on what is best practice

> How evacuation following earthquakes and natural disasters and separation from parents affects young children

> Research paper:  Children's participation in disaster risk reduction as early childhood curriculum by Dian Fikriani and Jane Bone. The focus of this research is on the right of children to participate in matters that affect them through a strategy known as Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Instead of waiting to deal with children as 'victims' of trauma or injury it is argued that children can work with educators to deal with disaster in a useful and proactive way. Teachers, who had themselves been affected by the earthquake, were asked to consider the possibility of including Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) as curriculum in their early childhood centre.


8. Employing Relievers

  • Where can I get a reliever?
  • How much do relievers usually cost?
  • What sort of teaching quality should I expect from a reliever?
  • Can I choose my reliever?
  • What if the reliever is not very good?
  • Helpful resources

 > Learn more


9. Students and research supervisors - call for papers

A special issue of the NZ-International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal is in preparation to showcase the best of student writing on issues relevant to early childhood education. Submissions to the special issue are now invited. The deadline for submissions is 5 November 2018 so you will need to get in quick

> Learn more about this wonderful opportunity


10. Contract and tender opportunities 

The Ministry of Education is advertising for providers that have the ability to deliver the Incredible Years programme in accordance with Incredible Years Teacher protocols and standards.

  • for teachers only
  • for parents only

Incredible Years Autism programme

  • for teachers only
  • for parents only

The Workforce Support and Development programmes for Incredible Years Parent and Incredible Years Autism Parent programmes only.

Proposals must be received by 29 Oct 2018.  For more information and forms contact Anne Mohi at the ministry head office, Wellington. 


For more

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

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