Early Learning Regional News - 23 March 2021
Regional News / General News / Other News updates from the Directors of Education for Ministry of Education regions.
- Tai Tokerau
- Bay of Plenty - Waiariki
- Hawke's Bay | Tairāwhiti
- Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu
- Canterbury | Chatham Islands
- Otago Southland
Kia ora koutou
Engaging Priority Families (EPF) provider Far North REAP
Current EPF provider Far North REAP are no strangers to the EPF space.
Proactive during COVID-19, whānau received learning packs/goop and playdough recipes/pak n save vouchers and lists of services that can help whānau in all situations during COVID-19.
They saw COVID-19 as an opportunity to identify areas in the rohe (via local rāhui road monitoring groups) where there was no ECE provision and then began working engaging at Board Level with the local Pawarenga school, who has recently become a Kura-ā-iwi, to establish an early learning setting attached to the school, ensuring children in the area are engaged in an ELS before they attend school.
They didn’t stop there, they also provided:
- help with Curriculum Vitaes (CV’s)/Birth certificates/Driver Licence including Far North REAP courses
- research ELS through identified needs of whānau
- assistance in further upskilling/work experience/marketing strategies for success
- referral to agencies/organisations/Iwi services/food banks
- motivational/business mentor/bridging networks
- milestone/goal check ins
- referrals to services for needs beyond the scope of staff within the Parenting Team at Far North REAP
- clothing and hamper donations from The Bald Angels in Kerikeri/uniform and school stationery if required
- resources required in the home for learning/ free resources from ‘Down the back of the Chair’
- Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) advocate/Pastoral care.
Keeping local connections alive, Far North REAP also organises and hosts ECE sector hui for all agencies in the health, social and education sector that work with children 6 years and under, ensuring education is ongoing. Far North REAP also provides ECE requested PLD.
Urgent Response Fund
The Urgent Response Fund (URF) was established to support children and young people who need extra help, especially in terms of attendance and their re-engagement with learning after the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The application window for funding re-opened on 15 February and will close on 30 June 2021. Early Learning Services can apply by completing the form on SurveyMonkey.
Ngā mihi nui
Director of Education Tai Tokerau
Phone: 09 436 8914
A massive THANK YOU once again for your efforts, energy, commitment and service, not only with the Alert Level 3 scenario in Tāmaki Makaurau, but the work you do everyday to support ākonga in Auckland.
Urgent Response Fund
A friendly reminder to please continue sending in your applications for the Urgent Response Fund (URF):
- Currently over 1800 applications received, with $10.6m approved and $3.9m remaining.
- Applications for the remaining period (up until 30 June) will close 5pm on 16 April.
- Only applications that fit the URF criteria will be considered – please contact your Learning Support Manager or Education Adviser if you need any help.
- The URF criteria and application form can be accessed on our website.
Book launch – Aya and the Butterfly by Dr Maysoon Salama
Dr Maysoon Salama who lost her son Atta, in the Christchurch mosque attacks, has written Aya and the Butterfly as part of a four-book series.
The focus of the series is on wellbeing and resilience, and promoting unity, diversity, and inclusion.
The book is available in English and Arabic and is accompanied by a teaching guide that can be downloaded for free:
Reigniting - Te Ara Mana-ā-Kura Kāhui Ako (Farm Cove Community of Learning)
On 28 January 2021, Principals and Across School Leaders of Te Ara Mana-ā-Kura Kāhui Ako, hosted all schools and early learning services in the Kāhui Ako for a professional development day aimed at rethinking, reflecting and understanding how Māori students access education in the local area.
The Early Learning Services part of the Kāhui Ako are:
- Acorn Meadows Education and Childcare Ltd
- Cascades Kindergarten
- Kindercare Learning Centres (x8)
- New Shoots Children's Centre - Pakuranga
- Pakuranga Kindergarten
Pakuranga College’s gymnasium was filled with 223 members including Ministry officials and two guest speakers, Eddie Manukau from Te Whare o Matariki and Anton Blank from Oranui Diversity Leadership.
