Early Childhood Alert 30 March 2021

In today's newsletter

  1. Minimum wage rises from 1 April - what you need to know
  2. Must staff be paid when required to engage in professional development or a First Aid course?
  3. Rush! Rush! - a new children's book for every child and ECE service
  4. International Children's Book Day
  5. Prepare for Easter
    • Activities, games etc
    • Rules on charging fees when the service is shut
  6. Flooding - managing the risk and what to do 
  7. Disability - benefits of having children with (dis)abilities, practices, and policies
  8. Regulations Review - what's happening?  

1. Minimum wage rises

Three minimum wage rates will increase from 1 April.

Here's what an ECE service needs to do if it has staff on the adult, starting-out, or training minimum wage:

  • Provide affected staff with written notification about their wage increase
  • Check if any staff should be moved off the minimum rate (or moved to the adult rate)
  • Check the service's budget for the year has factored in the wage increases from 1 April or the budget may need to be recalculated 
  • Update any affected employment contracts
  • Make sure your staff are not paid less the minimum wage rate applicable to them for every hour or part hour they work
  • Evaluate what you pay other staff and ensure that their wage increases keep pace

> Go to more details on wage rates

> ECE Service provider guidance on undertaking wage reviews and linking to performance

> Staff/ Teacher guidance on pay reviews and how to ask for a pay increase



2. Must staff be paid when required to engage in professional development or a First Aid course (even if in the weekend)? 

The short answer is yes. But there is a lot of discussion on this and more you need to know.

> Go to details on employee rights and obligations

> Go to details on employer rights and obligations 



3. Rush! Rush! - a new children's book for every child and ECE service

Rush! Rush! is a new book full of fun with a rhyming poem and beautiful imagery. It can be read with one child and is also perfect for sharing as a group experience and action game with children.

The book presents a uniquely NZ alternative to the age-old popular story and chanting game "we're going on a bear hunt, ...".

The author and illustrator take readers and listeners on a joyous run through a rural landscape and into NZ bush, ending on a beach.

Recommended to every early childhood service.  A great gift also for a young child. 

> Go to book review 



4. International Children's Book Day 

Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, International Children's Book Day is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books.

How will you mark International Children's Book Day?  Perhaps invite parents into your service to read stories to children? Dress up as book characters? Provide materials for children to make their own books?  Create a new felt-board story?  Have a puppet show with puppets enacting a story?



5.  Prepare for Easter

Can an ECE service charge fees for the care of a child when it is closed?

> Public discussion

> Service providers' private discussion

Easter week curriculum 

> Ideas for Easter craft activities, songs, and baking recipes (an article for Educator members)  



6. Flooding - managing the risk and what to do 

It's raining cats and dogs in Wellington after so long without much rain. Is the rain coming down hard and heavy where you are?  Hopefully there will be no flooding and the rain will pass.  But, just to let our ECE service provider members know that there is great guidance available on our website for managing the risk of flooding and what to do in the event of flooding.

Go to guidance



7. Disability - benefits of having children with (dis)abilities, practices, and policies 

Why would an early childhood service not accept a child with a disability? Children learn from their friendships with other children including children with disabilities.

Unfortunately, being 'disabled' is a term that defines a child by what the child can't do rather than what the child can do. Early childhood educators commonly believe in focusing on a child's strengths but how may they do this with children with needs they are unfamiliar with because they have no experience of working with children who have a disability?  It begins with something as simple as letting parents and children know through the design of your building that they are welcome - for example is there a step making wheelchair access impossible or is there a lip in the doorway preventing a person from easily wheeling into the building without someone giving them a push? Once inside the building does the layout allow for easy movement or are there chairs and tables in the way and toys scattered on the floor?  

To support your team's discussions, understanding, and answer questions.  Here's a suggested range of articles:

Disabled but not really so different - learning from disabled children

Making inclusion happen in early childhood settings: Excepts from success stories.

How adults and environments contribute to children's positive or negative understandings and experiences of disability in ECE

Impacts of normalising mechanisms on the lives of disabled children and their families in ECE

The perceptions of parents, early childhood centre teachers, speech-language therapists, early intervention teachers, and education support workers about their shared task in supporting children on early intervention programmes 

Influences on Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators' practices in ECE



8. Regulations Review - what's happening? 

Our public page will provide updates as information can be released.

Go to details


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