Swings & Roundabouts - Issue 33 (March 2017)

Page 1

Autumn 2017




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ISSN 1179-688X (Print) • ISSN 1179-7517 (Online)

PO Box 5649, Lambton Quay, Wellington 6145


Inside this issue...


Autumn 2017

March 2017















Editor Trudi Sutcliffe

Production Co-ordinator Luke Lynch

Editorial Enquiries publications@ecc.org.nz

Graphic Designers Liki Udam, Sam Stuart & Mike Perry

Advertising Enquiries Catherine Norton Waterford Press Ltd PO Box 37346, Christchurch, New Zealand. Phone: 03 983 5526 Email: catherine@waterfordpress.co.nz

Subscription Enquiries Early Childhood Council PO Box 5649, Lambton Quay, Wellington 6145 Phone: 0800 742 742 Email: admin@ecc.org.nz www.ecc.org.nz


Swings & Roundabouts is produced by the

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& Roundabouts will be considered from

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the following:

centres in New Zealand. The information

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contained in Swings & Roundabouts is of a general nature only. Readers should not act on the basis of the information it contains without seeking advice for their

2) Trade and service suppliers to the early childhood industry.

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opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the view of the Early Childhood Council Incorporated. All content in this magazine is copyright and may not be

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March 2017


Early Childhood Council is the leading body for childcare centre owners, committee members and management; supporting and encouraging the provision of quality early childhood education and care services in New Zealand.

The value of ECC membership We keep you informed We make it easier to stay involved in sector issues We help you to run a successful centre

Join the ECC Now Returning Members re-join at a discounted rate! All members receive access to the full benefits of membership, including information on all aspects of running a successful centre, over 200 free tools and templates, free helplines on employment matters, finance and other issues, access to the ECC’s list of preferred supplies. These benefits will save you thousands off your bottom line each year!

Go to www.ecc.org.nz to download the membership application; or contact us on 0800 742 742






“You are powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” – Yogi Bhajan Change is constant and often unexpected. How do you deal with change? Do you embrace it? Fight it? Ignore it? Or do you take a deep breath and work through it? We have a General Election in September and possibly unpredictable changes internationally. We need to be confident to assess and identify any risks change may bring and the potential impact. To be able to identify possible risks you need to keep informed. You can do this by joining professional organisations like the Early Childhood Council who support their members and keep them up-to-date with a weekly e-newsletter and ad hoc notices when required. To help cope with change it's important to have strong community or professional support behind you. You can do this at a personal level through family and friends and professionally through mentors, coaches, joining networks such as Communities of Learning and the ECC Centre Manager Network meetings as well as attend workshops and conferences, such as the upcoming ECC Conference 2017 (see the middle spread for more information). It's also important to look after number 1! How do you unwind or keep calm under crises? There are many resources online, at your library and various workshops on how to keep your stress levels down. How about booking in some 'me time' over the next week. Explore what works for you; experiment with mediation, yoga, going to the gym, or even just scheduling time with friends. For a bit of time out, make sure you read some of the interesting and informative

Doing the books is child’s play!

articles on offer in this issue of Swings & Roundabouts. We’ve got an article for everyone; meet the new Secretary of Education, Iona Holsted, on page 12 and find out what Iona’s vision is for our sector. Have you read about the ECE Participation Programme? To read some of their recent findings go to page 14. Have you ever thought about protecting your centre’s name and consequently your image? Read ‘Capturing the value of your childcare centre’s name’ on page 16 for some food for thought! Plus articles on governance, the visual arts, and management tools and processes, and much much more. If you’d got any ideas on articles you’d like to read or have a story yourself to share we would love to hear from you, email publications@ecc.org.nz. Feedback is always welcome! We are hoping to have a feature on diversity in our ECE learning environments, ideas include: designing your centre to be inclusive to all families, teaching children from diverse ethnicities, learning and acknowledging the languages in your centre. How does your ECE centre celebrate diversity? Share your story and journey with your peers in the next issue of Swings & Roundabouts. We would love teachers/centre managers to share their thoughts on ‘The magic of teaching!’ Write a paragraph and share an image of what ‘The magic of teaching’ means to you. Top 5 entries will receive a book for their centre.

Trudi Sutcliffe

Learn how to use Xero and get specialised accounting advice that saves money and time Good financial information can make your early childhood centre more successful. By working with Rubiix Accountants, you’ll get specialised help with your finances – including tailor-made Xero for quick and easy online bookkeeping. IRD and MOE requirements will be easier to meet, you’ll save time and money on audits and reviews, and you’ll always know exactly where you stand financially. Rubiix Accountants specialise in looking after early childhood learning centres. In fact, we’re the only accounting firm endorsed by the Early Childhood Council.

To talk about a better, easier accounting system for your early childhood learning centre, call Mark at Rubiix Accountants today on (09) 302 2268 Out of Auckland 0800 733 255 or email msalmon@rubiix.co.nz online at www.rubiix.co.nz

Editor publications@ecc.org.nz

Preferred supplier to the Early Childhood Council

March 2017




in the hope at least some political parties will commit to sorting it out.

by Peter Reynolds

Regulatory fairness, what the General Election might bring, and the coming ECC annual conference The Early Childhood Council is obsessive

Scenario One: National (or a National-led coalition) wins

Minister of Education Hekia Parata is replaced from 1 May, probably with Nikki Kaye.

Bill English, as Prime Minister, increases the Government’s focus on “social investment”, meaning, for us, that government ECE revenue is transferred from middle class families to the most vulnerable.

That’s why we have, for the last year or two, focussed on fighting for ‘equivalent particularly where government legislation and policies create both quality distortions and commercial disadvantage. Because of this, we are frequently misslabelled as being “anti-home-based”. The

Participation in ECE continues to sit at around 96%.

There is little or no government discrimination between the community and private sectors when it comes to policy and investment.

reality is we recognise that the ECE space is made up of many service types, including home-based, kindergartens, Playcentres and many others. We recognise also additional “flavours” of ECE, reflecting the philosophical differences that have emerged over the years. For example: Reggio Emelia, Montessori,

Christian-based, and so on. Where we get animated, however, is when government creates an imbalance in the ECE environment through laws and policies. For example…

Why must childcare centres continue to record what their teachers are doing every 15 minutes of the day when home-based services are taken on trust?

Why does the Food Act deliberately exclude home-based services?

And why are ECE teachers working for kindergartens funded by government at higher levels than teachers in childcare centres?

‘Cohort entry’ to school sees children leave ECE in large groups (and as young as four), with consequential loss of revenue for ECE services.

There is a significant increase in government expectation that ECE services demonstrate they are achieving measurable learning outcomes.

Access to funded professional development for ECE teachers increases from current lows.

Communities of learning increasingly pit schools against ECE services as the two fight for a share of the special needs budget available to those who join communities of learning.

inconsistent with the idea our early childhood education system is one of the World’s best. fix this mess is frustrating. The ECC will continue to focus on these areas of inequity during this General Election year

March 2017

The continuation of “funding cuts by stealth” sees continuing cuts to government per child funding (especially after inflation), and continuing increases in the amount of money paid by parents.

These inequities are unfair and are

What’s more, the Government’s reluctance to

A new Government seeks to create a public ECE system that mirrors public schooling, with opt in by centres voluntary, but with the creation of new pressures because public centres gain a funding/ competitive advantage.

New policies favour community and public provision over private provision.

The regulated minimum of 50% qualified ECE Teachers is raised to 80%.

New regulations establish new maximum group size requirements.

There is an increase to the 20 Hours subsidy to cover a wider age-range, and an increase in the number of hours covered by the policy.

There is unlikely to be much change in relation to the different levels of regulation imposed on different parts of the ECE sector.

Regulated quality in some parts of the ECE sector (home-based, for example) continues to much lower than in others.

So, what might the election bring? It’s very early, but given there are two main parties only, I offer herein two (sometimes speculative) set of possibilities..

when it comes to issues of service equity.

regulated quality’ across ECE service types,

Scenario Two: a Labour coalition wins

Ongoing government revenue cuts (that impact smaller operations more than larger) see ECE ownership continue to concentrate in fewer and fewer hands.