Eddie Manukau helped the Kāhui Ako think about mana whenua and tangata whenua of the Eastern suburb and encouraged whakawhanaungatanga (making connections) with the 11 iwi in the area, and how all 11 iwi reflect the area’s history. Teachers were encouraged to ask Māori students about their whakapapa, “opening the doors of korero” as Eddie encouraged.
Anton Blank’s session focussed on unconscious bias. He spoke about how racism and bias have impacted Māori in all aspects of life, especially in the education and justice systems. The group activities looked at the difference between racism and bias, helped participants to think about personal bias and how these biases influence our engagement with our Māori students. Anton asked Principals and teachers to identify the ‘change required in our local practices’ and how these practices may look differently in 2021.
The Kāhui Ako spent the rest of the day identifying next steps before ending the day with a celebration. Overall feedback from the day was very positive and the Kāhui Ako plan to continue working on the core themes of connecting with iwi, incorporating the stories of our area, and challenging ourselves individually and as organisations to understanding our unconscious bias.
“One highlight of the day was watching staff across the four sectors interacting and collaborating so enthusiastically”
Michael Williams, Principal of Pakuranga College.
As always, please contact your local Education Advisor or Service Manager if you have any updates, concerns, or even news to share for our upcoming bulletins.
Noho ora mai rā, stay well,
Director of Education Auckland
Phone: 09 632 9333
Tēnā koutou e te whānau
Recently we experienced a Tsunami warning. Although the Coromandel wasn’t required to evacuate, we know that many were on standby and used it as an opportunity to practice procedures for moving children to higher ground. This is a timely reminder to us all for the need to have our Emergency Management Plans in place, up to date and a thorough knowledge/understanding of what is required. Link to resources to assist you with your Plans can be found on our website.
In the case of a natural disaster, you should act on the advice of your local Civil Defence on whether to stay open or evacuate. This can be found on the Civil Defence website, Facebook page, or often your City or District Council webpages and/or social media.
Profiling two of our new team members
Ana Kirk – Education Advisor
Ko Taupiri te maunga
Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Waikato te awa
Ko Hukanui te marae
Ko Ngati Wairere te hapuu
Ko Waikato te iwi
I have a background in Policy mahi, working in the public sector at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Conservation and spent two years working at Te Uru Karaka Kōhanga Reo. The Ministry of Education has brought me back to my haukainga feeling closer to my purpose as I now have the opportunity to give back to my iwi by supporting kōhanga reo and whānau.
Leah Steens – Education Advisor
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Taiarahia te maunga
Ko Tuhoe te iwi
Ko Leah Steens tōku ingoa
My decision to work for the Ministry of Education came about after 35 years of being a teacher and a learner in the early childhood sector.
I do what I do for our tamariki to ensure that their voices are heard, they are safe and are at the forefront of decisions we make.
New resource – Talking together | Te Kōrerorero
Have you had an opportunity to look at this new resource designed to support kaiako in early learning services to foster oral language development in their tamariki? A hardcopy of the resource, including books, an oral language assessment tool and intentional teaching practice cards will be sent to all early learning services and Playgroups in March. A digital version can also be accessed online at Talking together | Te kōrerorero(external link).
If your early learning service, nga Kōhanga Reo or playgroup has a story of success or celebration that you would like to share with the wider Waikato region, please email it through to email@example.com. We are always happy to receive contributions.
Director of Education Waikato
Phone: 07 858 0124
Kia ora and talofa lava
Firstly, well done to all our services and kōhanga reo in the Eastern Bay of Plenty that were directly affected by the Friday March 5 tsunami alert and had to evacuate. On occasions like this, Civil Defence takes the lead and provides the advice and guidance to the public including early learning centres and kohanga reo. It has the most up-to-date and accurate information which might be shifting and changing.
