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. 25, 2018

As it is the first week of December next week, this newsletter includes items relevant to Christmas and end of year preparations.


1.  New early childhood research articles

The second 2018 issue of the NZ-International Research in ECE Journal is available.  

  • Exploring early childhood teachers’ beliefs and practices in emergent literacy: Does practice vary by the socioeconomic status of the children? by Amber Dampney, Jayne Newbury and Megan McAuliffe
  • Building early childhood educators’ capacity to apply a strengths approach to working with vulnerable families and children by Angela Fenton and Laura McFarland
  • Is there an optimum age for starting school in New Zealand? by John Boereboom and Peter Tymms
  • Early childhood educators’ and parents’ perspectives of literacy for children under three: An exploratory study by Laura McFarland, Noella Mackenzie and Natalie Thompson 
  • Generic or specific? Deciphering the New Zealand approach to professional standards for early childhood by Qilong Zhang
  • STEM in early childhood education: Using the inquiry approach to scaffold learning by Pauline Roberts and Marianne Knaus

> Go to the journal articles   


2. Is it wrong if a teacher tells the truth about Santa being not real?

Should a teacher lie? Should it be left up to children to learn about Santa on their own?  What if a child tells other children? Is up to the parents? - many people think so.

> This is a discussion that started last year - follow what people are saying on our ChildForum Facebook page 


3. Centre Manager Information:  Rules around staffing at the beginning of the day and person responsible requirements 

At this time of year there can greater pressure on staffing than normal.

Answers are provided to the following questions:

  • Does there need to be a minimum amount of staff at the centre? Our centre closes at 5.30 pm. We usually only have two children left at that time of the day. Is it legally OK to only have one staff member at this time or do the regulations require two staff members?
  • Is it okay for a teacher who is on their last year of training to be acting as a supervisor e.g. being left in charge without a qualified or certificated teacher and supervising unqualified staff and also doing openings and closings?
  • When our certificated ECE teacher is on leave because we only have one other teacher who is trained and she is primary trained, our centre manager says she is the person responsible. Can a primary trained teacher be in charge of an early childhood centre?
  • Could you advise if only qualified teachers are legally allowed to be responsible for opening and closings at a centre please. The person responsible clause under the ECE Regulations states they should be recognised as being qualified; is this correct?

> Go to staffing information for ECE Service members


4. How ECE services can maintain 20-Hour ECE funding over Christmas/New Year stat holidays

Services not aware of how to maximise their Ministry of Education funding over the Christmas and New Year break can be placed at a financial disadvantage.

Learn what services are doing and understand better what the issues are  (Note that this advisory piece is available to ECE service members only)


5. Christmas planning

> Lots of good ECE ideas, tips and info for Christmas preparation and curriculum planning


6. Responding to family ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in celebrations

Why are some religious beliefs and cultural celebrations recognised in an early childhood service and others not?   

 > Cultural and religious diversity and how to support this


7. Swimming and teaching confidence in water

Giving children opportunities to play in water and gain water confidence is important for early learning.  

Providing opportunities for children to discover water at their local pool and learn water safety skills


8. Gifts appropriate to give and loved by 1 - 5 year olds

It's easy to forget that sometimes the best presents for children don't cost a lot of money. 

> See this article for discussion and tips on appropriate educational and fun presents and gifts 


9. Policies

Question:  How many policies do centres and home-based early childhood education services need to have by law? 

Answer: Find out here


Question: We are reviewing our policies what can we do to ensure the policies are well-written?

Answer: Here's advice and tips to help you and your team


Question: With summer coming we are writing a new sun protection policy or we are reviewing our old policy.  Where do I find a template and good researched information on which to inform our decisions and explanations within our policy?

Answer: See the material and template here


Question:  We need to develop or update our current policy on social media use so we are all on the same page about what is posted and shown online. Can you provide a template to show us the important aspects to have in a policy?  And what issues are occurring for ECE services that we need to be aware of and make sure we prevent or manage?

Answer:  Go to helpful advice and guidelines here


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