The ECC’s conference this year is in Wellington. It’s a manager’s conference, with a programme designed to appeal to owners, committee members, centre managers and others in leadership roles, or aspiring to do so. The programme features no concurrent choices, so everyone gets to see and do everything. It’s an election year, so there will be a political panel (with representatives from the six main political parties) that gives delegates the chance to hear first-hand what is being proposed. The programme features lots of goodies – including workshops on implementing the revised curriculum, how to participate in Communities of Learning, service evaluations, appraisals and lots more. See the feature in this issue of Swings, or go to our website www.ecc.org.nz. I hope to see you there.


March 2017




The following early childhood centres joined the Early Childhood Council recently:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Putaruru Childcare Limited, Putaruru Conductive Education Wellington Trust, Lower Hutt Little Gems Childcare Limited, Auckland Bright Stars Childcare Centre, Auckland Victoria University of Wellington Early Childhood Services, Wellington BJ's Childcare, Whangarei Pukeko Early Learning Centre, Auckland The Ole Schoolhouse Early Childhood Centre, Rotorua Kids Environment, Wellington Shining Starz Early Learning Centre, Auckland KBP Childcare Ltd, Auckland Noku Te Ao Charitable Trust, Christchuch Feathers Early Learning Centre, Auckland Frog Puddles Childcare Centre, Auckland First Years Learning Centre, Wanganui Leigh Community Preschool, Leigh Bright Beginnings Community Childcare Centre, Papamoa Acorn Early Childcare Education Limited, Kaiapoi Little Pearls Educare Centre, Auckland A Fun Place to Be Childcare, Thames Happy Steps Early Learning Centre, Dargaville Kid Country Te Atatu Ltd, Auckland Trillium Montessori School Ltd, Christchurch (provisional)

New ECC teacher workshop provider in the South Island The Early Childhood Council (ECC) has a new educational workshop provider in the South Island, Teacher Empowerment. Teacher Empowerment is focussed on providing meaningful professional learning and development opportunities to teachers and beyond by facilitating learning for adults to enhance learning for children. Currently Teacher Empowerment have 4 skilled facilitators within their team who cover a range of topics to support teacher, leader, parent and team growth. Their skills and knowledge draw from their extensive years within the early childhood, primary and adult teaching sectors across a variety of philosophies within New Zealand. Upcoming teacher workshops include: Infants & toddlers; Social competency; Enhancing leadership; Unpacking the updated Te Whāriki document; Treaty based practise & Unpacking Māori values. Go to www.ecc.org.nz (under Events & Workshops for Teachers (South Island) for more information, dates and to register)

ECC-Educa Lunch'n'Learn Webinars for ECC members The ECC-Educa Lunch’n’Learn webinars are a monthly event for centre managers to keep them informed on topical issues. Each one is 20 to 30 minutes long. Registration provides a link for the webinar so that the manager (and any staff they want to participate) can view around a computer screen somewhere while they have their lunch. Registrant participation is via written questions in a chat room. Participants receive a link to a recording of the event. Any members who cannot attend the event can purchase the recording afterwards. Webinars are for Early Childhood Council members only. Upcoming webinars include: Cohort Entry what it means for ECE; The New Te Whāriki Cost: $30 + GST

Blue Duck Childcare (Te Anau) Limited, Te Anau (provisional)

Kaleidoscope Childcare Centre, Mt Maunganui (provisional)

The Owls Nest Preschool, Christchurch (provisional)

World Forum on Early Care and Education Forum

Wecare Childcare Ltd, Auckland (provisional)

Register for a life-changing experience at

March 2017

To find out more about the ECC-Educa Lunch’n’Learn webinars and to register go to: www.ecc.org.nz (under events).

2017 World Forum in Auckland, New Zealand, May 9-12. Join 800 early childhood professionals from over 80 nations for a life changing experience at the 2017 World Forum in Auckland, New Zealand. The theme of the event is Sustainability – sustaining childhoods, families, organizations, the planet, each other and ourselves! For more information go to https://worldforumfoundation.org/events/

Work and Income’s childcare provider 0800 line Work and Income’s dedicated childcare provider 0800 line has been up and running since November last year. To contact us with queries about subsidies or payments, or to let us know about changes for your organisation or for the children in your programme or service contact us on: 0800 776 843 (or email us at childcareproviders@msd.govt.nz). We’re open Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm. www.workandincome.govt.nz/ childcareproviders

ecemploy!! Finally, a recruitment website specifically designed for ECE jobs! Ecemploy has been designed for ECE services. Employers can use the website to list their vacancies and to search from the available profiles for the right person for their job, at very competitive rates. Job-seekers can list their profiles confidentially on the site as they search for the perfect ECE role. Go visit www.ecemploy.co.nz now!



Equity and excellence front of mind for new Secretary for Education Newly appointed Secretary for Education Iona Holsted says she is excited to be charged with leading the sector at a time of significant changes. In this edition of Swings and Roundabouts Iona shares her thoughts on the importance of early learning, her vision for the sector and she discusses some of the changes that are underway. For me, signing-up to this new role is a great opportunity to work with education leaders to achieve equity and excellence for all learners. Starting out as a teacher in Auckland, I have spent much of my working life in education. Most recently I spent two and a half years as the Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer of the Education Review Office (ERO). The learner should always be at the centre of what we do in the education sector and that means providing our learners with a quality education pathway – from early childhood education to tertiary or vocational education. To get the best start in their education journey it is important our young people have a quality early childhood experience. We know that children who enjoy high quality early learning experiences do better in school and learn important skills and develop dispositions that will set them up for success. A number of major initiatives are currently underway in the early learning sector to support transitions from ECE to school and quality teaching and learning. I would

like to touch on a few of these here. The future of an excellent and equitable education system lies in creating learning pathways that meet each child’s need from 0-18 and beyond. Communities of Learning (CoL) are the organisational and resourcing model to support a responsive local curriculum centred on learner needs. There are currently 94 early learning services in CoL throughout the country and I expect that during the next few years we will see an increase in the number of early learning centres in CoL as they see the benefits for children and their whānau. A major benefit for learners in CoL will be that the community as a whole becomes responsible for equitable learner outcomes. While it will take some time to connect early learning services to CoLs, even ahead of formal connections, the adults in the system need to join up to ensure seamless transitions from early learning to school. The update of Te Whāriki, the early learning curriculum aims to better reflect modern day New Zealand and developments in educational thinking and practice. It includes clearer learning outcomes and shows the links between early learning and the learning that happens at schools and kura to support smooth transitions. The things that make Te Whāriki worldleading will not change. The vision, aspirations and framework for learning in Te Whāriki remain, alongside the overall structure of principles, strands and goals. We are also undertaking an evaluation of the Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) professional development programme and will be looking to work with the early learning sector to strengthen the quality teaching and learning aspects of the programme. The SELO PLD programme has a focus on multiple areas, including remedial learning, student identity,

March 2017

language and culture, and quality teaching and learning. Every young New Zealander deserves a great early learning experience and I know all of us in the sector are committed to ensuring that happens.

About Iona Holsted Born in the east coast town of Tolaga Bay and raised up the road in Whakatane, Iona Holsted left school at 16 and enrolled at Hamilton Teachers’ College. Her first primary teaching job was at Owairaka School in Auckland, before moving to Wellington to become the full-time President of the Student Teachers’ Association of New Zealand. Iona returned to teaching for several years before going to work for the Public Service Association negotiating employment contracts. She later headed the Newtown Union Health Service and eventually joined the public service. After stints with the State Services Commission and Ministry of Social Development, Iona became the Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer of the Education Review Office (ERO).She has now taken on the role of Secretary for Education and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education. Further information Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako www.education.govt.nz/ministry-ofeducation/col/joining-or-forming-a-col/ Te Whāriki www.education.govt.nz/earlychildhood/teaching-and-learning/ececurriculum/updating-te-whariki/ Strengthening early learning opportunities (SELO) http://www. education.govt.nz/early-childhood/ running-an-ece-service/employing-ecestaff/selo/



NZTC scholarship opportunity helps ECE teachers progress their careers A scholarship offered by New Zealand

Scholarship recipients have been encouraged

Tertiary College (NZTC) has encouraged early

to consider their approach to their early

childhood educators to take their careers to

childhood practices on both a theoretical and

the next level.

a practical level.