I remained in close contact with Anna Hayward, our Eastern Bay of Plenty manager based in Whakatāne, as she and her team joined the rest of Whakatāne on higher ground. Anna reports that some innovative thinking sorted out toileting issues, sun block, food and water for the many people including young children who had left without consideration for such necessities.
The emergency has highlighted the importance of having an updated emergency management plan that includes what to do in the event of a range of catastrophic events. The plans need to be shared with your parents and community so that they know what you will be doing – I heard from a number of schools and early learning services outside of the evacuation areas, where parents were wanting to pick up their children. Your plans also need to be practised to ensure that all goes smoothly on the day. The Civil Defence website What’s the Plan, Stan? has a raft of resources, advice and guidance designed especially for schools and early learning services.
I have asked my staff (early learning senior advisors) to check in with you about your plans.
Urgent Response Fund (URF) and end date
There have been some excellent and innovative applications for funding from the URF. I am keen to learn how your various projects have impacted on children’s attendance and engagement at your early learning services and will share some of the highlights once the fund is completed.
There is still opportunity for your early learning service or a group of early learning services to put in an application for funding. You can read more about URF, the criteria for funding and the application process on our website.
The Regional Advisory Panel (RAP) has agreed that applications will be prioritised from facilities that have not yet received any URF funds. If your early learning service has already received funding, please ensure you include a rationale for seeking further funding.
The fund will close off at the end of this term.
Following feedback from you and from school leaders I would like to provide opportunity for us to meet on a regular termly basis. I have sorted a schedule to meet with the schooling sector leaders and am now wanting to finalise details for meeting with the early learning sector. To this end, I will be asking my EA Michelle Le Bas to set up a Zoom meeting with a small number of key contacts in the early learning sector to establish the most convenient time and suitable venues.
If you are interested in having a say on this, please email Michelle with your details – her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to slip, slop, slap and scan at every possible opportunity.
Feel free to email me at email@example.com or call me on 07 349 8309 if there is anything you’d like to discuss.
Director of Education Bay of Plenty – Waiariki
Phone: 07 349 8309
Mobile: 027 296 8196
Tēnā koutou e ngā rangātira. Nga mihi o te tau hou ki a koutou
To our early learning leaders across Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti. the start of the year is always an invigorating time as children and staff are reconnecting and planning to achieve their goals for the year. Make the most of this time and bottle the positive vibes to keep positive throughout the year.
As the Ministry of Education, we are constantly reviewing our practice to ensure we are working in genuine partnership with you to enable the sector to be as effective as it can be. This year provides us with further opportunities to work together with the appointment of new regional Curriculum Leads. These leads will be working alongside the sector to support the development of the curriculum (initially focused on well-being). We will also be working through the changes highlighted in the Tomorrows Schools review, this includes the development of the Education Service Agency.
To support the partnership of working together we will continue to provide opportunities for Early Learning leaders to engage with us through sector wide hui and more focused reference group huis.
Please do not hesitate to contact your education advisor or other Ministry of Education staff if you require further guidance or support.
Minimising food-related choking risks
If you would like information about implementing the food requirements, Kelly Nelson or Stacey Gunn may be able to help you. Feel free to contact them:
Kelly Nelson - Nutrition Advisor Tairāwhiti
T 06 868 5891 ext 540
M 027 6481 315
Rooms 7 And 8, Level 2, River Oaks Mews, 74 Grey Street, Gisborne, 4110
Stacey Gunn - Public Health Dietitian
Child Health Team Hawke’s Bay District Health Board
Mobile: +64 272391631
Napier Health Centre, 76 Wellesley Road, PO Box 447, Napier, 4010
Ministry of Education staffing update
Curriculum Lead Advisor – Early Learning
On 1 March we welcomed Nui Beamsley to the newly created role of Curriculum Lead Advisor. Many of you will know Nui through her Ministry work over the past three years as a Senior Education Advisor. Nui has a passion for curriculum and recently completed her Masters of Education with a research project looking at Te Reo acquisition in early learning services. Nui has also contributed to the creation of a Bilingual book and e-book that teaches tamariki about tsunami, Te Hīkoi a Rūaumoko – Rūaumoko’s Walk.
