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.7, 2019

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National Summit of Managers and Owners in ECE

Next Friday, following the release of the Government's Budget, early childhood service owners and managers from around NZ will be meeting in Auckland. We are so looking forward to this important gathering of service providers, officials and special guest international experts. Everyone who has registered should have received their ticket. If you have not, please contact us at email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Or go to the ECE Summit Event page here. 



‘Slow cooking’ with children as a learning activity offers similar learning opportunities as baking but with the added bonuses of producing nutritious meals and bringing the ‘oven’ out to the children. 

> READ MORE: Cooking to support learning and fill tummies as part of the ECE Curriculum


What are ECE Services doing to cover staff breaks now that these are a legal requirement to provide? 

We've heard from some providers who are concerned about a lapse in the quality and safety for children when any teacher takes a break. Others can see this might reduce their very good adult-child ratio.

> FIND OUT MORE: Check out the comment piece in our Community Discussion Forum


Unvaccinated teachers and staff a risk to infants

 Experts say unvaccinated adults in early childhood services  are posing a huge risk of measles to the youngsters in their care.
"Under the Health (Immunisations) Regulations 1995 all early childhood education services must keep an immunisation register and record the children's immunisation certificate," ChildForum chief executive Dr Sarah Alexander says.
"Yet there is no requirement to keep a register for staff and other adults who have contact with children in the setting."
Auckland mum Becky Casale says she knows of a receptionist at a north Auckland daycare who is completely unvaccinated.
"She handles babies from 3 weeks old until 5 years old, and is virtually guaranteed to pass on measles to multiple infants should she become infected."
Babies can't receive their first MMR vaccination until they are 15 months on and until then rely on herd immunity.

> FOR MORE ON THIS STORY, click here.


Bullying: Child and adult  

Research tells us that it is not uncommon for children to experience bullying in early childhood - before they enter the school gate.  Yet the emphasis is on addressing bullying from school age.

Another thing to get better at is providing support to say no to the bullying of educators/ teachers, managers and other adults in early childhood settings. It doesn't just affect the adults concerned it can also affect children. Children learn what they see. Bullying can also sometimes be an indication of other things going wrong in a setting. So how does the Ministry of Education currently respond to bullying of adults in early childhood services? - you might be surprised.

> READ MOREBeating bullying before it begins


Birthday cakes for children and marking the Queen's birthday

Next weekend is Queen's Birthday. It's lovely to hear from our members as to what they are planning. The best idea so far has to be an afternoon 'high tea' inviting parents and family members to join children and teachers for afternoon tea complete with white-linen lace table clothes, china cups and the traditional scones and pikelet, jam and cream!

Have any of your children got birthdays coming up?  Celebrating birthdays with children can be beneficial in many ways, which are reflected in Te Whāriki. But cake can be unhealthy and with allergies not all children may be able to safely eat cake. 



New issue released of the NZ-International Research in Early Childhood Education 

Thank you to Dr Qilong Zhang for editing and producing a splendid special edition of the journal. The special edition was created to feature the best of post-graduate research student position papers.

Take a look.

Affordability of quality early childhood education and care by Thomas Seagrave

The cost of early childhood education and care is a highly visible issue. The media discusses it regularly and government policy and inquiries often seek to address it. Despite the attention on the financial details, the issue itself is not restricted to cost alone but rather a combination of cost, quality and availability of services. After all price could arguably be reduced significantly at the expense of quality by abolition of regulations, child to educator ratios and fair work laws. Keep reading ...


Early childhood educators’ workplace well-being: A case for using self-determination theory to understand and support workplace well-being in early childhood services by Catherine Jones, Fay Hadley, Manjula Waniganayake and Melissa Johnstone

Current conceptualisations of early childhood educator workplace well-being are problematic due to large gaps in the workplace well-being literature. Gaps include a dearth of research examining healthy well-being, limited qualitative studies to understand the complexity of workplace well-being and a focus on hedonic well-being (happiness at work) without the inclusion of eudaimonic well-being (meaningful work). Moreover, attention in the literature is mainly given to external conditions influencing well-being such as poor pay and working conditions.  Keep reading ... 


Screens or no screens: Understanding young children’s use of digital technologies by Maya Robinson-Kennedy

Children are accessing digital-technologies at younger ages and at an increasing rate, especially in the home environment. There is growing evidence that the type of digital-technology, the time spent accessing it, and the resulting displacement of other activities, are both the most significant factors to consider and the most frequently overlooked. As a result, young children’s development and wellbeing may be negatively impacted, and learning opportunities missed. Parents and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) educators have different approaches to children’s use of technologies. Keep reading:  ...


Nurturing the learning and development of children who are refugees by Phillipa Harris

Children who are refugees usually have suffered traumatic events and are entitled to “recovery and reintegration” in a safe environment that nurtures their health and wellbeing, and where freedom and equality prepare them to prosper as an individual within society.  Go to the full article:  


Prioritising the development of spirituality in early childhood education and care by Nicole Megan Lees

In early childhood education and care spirituality can be summarised as experiences and explorations that come from the individual being which embrace connections and relationships. Spirituality encompasses beliefs and endeavours of creativity and curiosity. Studies in spirituality have made links with spiritual connections and learning, and a stronger sense of wellbeing. When considering the increasing incidences of poor mental health for young people in a rapidly changing society, spirituality can be viewed as an opportunity to decrease the occurrence of these disorders. To provide better outcomes for individuals in the future, we need to prioritise and promote the importance of spirituality in early childhood education and care. Keep reading:   

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