NZTC recently partnered with the Early

Bachelor of teaching student Suzanne

Childhood Council to offer a limited time

Howard said studying has helped her connect

scholarship for members to gain a degree

the dots between theory and practice in

qualification by undertaking either a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) or a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE). Interest levels were high as applications flowed in for the career advancement opportunity to gain an internationally recognised, NZQA approved teaching qualification, which enables graduates to apply for New Zealand teacher registration. Graduate diploma scholarship recipient Bindu Naik is an educator at Kindercare

her role at Active Learners Early Childhood Centre in Timaru. “It has made me stop and think about our children’s learning. About how not to rush the children’s development and let the children do the leading in their learning journey.” After working with children for over 25 years, Howard decided it was time to upskill and work towards her teacher registration when she saw the scholarship opportunity.

Learning Centres, Christchurch, and said

She said studying through NZTC’s unique

gaining NZ teacher registration will open up

online learning platform NZTC Online poses

doors for her.

its challenges for her as a mature student,

“It will help me in negotiating for a better salary and progressing my career. As this qualification is internationally recognised, it will open up doors to pursue a career in early

but she is enjoying working through them with the College and gaining support from other students in the discussion forums. The flexibility of online learning appeals to

childhood education in other countries and

many students. For bachelor of teaching

parts of the world such as Australia and the

scholarship recipient Shervon-Kellie Willis,

Middle East.”

online study has enabled her to further her

Her passion for teaching the youngest

education while juggling her

generation of learners began in India

many commitments.

when she chanced upon a small NZTC

As a mother of two young children aged

advertisement in a newspaper. After speaking to the NZTC India office, she decided

two and four, Willis works at The Village On top of this, she is undergoing house

She began by studying an NZTC Postgraduate

renovations on her property as well as finding

Diploma in Education (ECE) before snapping

time to keep fit and manage her

up the scholarship opportunity to pursue the

social commitments.

“I was so happy with the lecturers and the

Kellie Will

is at her ce

Bachelor of teaching student Jenine Osten, of Queen’s High Preschool in Dunedin, had been contemplating an early childhood teaching degree for some time. She said taking advantage of the scholarship was a ‘no brainer’ giving her the push that she needed to further her education. “NZTC came highly recommended from one of my co-workers who has recently completed her third year. She told me how supportive they were through her course of study – always very helpful, approachable and understanding.” All four students encourage those passionate about early childhood education to take their careers to the next level by furthering their education. “Do it”, “go for it”, “take the plunge”, and “don’t put it off any longer” were the responses received when asked if they have any advice for interested educators looking to upskill. To find out more about NZTC qualifications and other scholarship opportunities, visit www.nztertiarycollege.ac.nz Bindu Naik with her children.

“Almost any Mum would agree when I say we lead very busy lives, so to be able to study

support I received during my postgraduate

when the kids are asleep has taken the stress

diploma that NZTC was my obvious choice to

out of studying, while still giving me a chance

do a graduate diploma in teaching.”

to connect with other students.”


The financial assistance provided by the scholarship, on top of the flexible study options, meant that Willis could begin studying earlier than anticipated putting her on track to achieve her career goal of becoming a head teacher.

Preschool and Childcare Centre in Tauranga.

to pursue her studies in New Zealand.

teaching qualification as a domestic student.



March 2017



ECE Participation Programme Evaluation A new report from the University of Waikato shows the positive impact participating in early learning has on Māori and Pasifika children and their whānau. This is the fourth report evaluating the Participation Programme, a series of initiatives to engage families with early learning. The study focusses on 18 children and their families involved in the Engaging Priority Families (EPF) initiative. EPF coordinators support the hardest-toreach families to enrol their 3 and 4 year old children in early learning services, including playgroups, kindergartens, early childhood education centres and home-based care. The report found that most of the children would not have enrolled in early learning without the support of the coordinators. The report delves into the stories of individual children – painting a picture of what early learning and starting school was like for them and their whānau. One key finding from the researchers is that participating in early childhood education not only lays the foundations for learning but also makes starting school a better experience for children. This study provides real insight into the factors that help make a child’s start at school as smooth as possible. This includes the skills they have developed in early learning, the level of support from everyone involved in the child’s life and the new entrant teacher’s information on the child and their abilities. The educational activities parents did at home and their contribution to the ECE programme made a difference to children's learning. These were supported by EPF coordinators usually through provision of resources and ideas, and ECE services through modelling and support. However, the teaching and learning approaches of

March 2017

teachers/educators were variable. Communication was given most prominence and focus, and is in keeping with the idea that communication is linked to the principle of empowerment. Particular emphasis was placed on reading, writing and mathematics in line with parent wishes and teacher views that this would support school transition. Wellbeing was also strongly encouraged by most EPF coordinators and ECE services, and the ability to care for one-self was an attribute that new entrant teachers found helpful in the school classroom. A pivotal factor in supporting children's learning was the understanding and interactions of the ECE teachers/educators. Intentional teachers who "noticed, recognised and responded to" valued learning and seemed better able to extend learning and articulate it to others through assessment documentation. In the small sample, the importance of pedagogical approaches was very evident with examples where pedagogical approaches and assessment documents supported valued outcomes identified as important to the child’s development and family wishes. The early childhood services that contributed to positive child and family outcomes were generally characterised by teachers/ educators who recognised possibilities for extending individual children's learning and development, and intentionally scaffolded learning. They worked from a strengths based approach where the teacher/educators' focused on valued outcomes for each individual child. The assessment portfolios, even over only a short period of time, showed a breadth and depth of learning across the strands of Te Whāriki. Family engagement and contribution were documented too and given recognition and value. Participation in ECE made a difference for

Stage 4 the children in this study. Throughout the evaluation, EPF coordinators have been shown to have a powerful role in enabling participation; gaining parents' trust and supporting the child's enrolment and attendance in ECE. Regular attendance between 18 and 30 hours per week for at least six months was associated with strong learning foundations although duration of attendance was not the only or main contributing factor (some children attended longer but had less rich opportunities for learning and development). Children had more favourable transition experiences where new entrant teachers noticed, recognised and responded to children's strengths and supported these in the classroom. Some teachers recognised children's proficiency in two languages and made a cultural bridge to support transition. Parents were involved in communicating with the school and supporting their child's learning. In these instances, there was continuity of expectations and understandings in the ECE, home and school settings. Conversely, where patterns of strength seen and documented in ECE were not recognised in the new entrant classroom, children experienced challenges. Overall, an integrated approach to transition where parents, EPF, ECE and the school acted together to support the child's transition to school seemed to be very beneficial. These findings highlight the importance of the major players in children's lives working together with shared aims around transition. Article extracted from the ECE Participation Programme Evaluation Executive Summary. To read the Full Report for further go to https:// www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/ ECE/ece-participation-programme-evaluation

BlueBook k Welcome to the BlueBook Online Portal brought to you by the ECC Providing teachers with a sense of direction in the identification and management of development goals • Fast, easy-to-use interfaces • Smart phone friendly • Downloadable templates • Knowledge-base of resources


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How is the role of a teacher viewed in my setting? Within my teaching practice, how do I demonstrate effective relationships with akonga, their whanau, my colleagues and others? How do I show that I enrich the learning of those I teach? How do I show in my practice that I actively promote the well-being of all akonga for whom I am responsible? How have my ‘everyday’ conversations with families given me inspiration to plan and respond to children?


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Capturing the value of your childcare centre’s name


By Alexandra Bell & Jonathan Aumonier-Ward

It’s just a name … or is it? The name of your childcare centre is one of your most valuable and sensitive assets. It is your identity, so it should be something you own and protect. Do you own your centre’s name? Have you made sure nobody else already owns it? Have you protected it?

of your centre for a while, registered your

long as it is distinctive, not descriptive of your

or have a domain name registration, does not

services, and not the same or similar to a

mean you have the strongest rights to that

trade mark that is already registered or being

name. Someone else may already be using or

used by someone else for the same or similar

have the same or similar name registered as


a trade mark.