Senior Advisor Early Learning - Pacific Services
We are currently advertising for an Education Senior Advisor with a focus on Pacific early learning services and improving educational outcomes for pacific children. You can find information about the position on our Careers Centre page.
Careers Centre - Ministry of Education(external link)
At the end of January, we farewelled Hayley Whitaker from the Ministry. Hayley was a Lead Advisor with a Kāhui Ako/Quality focus. We thank Hayley for her passion and dedication to her work, she made a significant difference in her three years with us. Hayley has been appointed to a Hawke’s Bay early learning Area Manager position. We wish her well in her new role.
New Service Managers
We are pleased to announce we have appointed 3 new Service Managers for our region.
Andrea Driver has started in her position, she has taught in Primary Schools and early learning services across Hawkes Bay and has worked for the past 2 years in the Ministry Learning Support team. She has 10 years school governance experience has managed multiple early learning services, and has been involved in the implementation of our new approaches to service delivery as part of the Learning Support Delivery Model.
Tangi Geary and Katrina McNicholl will start with us at the beginning of Term 2. Tangi is currently Principal at Frasertown School. She is co-lead of the joint Wairoa Kāhui Ako which are well supported by LSCs and brings some great experience working with local marae to improve learning outcomes for their students. Katrina McNicholl is an experienced teacher, currently working as an LSC with our Wairoa Kāhui Ako. She comes with a range of experiences, from working in small rural communities to driving the incorporation of Te Reo Maori across the whole school curriculum in a big city school.
Engaging Priority Families (EPF)
The Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti region is pleased to advise that two providers have been successful in procuring Engaging Priority Families (EPF) 2021 contracts. Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga for Hastings, and Tairāwhiti REAP for the East Coast. EPF aims to improve early learning outcome for tamariki three years and over. Working with whānau to strengthen informed engagement in high quality early learning, empowering whānau to engage in early learning or school that meets their needs, values and aspirations. EPF supports whānau to be involved in tamariki early learning and continues support as tamariki transition to early learning and school.
Thank you to the Taiwhenua and Tairāwhiti REAP for your support in engaging whānau and tamariki in quality early learning.
Tairāwhiti REAP has been awarded a Supported Playgroup contract for Tairāwhiti. Supported Playgroups are certificated playgroups with additional requirements for curriculum delivery, whānau engagement and transition to school. Supported Playgroups engage a kaimanaaki/playgroup co-ordinator to ensure the additional requirements are met and to assist with management and administration.
The Tairāwhiti REAP Supported Playgroups will increase participation in quality early learning in identified priority areas. Thank you Tairāwhiti REAP for your continued work on this kaupapa for Tairāwhiti tamariki.
Urgent Response Fund (URF)
The following is a reminder about the process to apply for support via the Urgent Response Fund (URF). Schools and early learning services can continue to apply for funds to help address attendance issues, or support well-being, and engagement in learning, for children and young people following the COVID-19 lockdown. This fund is available until June 30th, 2021 (if funds remain).
How to apply
Schools and early learning services can apply by completing the form on SurveyMonkey.
Regional application process
The Director can approve the following applications:
- Individual students - applications that meet the criteria under $1000
- Group applications - that meet the criteria under $10,000
- These will still need to be moderated by members of the co-design on a monthly basis
Recommendation and moderation group:
- Any applications over the above amount require approval from a recommendation panel who meet fortnightly.
- All applications will be moderated monthly to ensure equity and coverage across the sector.
How to access other welfare support through MSD within our region
We are working alongside our regional MSD team to connect children/young people/whānau/families to welfare support (e.g. food, clothing, uniform etc.). If you have welfare issues that would support children and young people re-engage into early learning centres please email Jacinta.firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call me on 06 833 8475 if there is anything you’d like to discuss or if you have any good news stories you would like us to share.
