Early Childhood Alert, January 2021

Happy 2021!

Wow the new year is already well underway.

For inspiration and great tips on getting back into the swing of things at your early childhood service see our members' article:  Back from Holidays? 7 tips


Just 6 days before new rules for Food, Eating, and Supervision

Go to the page on regulations for food and drink to find out more.


  • How the new ECE licensing requirements mesh with the Food Act - which every ECE service must also comply with
  • Should your teaching team be policing children's lunch-boxes to ensure healthy food?
  • Where must children be seated? 
  • What does hygienic mean?
  • What must children sit on?
  • Is there a limit on the number of children one member of teaching staff can supervise while eating?
  • What if only one child is eating, what is the supervision requirement then?
  • What must the service give to parents?
  • Does every service have to provide copies of the Ministry of Health guidelines to the family of every child?
  • Are you required to test parents on their understanding of how to change the texture of food to reduce the risk of food-related choking?
  • Are 'treats' and 'unhealthy' foods allowed?



Member feedback told us that a two-year membership option was wanted.  So for our loyal supporters we've introduced a new two-year membership option and reduced some rates.  Membership is very affordable! 

Educator membership: One year = $1.50 per week/ $78.  Two years = $1.39 per week / $145

Service Provider membership: One year from $198.  Two years from $250.

Members will continue to receive 10% discount when renewing.    

Sign up now

Renew your membership if it is due for renewal


Staff appraisals on the way out?

As you would know the Teaching Council is removing the appraisal system as we know it, to be replaced with a Professional Growth Cycle from the 1st of February 2021. Hence the current moratorium on collecting evidence for performance appraisal.  

However, performance appraisal remains as an option.  It is an important accountability tool and can be used to help inform remuneration decisions. 

It is also a legal requirement and this has not changed. Under the Ministry of Education's licensing criteria most services must have processes for human resource management; including "a system of regular appraisal"  (GMA6 home-based; GMA7 education and care centres; GMA7 playcentres; GMA7 kōhanga reo; GMA7 hospital-based).

We will send a special email soon to all our members, with detailed explanation and discussion of the various aspects and requirements.


National register of ECE services

My ECE provides straightforward information to parents on a range of childcare matters and on ECE services in their area.  It is open access for families to use.

Parents can add their reviews and read the recommendations of other families.

The website address is www.myece.org.nz  


Calling all researchers and practitioner-researchers

Submissions to a special journal issue on "Health and Wellbeing in ECE Settings" are currently being invited. Papers from different perspectives and on various aspects of health and wellbeing are welcomed, including but not limited to:    

  • Health-related policies, workplace health and sick leave policies
  • Nutrition, mealtimes, food provision, eating behaviours
  • Breastfeeding support policy or practice
  • Food safety, allergies
  • Active play, physical activity, sedentary behaviours
  • Sleep and nap times
  • Noise management
  • Temperature and humidity
  • Space, group and centre size
  • Outdoor or natural environments, play equipment, greenspace, sun safety
  • Child or carer safety, injuries
  • Common illnesses, infection control and hygiene
  • Oral health
  • Psychological wellbeing and mental health

Editors for the Special Issue are Dr Sarah Gerritsen and Dr Leanne Young.  The closing date for submissions is 31 March 2021.  You can find a copy of the Call for Papers, online here.



Take out a membership



We are confident you will be delighted to discover and experience the benefits of membership.

Would you like to know more? 

Membership Options


Who is this for?
Teachers - Student Teachers - Parents
$78.00 one year
$145.00 two years
Your own personal username and password.
Includes access to research library

ECE Service Provider  

Who is this for?
Service providers with one or more licensed ECE services
Starting from $198.00 for one year
Your own unique username and password.
Includes access to research library 

Researcher Membership or
a Library Subscription

Who is this for?
Libraries and organisations $250 annual 
Researchers $145.00 for two years
Access to over 20 years of NZ-International Research in ECE journal issues and articles