A distinctive trade mark is one that other

Unless you are operating throughout the

childcare centres are not likely to use and

whole of New Zealand, or have registered

Protecting the name of your centre might not

a trade mark, you will not have rights to

seem like your highest priority when juggling

the use of your name nationwide. Your

the demands of a growing business. But the

rights will be limited to the area where you

benefits of safeguarding your reputation,

have reputation. Whereas a trade mark

differentiating your centre’s unique identity

registration automatically gives the owner

and future proofing your invaluable reputation

exclusivity nationwide.

should not be ignored.

You should not assume that the name of your

In a world where bad news and experiences

childcare centre is available to use. Ideally,

travel fast, childcare providers are by no

you should carry out a trade mark search

means immune. Your centre could easily be

before you choose a new name.

caught up in scandal simply because another centre with a similar name to you gets on the 6 o’clock news. You also need to consider whether your competitors could rip you off by using a name that is the same or similar to yours.

Could you be infringing someone else’s legal rights? Just because you have been using the name

March 2017

It can also be protected as a trade mark so

childcare centre with the Companies Office,

that consumers will recognise as being unique to one centre rather than a common element used by several centres. The terms ‘childcare’, ‘daycare’, ‘kindergarten’, and ‘preschool’ are examples of non-distinctive elements. The geographical location such as, the name of the town or suburb where your centre is located is also not distinctive. Although these terms would not be registrable as trade marks by themselves, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them in addition to or after your distinctive trade mark. Our firm’s trade mark is AJ Park, but

Choose a name that people will remember. Something you can own and protect.

as an additional element that explains what

The name you choose should help parents

we do.

find you and encourage them to choose your

The name of your childcare centre is only one

childcare centre. If you don’t have a unique

example of a trade mark being used in your

we refer to ourselves as AJ Park Intellectual Property. The term ‘intellectual property’ acts

name for your centre, it will be difficult

business. Other trade marks could include

for them to find you amongst all the other

slogans, logos or images, colours, or the look

centres, for example when searching Google.

and feel of your centre.




Future proof your name The bigger your childcare centre gets the greater the risk to your business and reputation if your name is not suitably protected. The cost of litigation or changing your name if found to be infringing an existing registration is likely to be significantly more expensive than ensuring your mark is free to use and protected from the outset. A trade mark registration could also benefit your business if you decide to increase the number of centres operating under the same name. In a franchise system you could license the use of the trade mark to each franchisee, meanwhile you maintain the overall ownership and control of the name.

Ask for help An IP lawyer can help you in determining whether your name is registrable as a trade mark and develop an IP strategy that is right for you. A good IP lawyer will ensure you invest only where you need to.

Alexandra is a solicitor for AJ Park and is based in Wellington. She specialises in protecting and enforcing trade marks and related intellectual property rights. T: +64 4 498 3439; E: alexandra.bell@ajpark.com Jonathan is a senior associate for AJ Park and is based in Wellington. He specialises in all aspects of trade marks and related copyright law. T: +64 4 498 3461; M: +64 21 936 409; E: jonathan.aumonier-ward@ajpark.com

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March 2017




HUMOUR Appraisals - are they a joke or a valued process? By Dr Phil Ramsey

Appraisal may not strike you as funny. Yet US

process becomes something that adds stress

comedian Stephen Colbert has explained that

to your work. Maybe you treat it as an annual

that appraisal begins to be treated as a

humour lies in the gap between claims and

ritual that you just have to get through.

mechanical process rather than a human one.

The result of this kind of thinking is

what is actually done. The bigger the gap, the

Rather than producing confidence and

An appraisal system might work perfectly, if

greater the potential for comedy. Consider

motivation, appraisal can often leave people

only it wasn’t being used with actual people.

how this applies to appraisal.

frustrated and dispirited.

Appraisal is an opportunity to talk about work.

For many teachers, the process of appraisal

With what purpose? So that improvements

adds nothing positive to their experience

can be made in the future. For instance, imagine you are an EC teacher with a range of challenges confronting you. You may be feeling overwhelmed because the demands on your time are high, and you are not sure you have the skills you need to be really effective. Perhaps it feels like you are struggling to keep your head above water. In that situation appraisal is meant to be the chance to talk through the situation with an experienced colleague, a leader in your Centre. Together you can get a deeper understanding of what is going on and what needs to happen, consider your strengths and how these can be used as a foundation for improvement, and put together a plan of action. All of this should leave you confident and motivated to address the challenges you face.

What principles should guide design of appraisal if we want it to be a human process?

of work. The idea that it is designed to

Personal rather than ‘objective’: Administrative

help them improve seems like a bad joke.

systems often strive to be objective, yet

Yet some EC Centres are rethinking their

the result of this is that people feel they

approach to appraisal. Rather than treating

are being treated and assessed as if they

it as a compliance-based process that must

were ‘objects’. The kinds of conversations

be completed to satisfy regulators, they are

people need to have about their work may

endeavouring to create systems that fulfil the

feel threatening. Appraisal is a personal and

basic purpose of helping teachers to improve

emotional process, especially as people first

their practice. To do that, Centres need to

start to undertake it. It is natural for people

understand some basic principles that can

to be reluctant. Appraisal systems need to

guide their approach to appraisal.

be able to work for the full range of teachers

Guiding Principles

system needs to be introduced in a way that

in a Centre. Further, when an appraisal Appraisal processes produce administrative outcomes. There is a paper trail that shows it has been completed, and which gives an indication of whether the appraisal was systematic and thorough. Regulators might use this paper trail to check on the quality

recognises the emotional challenge it may present to those who are engaging with it for the first time, and may have opinions that are based on disappointing experiences from the past. Integrated rather than periodic: When events

of a Centre’s management processes. The

happen periodically—say once a year—they

result can be that the cart is put before the

do not have a lasting impact. An appraisal

about your work you might hide the fact

horse: people start to think that the purpose

conversation, if it is simply a one-off

that you are struggling. Rather than being

of the system is to create the paper trail and

conversation that does not lead anywhere,

an opportunity to talk about and resolve

that, as long as the administrative work is

will likely achieve nothing. Appraisal

the issues you find stressful, the appraisal

complete the appraisal has done its job.

conversations need to be integrated into an

Compare that to what really happens. Anxious

March 2017



ongoing process of management, feedback and improvement about professional practice. That way development is something a teacher is constantly involved with and thinking about; a natural and central part of their work. Appreciative developmental rather than fixing problems: Many leaders tend to think of appraisal as an opportunity to solve problems. If there are no obvious problems they may think that there is nothing to talk about or for a teacher to work on. Yet effective appraisal involves appreciating the strengths that a person has already developed and using these as a foundation upon which improvements can be built. While this sounds simple, it takes discipline and effort to identify and build on strengths. Improving professional practice within your Centre is a serious matter, and an effective appraisal system can make an important contribution. Good appraisal, however, does not happen by chance. You need to make sure it is well designed, based on sound principles. Doing so will turn it from a joke into a process people really value.



About the author Dr Phil Ramsey is a Senior Lecturer in Massey University's School of Management and a long time associate of InterLEAD, a leadership development consulting company working with ECE Centres and Schools. Dr Ramsey is one of Australasia’s foremost thinkers in Culture, Systems Thinking, Leadership and Organisational Learning. He has led many organisations through the process of effective culture change. One of his interests is the application of learning organisation principles to schools and educational institutions through conversation. www.interlead.co.nz

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March 2017




Management tools for free!


Phil Sales

My guess is that answers such as staff,

Isn’t it funny how some of the most important

The interesting thing is that we can use some

things in life tend to hide in plain sight?

of these same strategies when it comes to

funding and a supportive community are

managing people-and-places, such as early

reasonably high on your list. You might make

childhood centres. Equally interesting, is that

mention of the systems and processes that

I have lost count of the number of times that I have lost my car keys or my mobile phone, only to find them later, sitting in the most obvious of places. Sometimes they are exactly where I left them and sometimes they have been moved slightly or maybe fallen to one side. Often, I have noticed that finding my keys has little to do with where they actually are, per

some of the tools and techniques that we can

you use on a daily basis. Possibly a favoured

use to do this successfully are often hiding

piece of software or a management app

from us in plain sight, just waiting for us to

might also make it onto your list, as well.

find them! Let me illustrate that point by asking you a question. What would you say if I asked you to name the

Let me now suggest to you that your list is probably missing one of the most important management tools that you have available to you. Something which is so obvious that it is

se, and more to do with my ability to locate

top five things that you reply upon as an early

hiding in plain sight, just waiting for you to

them. To put that another way, I have greater

childhood centre manager? Try answering

discover it. To make things even better, this

success finding my keys when I use a few key

that question now, maybe by jotting your

management tool is completely free and it is

mental strategies (sorry about the

ideas down on a piece of paper and perhaps

available to all of us, in return for very

terrible pun!)

ordering them according to priority.

little effort.

