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Early Childhood Alert No. 26, 2018

Editor's Note

An early childhood conference that has thousands of people attending?  I am not joking - this is for real!

The importance of early childhood education to the economy in NZ and to the economies of many countries in the world continues to grow. In the last week I have been overseas at a ginormous conference to strengthen and build new partnerships. I have also brought back many insights for our NZ ECE.  

With summer holidays coming up, the last newsletter for 2018 will be emailed out to all subscribers next week. Enjoy the end of year and Christmas celebrations!  

Warmest wishes, 



  1. Conference
  2. Ask a question on any teaching, childcare, training, staffing, financial, policy, or research matter
  3. Suitable presents for children
  4. Gift ideas for teachers and for your staff
  5. Discussing the meaning of Christmas with children
  6. There's a trick to maintaining/ exploiting 20-Hour ECE funding during weeks that include statutory holidays
  7. Funding for new private early childhood centres and increasing the size of current services


1. Conference

A conference with more than 15,000  early childhood educators, managers and owners was run last week.

Our very own Dr Sarah Alexander presented on NZ early childhood education at the 5th China Early Childhood Education Conference (第五届中国幼教年会). As an honoured guest Dr Sarah was provided with many wonderful experiences. She made new contacts that will benefit us here in NZ, supporting the professionalisation of early childhood education and international cooperation.

Interesting facts about China

  • The number of 0-6 year old children in China is over 1 billion.
  • There are nurseries and daycare centres for younger children. The number of kindergartens alone is 240,000.
  • A big funding boost by the Chinese state government and local government has helped support the preschool education sector.
  • In 2017, the Law for Promotion of Privately-run Education Institutions was amended to encourage the development of privately-run kindergartens or preschools.
  • With the abolition of the one-child policy, China’s birth rate is rising to a new height.
  • By 2022, 76% of China’s urban population will be considered middle class, and this proportion was only 4% in 2000.

第五届中国幼教年会 5th China Early Childhood Education Conference and Expo Centre where a G20 Summit had been heldInvited guest, Dr Sarah Alexander of New Zealand, presenting at the 5th China Early Childhood Education Conference 第五届中国幼教年会 Dr Sarah Alexander from New Zealand, with an iPal Robot capable of teaching children and child supervision on display at the China Early Childhood Education conference expo 


2.  Ask a question on any ECE teaching, care, staffing, financial, policy, or research matter

Go to the online discussion forum and register a username if you do not already have access as a member


3.  Suitable presents for young children

How about an 'I love you' personally painted dinner plate and cup set or a book with a personal story and images?

Educational gift ideas include puppets, blocks, a matryoshka doll (Russian nesting dolls), and shower or bath toys such as waterwheels and measuring cups.

Outside play gift ideas include a gift of wheels (trike, scooter, trolley, pedal car), making a sandpit frame and buying in some sand to fill it, or constructing a child's tent.

For knowledge of the world gifts, how about a plane ticket?  a train ticket?  a trip to somewhere the child has never been before that provides a totally different and new experience?   

Get more 


4. Gift ideas for teachers and to give to your staff

Great present ideas include:  wine, bookstore vouchers, cafe vouchers, scented candles and bath bombs, cookies and gifts made by the child,  personalised cards, 

"Sometimes I have given them vouchers for manicures/pedicures from places I know they like to go."

"A movie ticket in a popcorn box with lots of movie treats in it" 

"One teacher an elephant money box because she likes elephants. Another teacher a Spiderman book and pencils because it's an inside joke between her and my boy"

> Go to the My ECE facebook page to read more


5. Discussing the meaning of Christmas with children

How will you explain to a child who has noticed that there are lots of different Santas, who says they don’t have a chimney at their house, or who has asked for an unrealistic present?  Will you tell/ share the story of nativity? How will you explain the celebration of Christmas to children from Christian families, from families with other religious beliefs, and from families with no religious beliefs?

> See the teaching article to learn more 


6. There's a trick to maintaining/ exploiting 20-Hour ECE funding during weeks that include statutory holidays

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


7.  Funding for new private centres and increasing service size

As with the previous government, the current government continues to support the establishment of new non-publicly owned services and wants to see current services grow bigger with more child places.  

Last week applications closed for Auckland ECE providers with the Ministry of Education for grants of up to $12,000 per new child place or 50 percent of total project costs, whichever is the lesser of the two.

Applications are now being called for from Auckland ECE providers for the establishment of new centres or to increase the number of licensed spaces for children at their service. Funding may be awarded to cover all direct costs up to $100,000 (gst exclusive). 


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