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 8 June 2020



  1. What to look out for this week
  2. Tummy bug warning
  3. Level 1 requirements for ECE services
  4. Complaint heard by Parliament's Regulations Review Committee on ECE staffing regulations and what happened next 
  5. Celebrating Matariki in ECE
  6. Showcasing ECE Research 
  7. About ratios: Did you know that ...?

1.  What to look out for this week

Tuesday - an update on what's happening in the Pay Parity Campaign and for funding will be sent to all teacher-led services.

Thursday - a report will be released on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the financial outlook of ECE services across the country.  Here we can give you a sneak preview from the introduction to the report.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought difficulties for businesses generally and the ECE sector is not immune to any impact. But there has been little work done on identifying which ECE services the COVID-19 crisis is hitting hardest, why, and what they are doing.

Insight is given into what changes services are making in response to challenges brought about by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. This is useful for those who would like to know what other services are doing in respect of things like fees, staffing changes, managing spending, marketing approaches and re-thinking which parent groups to target, etc. 

The report is being published in two parts. We will send you the details on Thursday. If you know of others who are interested in this, ask them to check if they are subscribed to receive our newsletter. This can be done from our website at

2. Tummy bug warning

As soon as services fully re-opened in Alert Level 2, we heard of cases of children, teachers, and families getting the tummy bug.

Any child or adult (including student teachers and visitors) with gastro need to stay away from the service until there has been no diarrhoea for 48 hours. Thorough hand washing, cleaning bathrooms, washing nappies in hot water separate to other items and not sharing food and drink are all things your service will be doing now under Alert Level 2 - and these same things can help too, to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis.

3. Level 1 requirements for ECE services

The cleaning of toys, equipment and surfaces inside and outside is taking a significant amount of adult time.  At one centre for example it takes 10 people 45 min to 1 hour daily to complete cleaning to the standard required. As soon as our country goes to Alert Level 1 the cleaning requirement is expected to be loosened sufficiently that ECE services can go back to their normal cleaning practices as per requirements in the Education (EC Services Regulations) and licensing criteria. 

If you are not sure what the health and hygiene regulations and licensing criteria are, you can find these in the plain English guide to the Regulations at And if your service wants to make sure that your processes are good, you can find a daily hazard checklist and articles on various topics/ areas (e.g. sandpit hygiene) on ChildForum's website (these can be fully accessed by ECE Service members)

It would be a good idea to continue to keep a register of people attending / or a sign-in book for visitors, just in case someone at, or someone who has visited your service, is tested positive for COVID-19.

Maintaining a higher indoor temperature than required by licensing regulation to potentially reduce the survival of the virus on surfaces is unlikely to be necessary at Level 1. But with the days getting colder, heating will need to be kept on or switched on in many places to help keep children and adults warm and healthy. 

In centres, under Level 3 we've all enjoyed lovely small group sizes of up to 10 or 20 children with teachers who stayed with their group of children. Sadly, until such time as the Ministry advises the government to bring in regulation for group size, legally required group size maximums conducive to good child learning outcomes are unlikely to return in NZ ECE. To go to a discussion on the value of small group sizes and licensing regulations tap here.

4. News Story: complaint heard by Parliament's Regulations Review Committee on clarity of ECE staffing regulations and what happened next  

The complaint stemmed from the recent change that allowed primary qualified teachers to be the person responsible and had the consequence that teacher-led centres no longer needed to have an ECE qualified teacher on site. 

Go to the news here

5. Celebrating Matariki in ECE

This is an occasion not to be missed as a learning and key cultural opportunity. For planning and implementation ideas along with helpful background information go to the ECE Matariki article (this is available for all individual and ECE service members). 

6. Showcasing ECE Research 

Reading research will increase your knowledge base, give you new ways of looking at things, and support your professional growth.  

By drawing on research in reviewing your organisation's or service's internal practices and policies these can be strengthened and improved. Dipping into research articles can help to inspire new thinking, new projects, and directions.

Over 20 years of NZ and international ECE research studies on every main topic imaginable is available online, for free, for all individual members and ECE service members

Check out the list of titles here.

7. Ratios: Did you know that ...?

Did you know that at least two adults are required to supervise if there are 7 children attending in a teacher-led centre, and one adult must meet the qualification requirements of a 'person responsible'?  It's a common misunderstanding that the ratio in all cases is 1:10 for over two-year-olds, but it's 1 adult for up to the first 6 children, 2 adults for 7 - 20 children. Ratio requirements are different for under-twos and mixed.  

Find out more about ratios and permitted variations at My ECE  

Not a member? Go to our website at to join or to renew.

ChildForum National ECE Organisation
PO Box 58-078
Porirua, 5245
New Zealand
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