March 2017



So what is this marvellous thing that I am

Perhaps more importantly, however, the

talking about?

Kraft story reminds us that the single most

Let me answer that question by telling you a very interesting story about cheese. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Kraft food company tried to market a powdered cheese product, which it hoped to sell as a substitute replacement for more expensive cheese products. This was a clever and innovative approach to the problem of offering low-cost food to hungry people. Unfortunately, the public didn’t buy the powdered cheese and the product was a failure. The story might have ended there, but the product manager in charge of the powdered cheese product noticed that his St Louis representative was successfully selling his quota of powdered cheese without any difficulty. Intrigued by this ‘success blip’, the product manager made some enquiries and discovered that the area rep was doing something very creative with his quota of powdered cheese. (If you want to test your own creative skills, then stop reading this article right now and write down some possible solutions of your own!) As it turned out, the rep was ordering powdered cheese, and then selling it bundled with dried macaroni, as a ready-to-cook dinner. Kraft immediately saw the potential of this idea and began offering macaroni with cheese powder, which it then sold as Kraft Dinners (and the rest, as they say, is history!) This is a magnificent story, as it contains several important lessons for us. The first

valuable tool that we have at our disposal is our own imagination! This is the very management tool that I was referring to earlier. As a professional early childhood educator, you probably spend quite a bit of time marvelling at the imaginative creativity of the children at your own early childhood centre. Imagination is indeed a marvellous thing, and it isn’t restricted to under-5s. The trick for us, as adults, is to build creative imagination into our own thinking so that we can generate richer solutions to the problems that we face. Creative imagination can solve problems for us, but what if we want to use imagination in a different capacity, as a management planning tool? We know that management planning needs to be grounded in reality, if it is to be successful. Often, we have budget constraints, compliance issues and limited resources holding us back from the things that we would like to achieve. On the other hand, it can be difficult motivating a team with a low-level prospect, such as “just surviving” or maybe “breaking-even again”.

into. Something which pushes the limits and which requires some significant effort to achieve. This is where visioning can be a useful management tool. You might like to think of your vision as a

the process that you use to reveal your vision

powdered cheese created both a problem and

and to create step-by-step plans to bring your

an opportunity to find a solution. It wasn’t

vision into reality.

About the author Phil Sales heads up Business Development and Entrepreneurship for the Faculty of Business and Information Technology at Whitireia New Zealand [www.whitireia.ac.nz].

For You

I can still recall, many years after the event, when Petone Kindergarten moved from Campbell Terrace to Tennyson Street. The

Secondly, we can see the value of sharing

new site was purpose-built and the planning

the problem with others in order to find a

called for input from the whole community.

solution. It took someone other than the

As you might imagine (there’s that word

product innovators to make the

again!), this was a major undertaking and

thinking-outside-the-box and trying things

As they say, some of the best things in life are free!

inspire both you and the people around you physical resources are limited. Visioning is

Thirdly, we can also see the value of

techniques on a daily basis. If not, then try them the next time that you have a management issue to resolve. Better yet, talk to the people around you and encourage them to use similar techniques when they face a problem.

to be. Think of it as something which can

be argued that Kraft’s initial innovation of

final breakthrough.

As an early childhood centre manager you may already be using these mental

clear and vivid picture of where you want

doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, it could

became a success.

Returning to my lost car keys, I often try to picture what I was doing when I last had them in my hand. Sometimes I create a small mental movie, complete with the things that I was thinking about or saying to other people at the time. Sometimes I physically retrace my steps as I run the movie in my head (and sometimes I actually manage to find those elusive car keys!)

Sometimes it is good to have a “big, hairy,

to achieve great things, even when your

the opportunity became real and the product

that you can break-it-down and analyse it. This technique is quite useful if you have encountered a difficult or stressful situation and want to make sense of it. Depending on the situation, you might need to employ some addition techniques (such as placingyourself-in-the-other-person’s-shoes or taking the perspective of an outside-personlooking-in).

audacious goal”, which everyone can buy-

lesson is that being innovative, per se,

until the problem was actually solved that


it required people to picture something that didn’t yet exist but which could exist with the right planning and execution.

which might not, at first, be immediately

Another way to apply your mental powers

obvious as solutions.

is to re-create a situation in your mind, so

March 2017

Embedding Excellence; lead, learn, live! The ECC is proud to bring you a conference focused on Childcare Centre owners, committees and managers.

Convention Centre, Wellington 26th - 28th May 2017 Features: One programme, no concurrent choices - you get to go to everything! International and local key notes Interactive Opportunities for one-on-one support Networking Political Panel Gala dinner included in registration Trade exhibit deals to be made!

Places will be limited. Reserve your registration now!

Early Childhood Council


CE 2017


ECC Conference 2017:


All Blacks Mental Skills Coach – has used many of the brutal lessons he endured during childhood to inspire a rugby revolution at the elite level. Hidden away in the backroom of the All Blacks machinery, the sports psychologist has helped transform the national team – playing a pivotal part in taking them from the depths of despair after their 2007 World Cup quarterfinal loss to the French in Cardiff through to their record-breaking Rugby World Cup triumph at Twickenham in 2015. Expect to be captivated, entertained and inspired – and to have an insight into what it takes to lead a high-performing team during tough times.


Jan Robertso

Nga Hononga: Responsive and reciprocal relationships in leadership and learning. This keynote explores the potential of ako both in leadership and in kaiako practice to achieve powerful learning partnerships. Responsive reciprocal relationships become part of the learning culture, where parents and students feel engaged in the process of learning in the early childhood setting and the wider context of the child’s world. Jan Robertson’s research and development over the last 25 years in coaching leadership has highlighted the importance of changing paradigms in education relationships to enable efficacy and agency and the possibilities to enable learners to aspire to and reach their greatest potential.


n a e K d i v a Dr D

Author of the bestselling book, The Art of Deliberate Success: The 10 Behaviours of Successful People, published in 2013, redefined what it means to be successful. Based on over 25 years of research and practical coaching experience, Dr Keane put forwards the idea that, for many of us, we define success to narrowly and therefore end up not being satisfied either professionally or personally. As well as redefining success, Dr Keane outlines the 10 deliberate behaviours of truly successful people. These 10 behaviours are not obvious, but they are learnable.

ECC CEO Peter Reynolds

s d l o n y e R r e t Pe

Peter will talk about the key issues facing centre owners and managers and what the ECC is focussed on achieving for its members and others in our sector. The ECC has invited a representative of the Government to address our conference to explain the relevance of Budget decisions and what the government’s programme for ECE is for the General Election Year, 2017. Given recent changes in the government line-up, it is not yet clear who this will be. Watch this space!

March 2017

2017 ECC Conference Programme

EMBEDDING EXCELLENCE: LEAD, LEARN, LIVE! Successful leadership is a complex phenomenon requiring skill and expertise. This is never truer than in the world of early childhood education, where the demands are high in an ever-changing landscape. In the face of this, embedding excellence into your early childhood service requires an ability to build capacity within your team in order to sustain that excellence across your organisation and into the future. Embedding excellence requires you to lead when it counts, to learn with and alongside your team and to live with purpose to drive your service toward success. Come to conference and discover how you can develop and implement these essential skills in your early childhood


education service.