Director of Education Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti
Phone: 06 833 8475
Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa
Kia ora koutou, welcome to this month’s bulletin. I hope that this Pānui Kōhungahunga finds you well.
Earlier this month Iona Holsted, Secretary for Education, visited our region. As part of her visit she attended a hui at Feilding High School with Ngāti Kauwhata to hear about the journey they have embarked on to bring Tikanga and Te Ao Māori into the school.
2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
These annual awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding work being done in early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura that support children and young people to succeed.
There are four main award categories:
- Excellence in Engaging
- Excellence in Leading
- Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and
- Excellence in Wellbeing Education.
The Prime Minister’s Supreme Award is given to the best overall entry from these four categories.
There is also an Education Focus Prize for an education service that can demonstrate excellence in environmental and sustainability education. The prize celebrates teaching and learning that empowers children and young people to develop critical thinking skills as they explore the impact that people have on the environment, and to encourage them to take action for a sustainable future.
Winners will receive a package that includes a trophy, certificate, $20,000 financial award and professional development opportunities. The winner of the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award will receive a package that includes a trophy, certificate, and an additional $30,000 financial award.
The Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards close for entries on Friday 16 April 2021. You can submit your entry to the awards on the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards website.
New Licenced Services
Welcome to KidsZone Stratford and YCentral Playgroup Whanganui who have been licensed and certificated in our region from January 2021.
TWM Education Advisors – Staffing
Hilarie Nicoll who has been an education advisor within the early learning team has secured an exciting new position within the Ministry as Curriculum Lead, ECE.
Hilarie’s position continues to be regionally based and will strengthen our frontline support to teachers and Kaiako in early learning services and Kōhanga Reo. Hilarie will help educators with curriculum decisions and design of their local curriculum with a focus on wellbeing. Congratulations Hilarie.
If you have any queries about licensing or certification requirements, please contact one of the education advisors below directly or by office email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Nicole Hobbs: email@example.com
- Sarah Brindle: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Suzanne Beenen: email@example.com
- Ginge Potaka: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ann-Cherie Phillips: email@example.com
PLD for Language – Term 2 2021
We are offering PLD to early learning and new entrant teachers with a focus on Language Workshops to support the recent “Talking Together” materials that have been released to the sector.
This PLD will be provided to teachers in the South Taranaki region.
The workshop will support teachers to develop strategies and offer practical tips to support students with their language development in their education setting using the “Talking Together” resource.
The workshops will be held in Stratford; with the venue to be confirmed.
The dates for the PLD are as follows:
First Round of PLD
|Session 1||7 April 2021||5.30pm – 7.30pm|
|Session 2||12 May 2021||5.30pm – 7.30pm|
Second Round of PLD
|Session 1||5 May 2021||5.30pm – 7.30pm|
|Session 2||12 May 2021||5.30pm – 7.30pm|
Numbers will be limited due to venue options so get in quick to avoid missing out.
If you wish to register your interest please email: Enquiries.Newplymouth@education.govt.nz
Please contact me using the details below if you wish to discuss any issues or ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.
Director of Education Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū
Phone: 06 349 6304
Mobile: 027 275 1450
I hope your year is going well and we appreciate your support of our tamariki and Whanau.
Aya and the Butterfly
Last week I had the privilege to speak at the book launch of Aya and the Butterfly at Tūranga. Aya and the Butterfly, written by Dr Maysoon Salama, is the first in a series developed with the Islamic Women's Council for those in early childhood settings and at Level 1 of the New Zealand Curriculum. Our resources need to bring cultural representation and support diversity and inclusion, and this beautiful picture book celebrates our Muslim community in New Zealand. It is aligned with both Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum, available in English and Arabic. It can be downloaded for free from the TKI website, and print copies will be delivered to early learning services and schools during term three this year.