9.00 to 9.30

Whakatau & Welcome

9.30 to 10.00

Morning high tea

10.00 to 11.00

Crown Address

Hear about the Budget 2017, what it brings your centre and what it doesn’t; and what is in the policy plans for the government for the remainder of the year

11.00 to 12.00

Peter Reynolds, ECC CEO

Peter assesses the year that was and his predictions for the year ahead

12.00 to 1.30

Lunch and AGM

1.30 to 3.00


The Curriculum and Accountability – how to design and implement a practical curriculum programme at your centre and demonstrate that it works (Ministry of Education).

3.00 to 3.30

Afternoon tea

3.30 to 5.00

Political Panel

Hear the answers to your questions and vote with Amanda Millar

5.00 to 7.00

Welcome Reception


Networking opportunities



8.30 start

First session of the day (check which stream you are in and break times)

Interspersed between keynote/workshop sessions are break times: Morning high tea, lunch & afternoon tea

Keynotes How to be successful with Dr David Keane Jan Robertson - Nga Hononga: Responsive and reciprocal relationships in leadership and learning

Workshops Service Evaluation workshop with Peter Reynolds. Come away with a practical plan for evaluating and improving your service and how this fits in with ERO’s review process Making Sense of the Money – Join a panel discussion featuring a centre owner, Ministry of Education and experienced accountants as they talk about the pitfalls in managing the funding you receive. Get tips to help your business stay on the straight and narrow.


The human side of appraisal management with Mark Sweeny, Impact Education


Keynotes & workshops conclude


Formal Dinner & Dinner Speaker

8.30 to 9.45


Communities of Learning – getting on with schools and other ECE services to reinforce your success (Panel - Primary Principal & ECE Manager)

9.45 to 10.45


Gilbert Enoka, All Blacks Mental Skills Coach

10.45 to 11.15

Morning high tea

11.15 to 12.00


What does our sector need? Join this discussion to influence and be part of the ECC's key lobbying issues leading up to the General Election later in the year

12.00 to 1.00

Conference close and lunch

Early Childhood Council


CE 2017


ECC Conference 2017 WORKSHOPS The Curriculum and Accountability Implementing Te Whāriki – what leaders and managers need to know Te Whāriki is a key resource for supporting quality curriculum implementation across all ECE services. Led by Nancy Bell, Ministry of Education, this workshop presents current thinking from Te Whāriki and explains how you can use this to weave a local curriculum that empowers and inspires.

Political Panel The ECC has a history of hosting a political panel in an election year. Hear from the main party spokesperson answering your questions on what their ECE policies will do for our sector. More importantly, you get to vote your support or disfavour as each politician outlines their response. Hosted by award-winning journalist, Amanda Millar. Confirmed panellists to attend (in no particular order): Catherine Delahunty, Chris Hipkins, David Seymour, Te Ururoa Flavell, Tracey Martin, (the National Party representative is unknown at this time).

Service Evaluation Come away with a practical plan for evaluating and improving your service and how this fits in with ERO’s review process. Hosted by Peter Reynolds a Service Evaluation framework will help your centre to manage all the components of your centre as a unified whole, so that your plans, processes, measures, and actions are consistent. The framework’s purpose is to help your centre improve, imbed and achieve excellence. The questions in the framework help you explore how you are accomplishing your centre’s mission and key objectives in seven critical areas: Leadership, Strategy, Customers (parents), Measurement, analysis and knowledge management, Workforce, Operations, Results.

The human side of appraisal management Appraisal is a powerful process which, at its best, will engage, energise, focus and motivate people to be the best they can in their chosen roles. Traditional approaches to appraisal have not always operated in this empowering way and some have been experienced as fragmented, having little relevance and at worst an exercise in compliance. This workshop by Mark Sweeney takes the perspective that while appraisal should endure the quality of a person’s performance in their role it should also be experienced as a positive, highly relevant and personally valuable process for all involved – managers, team leaders and teaching staff. It will create focus energy and commitment.

Making sense of the money A practical guide for meeting government rules and running a profitable centre. This workshop takes the form of a panel discussion of finance and non-finance leaders talking about how they make sure they comply financially with the Ministry’s rules, the options, the pitfalls and what to do if things go wrong. Interaction with the audience is a key feature with this workshop, so you will be able to ask your questions and obtain answers.

Communities of Learning We have invited a Primary School Principal and the leader of a local ECE centre to speak on what it takes to set up a successful CoL with ECE input; what that can look like; the benefits; and how you can get started in your region. So much emphasis is being placed on CoLs by government that impact your centre: the future availability of funded PLD, learning support (was special education) to name just a few.

What does our sector need? More funding? A level playing field? Less compliance requirements? A better funding system? A fairer approach to food safety? Join this discussion to influence and be part of the ECC’s key lobbying issues leading up to the General Election later in the year.

March 2017

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A hamster’s head and a porcupine tail: Visual arts education and creativity in the sphere of early childhood By Julie Plows The building of competence with expressing

Infants, toddlers and young children benefit

the eyes and touched with the hands are all

from quality visual arts experiences in many

part of the atmosphere of an exciting learning

a feeling or an idea requires a quality

ways. Positive outcomes from visual art-

environment. It is important to consider

environment with passionate early childhood

making include creativity and visual literacy.

the aesthetics of learning spaces. In her

education professionals. Early childhood

The teachers’ roles are many, including the

article, Visser (2007) painted a picture of the

teams could ask themselves: In accord with

preparation of an interesting learning space,

variety of visually interesting aspects that an

Te Whāriki (MoE, 1996) how will children

ongoing professional and personal reflection

infant may see in a carefully planned setting.

build an “increasingly elaborate repertoire of

on their personal confidence with art-making,

Brownlee (2007) highlighted the value of real

gesture and expressive body movement for

building increasing awareness of suitable

experiences such as smelling the fragrances

arts education resources and carefully

of different herbs and feeling the texture of

selecting appropriate equipment and tools for

a pinecone or a leaf. To deepen children’s

the children in their setting.

involvement in the wider world, and to evoke

An inviting creative atmosphere

recommended where practically possible. A

Imagine a scenario where you enter an

or zoo will add richness to children’s learning

Children transitioning from the early

as they see and feel what it is like to be in

childhood sector into level one of the primary

a voluminous space, with larger trees or

school curriculum will encounter the national

structures. Each learning community, rural

arts curriculum. Therefore educators will

their ongoing curiosity, excursions are

early childhood centre and hear laughter, exclamations of discovery and sounds of excitement. You see infants making marks with their fingers in some colourful gloop on a low table by the window, and toddlers painting with big brushes on large paper outside under the verandah (Plows, 2010). Conversations between two young children in the distance are happening joyfully as they sculpt with clay. A delighted child walks past with a digital camera searching for something of interest for their next photograph.

Real life experiences and excursions are valuable

trip to the local park, forest, farm, museum

will we do to empower children to express themselves?

Visual art in the New Zealand curriculum

or urban, is sure to have wonderful spots to

benefit from a sound knowledge of the New


Zealand curriculum (MoE, 2007) wherein visual arts education has four key aspects:

Te Whāriki and creative expression

Understanding the visual arts in context. This includes the history of art and art appreciation.

Developing practical knowledge, including the way children explore with art materials and tools, and how they build awareness of visual arts processes and media, such as painting, printmaking, and sculpting.

Developing ideas in response to observation and imagination. For example, supporting a child to develop a drawing into a two-colour screen print.

Communicating and interpreting, including the use of verbal, written or information communication technological (ICT) modes.

It should be noted that this document is currently under revision. However, learning outcomes regarding visual art education still sit in the communication strand of Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education [MoE], 2016) in the draft for consultation. Teachers will be aware that learning outcomes from the New Zealand early childhood curriculum include children becoming skilled “…with media

Strategies to reach the goal of a quality visual

that can be used for expressing a mood or

art space include providing children with

a feeling or for representing information,

many opportunities for exploration with all

such as crayons, pencils…” (MoE, 1996, p.

of their five senses. This requires education

80). Children can convey a message through

professionals to be attentive to the early

visual literacy and teachers can enable

learning environment. The sounds, tastes,

this by ensuring the learning environment

smells, along with what can be observed with

celebrates expression and communication.

March 2017

communication” (p. 74) in our centre? What




Listen to children and let their ideas inspire you Part of the title of this article derives from my qualitative research (Plows, 2013). A participating three-year-old child was inspired by Horton (an elephant character featured in a Dr Suess book and movie) during my study. She indicated that she was going to transform the concept of an elephant into an amalgam of creatures, announcing that her artwork was “…going to be a different elephant!”. With great factual knowledge of animals she described her drawing, saying, “it (has) an elephant’s feet with a hamster’s head and a porcupine tail” (Plows, 2013). The complexity of the communication skills and sophisticated creativity exhibited by the three-year-old children in my study impressed the teacher participants (Plows, 2013). The dispositions included children’s intense concentration during visual art making. These findings were in accord with those of White, Ellis, O’Malley, Rockel, Stover and Toso (2008) who investigated how young children learn through play and found that the parents and teachers had not anticipated the level of complexity that was demonstrated by infants and toddlers.

Strive to think outside of the square Early childhood education studies show that a combination of strategies will be effective when implemented by skilled and attuned early childhood professionals (Chigeza & Sorin, 2016; Goodfellow, 2012). Additionally the understanding of holistic learning and the way that learning areas integrate is increasingly being brought into focus. For example, in the United States, strategies were developed to assist early childhood educators to integrate arts learning with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Goff & Ludwig, 2013). In New Zealand, teachers are familiar with the benefits of holistic development (MoE, 1996; MoE, 2016). Drawing attention to the Education Review Office’s report on mathematics, Leech (2016) highlighted the way that maths concepts such as sequence, measurement, geometry and sorting are developed through play in early childhood settings. Interestingly, visual arts elements, such as shape, colour and line, are also evident in the playful maths learning of

A different elephant

infants, toddlers, and young children, demonstrating how diverse learning areas support each other (Leech, 2016). This is in accord with the investigation of how kindergarten children in Australia and Canada used visual art to demonstrate numeracy knowledge, as realised by Chigeza and Sorin (2016), who found that the implementation of intentional teaching and scaffolding was effective. Their qualitative study found that four and five-year-old children were “…demonstrating substantial numeracy and mathematical concepts” (p. 70) via drawings on postcards. In one sample, a child had drawn a picture of his mother, father and himself. He was able to describe the attributes relating to measurement to demonstrate his knowledge of who was taller or shorter (Chigeza & Sorin, 2016).

for your teams practice if you feel you could be doing more to improve the quality of visual arts experiences in your setting. For example, consider all areas, indoors and outdoors to assess where opportunities for visual art appreciation, art exploration, and visual literacy communication are currently situated. It is beneficial to take some time to review your visual arts curriculum and programme. Ask yourself what does your centre’s creative learning environment sound like, look like, feel like…? Does it reflect your local community? What kind of atmosphere does it have? Is there a sense of vibrancy?

The power of reflective practice The stop, think and change cycle (O’Connor & Diggins, 2002) could be useful

March 2017




Enjoy it Early childhood educators have the agency and the awesome opportunity to foster visual art making and engage in dialogue with children about the visual art works they create. Keep reflecting, learning and growing professionally and personally. For any educators who feel they would benefit from building their artistic confidence, consider getting more involved in visual art making in your own time, either individually or collectively. This could help you to build knowledge about which art equipment and media would suit a particular purpose. It is wise to be careful and intentional when purchasing arts resources from a catalogue. It is true that this takes more time but it is worth it in the long term. As a team, it is a good idea to revisit the learning environment in your centre and look at it afresh to contemplate new ways to invigorate the visual arts spaces.

References Brownlee, P. (2007). Magic places : the adults' guide to young children's creative art work. Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Playcentre Federation. Chigeza, P., Sorin, R. (2016). Kindergarten children demonstrating numeracy concepts through drawings and explanations: Intentional teaching within play-based learning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 41 (5), 65-77 Goff, R. & Ludwig, M. (2013). Teacher practice and student outcomes in arts-integrated learning settings: A review of literature. Washington, DC, USA: American Institutes for Research. Goodfellow, J. (2012). Looking, listening-in and making meaning. Early Childhood Folio, 16 (1), 22-26 Leech, M. (2016). Improving maths learning for everyone. Swings and Roundabouts, 30, 34-35. Ministry of Education. (1996). Te whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa: Early childhood curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media. Ministry of Education. (2016). Te whāriki: He

About the author Julie Plows has a background in visual arts and early childhood education and works as a lecturer at New Zealand Tertiary College in Auckland. From experience as a visual artist and as an early childhood teacher, Julie became interested in visual arts education in early childhood settings. She has presented at early childhood conferences nationally and internationally.

whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa: Early childhood curriculum: Draft for consultation. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media. Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium teaching and learning in years 1 -13. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media. O’Connor, A. & Diggins, C. (2002). On reflection: Reflective practice for early childhood educators. Wellington, New Zealand: Open Mind Publishing. Plows, J. (2010). A waterfall of creativity – How educational leadership can influence the creative competency of young children. Presented at the Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa/ NZ Childcare Association Conference, 10 July 2010. Blenheim, New Zealand. Plows, J. (2013). Three-year-old visual artists: Their interactions during art making (Master of Education dissertation). University of Auckland, Auckland. Visser, J. (2007). Painting with infants: A meaning and connection making experience. The First Years: Ngā Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 9 (2) 23-25. White, J., Ellis, F., O’Malley, A., Rockel, J., Stover, S., & Toso, M. (2008). Play and Learning in Aotearoa New Zealand: Early Childhood Education. In I. Pramling Samuelsson & M. Fleer (Eds.), Play and learning in early childhood settings: International perspectives (pp. 19-49). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Science+ Business Media.

March 2017

Running a successful childcare centre and developing your teachers takes time and planning. Let us help you with a great selection of low-cost workshops. FOR CENTRE OWNERS & MANAGERS


Learn new essential skills! Refine and refresh existing skills!

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• Good governance • Strategic planning • Business planning • Marketing in a competitive environment

• Leading a learning culture • Internal Evaluation • Back to Basics - Notice, Recognise, Respond • Enacting and evidencing the Practicing Teacher Criteria and Tātaiako in everyday practice

• Financial management

• In centre, whole team professional learning by arrangement

• Managing people

• Using the ECC’s Blue Book

• Compliance • Health and safety • ECC-Educa Lunch’n’Learn webinars • Plus much more!

• First Aid refresher • Infants & toddlers • Social competency • Enhancing leadership • Unpacking the updated Te Whāriki document • Treaty based practise & Unpacking Māori values

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Go to www.ecc.org.nz for more information & to register now





ain’t easy! by Peter Reynolds Both on privately-owned and community-

Creating and staying true to a clear set of values that reflect who and what your childcare centre stands for

Understanding the nuances behind the centre’s vision statement and utilising it in all discussions and decisions around the Board table.

owned Boards, Board members need to bring a variety of individual skills, experiences and expertise to the table. The responsibility associated with the position of Board member demands a level of professionalism and integrity. As a collective, Board members are responsible to members, stakeholders and the community generally for sound governance, financial and strategic decisions. My favourite word when defining the role of board members is “stewardship”, meaning “…an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources." Board members are stewards of the business,

By using the key elements of your centre’s Values as a filter, you are ensuring that the decision making of the Board is structured around achieving its strategic vision. It is your responsibility to encourage others onto a similarly strategic way of thinking. When a reflection of your vision statement is demanded in decisions, operations and

on behalf of shareholders, members, etc.

strategies, the values of your centre are

They are environmental managers, ensuring

made apparent to everyone. Your annual

the centre has the resources required

report can then report on the affirmative

(premises, finance, people) to deliver on its

steps you have taken toward achieving

purpose and achieve its vision.

your vision.