As you will also be aware, the Ministry of Education funds early childhood services when they are forced to close in emergency situations. This provision has been helpful for many services impacted by earthquakes and severe weather. Information about this is available in the ECE Funding Handbook. If you are forced to close in an emergency please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At times, the ‘emergency’ may be short term and services are expected to manage these rather than close. Examples of short-term emergencies may be when the power or water is off, but you know that it will be back on in a very short time frame. In many of these situations it is possible for the service to continue to operate by putting some short-term measures into place. If you wish to discuss whether your service can continue to operate, please contact your Education Advisor in our office.
When a traumatic incident impacts on your early learning service community, we all know that the way it is managed strongly influences people’s recovery and can limit further risk. Services that have experienced traumatic incidents such as accidental or non-accidental child or staff death or severe injury, allegations of abuse against a staff member, or major loss of property, will understand the impact and know how important it is to have good procedures in place to manage the situation.
When a traumatic incident occurs, it is often a time of great confusion and yet it is a time when important decisions must be made fairly quickly as events unfold. The Ministry of Education has a Traumatic Incident team trained to support early learning organisations to manage incidents. If you need support, please call 0800 TI TEAM (0800 848 326). This number will ensure you reach the right person to support you during or after hours. For further information, please check the Ministry’s website.
Futures Network - 2021
Please note that all meetings of this network will be held in the Ministry of Education Conference Room (ground floor), Te Ureti, corner Hereford St and Cambridge Terrace. Dates for the next hui of 2021 are:
Dates: 8 June, 14 September and 16 November.
Time: 9:30 to 11:30 am
The closest public parking is the West End parking building – entry via Cashel St. There are also council owned public parking buildings in Lichfield St and at the Art Gallery.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss any ideas or issues. You can email me at Coralanne.email@example.com I look forward to hearing from you.
Enjoy this latest bulletin.
Mā te wā
Director of Education for Canterbury | Chatham Islands
Phone: 03 378 7345
Mobile: 0274 200 251
Kia ora koutou and warm Pasifika greetings
Over the last few weeks, we have met with sector reference groups and Associations and know there is lots going on, and the Term is in full swing. Thank you for the calm and professional way the alert level changes have been managed over the last month, and for getting in touch when you need additional guidance.
Urgent Response Fund
There is still funding available through the Urgent Response Fund to support children whose attendance or engagement at your service has been impacted following COVID-19.
We have allocated nearly 80% of funding, so if you are planning to put in an application, I would encourage you to do so sooner rather than later.
Just a reminder that I can now allocate up to $10K per application. The Advisory Group will consider applications over $10K or where services or schools have had funding approved for 2 applications already. The rest of the allocation meetings for this term are below. We’ll let you know what the dates are for any further meetings in Term 2.
|Advisory Group application meeting dates||Submission date for applications|
|Monday 29 March||By 8am Thursday 25 March|
|Monday 12 April||By 8am Thursday 8 April|
If you have any questions or would like to discuss an application – please contact your Education Adviser.
We are excited to have welcomed our two new Curriculum Lead Advisers into our region. These are new positions, and I’m pleased that we have been able to dedicate one of these roles to have a focus on early learning and early primary schooling. Jess Tuhega has been appointed to this position and I have included more information about her below. Loretta Schmidt has been appointed into the other Curriculum Lead Adviser role and is based in Invercargill. She will be focused on working with secondary and later primary years across Otago and Southland.
Jessica (Jess) Tuhega – Curriculum Lead Adviser
We officially welcomed Jess to the Ministry on 1 March, although she won’t officially start until Tuesday 29 March. Jess comes to us from Te Rito Maioha – Early Childhood New Zealand, where she spent 13 years. She has held various roles including programme leader of the Bachelor of Education, lecturer and pouako. She is strongly interested in diversity, children’s rights and social justice with a particular passion for Māori and Pacific Learners.
Please contact me if you wish to discuss any issues or ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.
Ngā mihi mahana
Director of Education Otago-Southland
Direct dial: 03 471 5217
Mobile: 027 836 4846
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