The following are seven critical skills that

Skill 6: Personal ownership of

directly impact a Board member’s success

performance targets

whether they are sitting on their first Board or are about to retire from their twentieth. No matter what your capacity is, self-reflect on these points and practice these behaviors in your role to leverage your personal capacity as a Board leader. Skill 7: Be custodian of the Vision

As a Board member, you must take ownership of performance targets for the Board and for your centre. You must insist on evidence (reports, data metrics) demonstrating those targets are being met. If targets are not met, be willing to ask “What is not working here and what do we need

As a Board member, you are tasked with

to do about it?” Use data wherever possible

two imperatives:

to track performance targets with relevant

March 2017

parties. Don’t be seduced by the allure of purely operational minutiae. Skill 5: A willingness to confront facts and mistakes Good Board members have a willingness to confront facts and evidence, without taking a fixed point of view of what is right or wrong, or filtering out the information that is uncomfortable. As a Board member, you must create an environment where it is OK to talk honestly about what needs improvement or what is not working. Use the phrase “What are we missing?” without assuming that you are missing something. You need to be willing to make different choices and decisions if the first direction does not hold up to questioning or scrutiny. Skill 4: Automatically consider multiple scenarios There are always many feasible ways of conducting any one initiative or activity. Do not settle for the first option that is presented to you. Reliably assume it will not always be the most efficient. Always insist on at least two or three alternate ways of carrying out the one important task. If you are tabling more than one option, ensure each option has gone through a rigorous analysis (e.g. finance, risk, vision alignment, contractual implications,



etc.). Then, explore the assumptions behind each option. Only then can you make an

Or to make a statement: Why can’t your team get this right? Your team is no good at this.

Or to manipulate someone to agree with your point of view: Don’t you agree that this is an issue? Agree with me or you will look stupid.

informed choice. The key question you should be asking here is “What if…….?” • What if this was the opposite of what we thought? • What if this was super successful and we couldn’t manage it? What if we have missed something major? • What if we did this with someone else? Etc. Skill 3: An understanding of risk

These questions both disempower and shut down strategic conversations and the exploration that should be the mandate of the Board to nurture. At the very most these types of questions may

As a Board member, you should ensure that

elicit more information but with no strategic

a risk analysis is an integrated component


of the decision-making process of the Board. Risk is not inherently good or bad: its potential to impact on the centre’s ability to carry out strategic goals is the reason it must

When Board members refuse to ask questions that invite curiosity, it sends a very clear message regarding the culture of their centre. When innovation and possibility

be well managed.

are discouraged, blame and confusion run

Risk management should be an


understanding (and ranking) of all the risks

The function of a question is to invite curiosity.

that are involved in running operations, creating a reputation, managing stakeholders and creating the future. It is also about turning these risks into advantages, by analysing them from a strategic opportunity

Exploring the “What if” and “How else”. This sense of curiosity is the gift that every Board member can bring to their Board. Skill 1: A willingness to utilise personal

viewpoint and managing them in a different



Experienced high-performing directors know

Where there is a risk, you will find an

that information and experience will only take

opportunity. Many Directors, however, prefer to be risk-averse. By definition, this

them so far. As the amount of information available increases exponentially the role of

means opportunities will be left on the table.

awareness has taken on more importance.

The very nature of business and success

Tapping into your awareness is an important

demands Directors have a willingness to consider risk as a potential source of

skill that can be developed. Intuition and “gut feel” have been shown by numerous research


papers to be one of the most powerful

What are the typical strategic risks facing a

governance tools available to a Director.

childcare centre? (In no particular order)

Each Board member needs to be aware and

Reputational risk


Compliance risk

Health and safety

Adverse government policy shift (local or national)

Governance dysfunction.

Skill 2: The ability to ask probing questions The role of questions in Boardroom decisionmaking is often ignored or misunderstood. Questions are too often used as weapons to make a point:

Why is this behind schedule? This is behind schedule and it is your fault.

listen to their own awareness and intuition. Even a new Director has access to intuition which is not just based on experience. If something does not “feel” right, be willing to


wonderment and amazement. Remain open to the new, the unfamiliar and the unknown all around you. Be willing to look at what you can do that will generate something new and different. Be flexible and agile. Always choose to be aware and mindful of your environment, both internally and externally: be ready to shift strategy and tactics if the situation requires it. If you are unwilling to adapt to a changing environment, you will fall victim to it. As the new adage goes, “It’s not the big that eat the small… It’s the fast that eat the slow”. Question everything. Ask the question: “If I chose this, would the future expand or contract?” Ask questions that challenge conventional norms and standard practices. Look beyond your best practices or your current market segments. As Peter Drucker said, “The customer (parent) rarely buys what the business thinks it sells him.” Look for an important problem that is not adequately currently being solved by the current marketplace. Question the conclusion this analysis to discover even more novel insights. Only from this space will you be able to tap into innovation as an ongoing, centre practice. Live in the question. Ask the question: What do I need to be aware of here? What contribution can I be? What is going to be good for my centre and me in my life? Questions will begin to grant you an understanding of the big picture, even if it is not immediately apparent to you. Function from this space and the world will be immediately different. Need more information on what makes Good Governance? Go to the Early Childhood Council website, www.ecc.org.nz to enrol in a Good Governance workshop or download or buy (non-member) tools and templates.

explore more. Four key practices to unlock greater awareness in yourself: Constantly expose yourself to new experiences. Place yourself in unfamiliar surroundings or squarely in the middle of unusual or challenging experiences. Let go of your habitual mental routines and learn to think differently about everyday things. Practice looking at common situations and common problems in novel ways. Cultivate a sense of curiosity, awe,

March 2017



March 2017





Recently Autism New Zealand and The Ministry of Education, Bay of Plenty have collaborated on a joint project to better support tamariki with autism at Early Childhood Centres in Rotorua and Tauranga. The project was funded through SELO (Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities). The project consisted of a one-day learning session, followed by a visit to each participating centre and a celebration/ evaluation afternoon. Over twenty early childhood centres for each area were invited to attend a one-day introduction to autism and how to best support their children. Many of the centres attending had children with autism or children they suspected of having autism. During the day, they learned about autism and how to create more opportunities to engage through play, and how the sensory and multi-faceted, ever changing environment in the centre may impact on the child. They practiced making visual supports to make access to activities easier and help the child understand their day a bit more, and looked at aspects of challenging behaviour and how to look at this behaviour in more depth to create plans to prevent behaviours or to teach new ones. The centre visits for up to twenty centres in each area allowed the Autism New Zealand facilitators the opportunity to demonstrate how to engage with the child and to answer individual questions relating to particular children. The facilitators helped staff create meaningful and relevant visual supports which could be implemented right away. For the final session, centres took part in brainstorming solutions to situations that the

March 2017

facilitators had seen on their visits. The centre staff then gave end of programme feedback about what they had learnt during the course. Whilst eating cake of course!!

course and came

Here are examples of the feedback received:

us. We go into centres that have been on

to the Celebration, also commented: “The impact on the community is huge for the course and we are all talking the same

Change in the adult thinking “We see things more clearly from his perspective now. We think differently about how he sees the world.”

language. It’s so much easier for us to support.” Such was the success of the programme, the Bay of Plenty wish to continue working with Autism New Zealand in 2017 and we

Implementation of visual strategies “The tools have helped all the children. We introduced some visuals that a parent could use at home, I made the board with the child and when mum came he was able to tell mum how to use it. I tried the visuals by myself then when I was sure they worked I shared them with the other staff.”

Involvement of parents “The parent perspective made me think how I could support our parents more. I’ve been making stories for the mum and dad at home.”

The visits “It was amazing watching [Neil Stuart]. I had tried, but didn’t really get it until I watched. [The child with autism’s] engagement with us has increased hugely. We’ve learnt the same catchphrases and he responds to them all. He runs into our arms now when he arrives at kindy.”

Greater engagement with peers “I wanted to know how we could engage him with his peers. You were easily able to demonstrate that and now we have games where everyone’s included.” A speech therapist from the Ministry of Education office who had attended the day

are already planning for our next intake of Centres.

2017 Dates Ministry of Education SELO funded (free for participants), Introduction to Autism in an Early Childhood Setting, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay: We are delighted to be continuing our SELO programmes with Ministry of Education in Bay of Plenty, and welcoming Hawkes Bay. http://www.autismnz.org.nz/training_ programmes/ministry-of-education-selointroduction-to-autism-in-early-childhoodeducation-bay-of-plenty Venues to be confirmed, times are approximate and may change slightly depending on venue. Te Puke/Papamoa Initial Workshop – 1 March, 9:30am – 3:30pm Centre Visits – Either 15 or 16 March, times to be arranged with the Educators End of Programme Celebration – 22 March, 2pm – 5pm Te Puna/Tauranga Initial Workshop – 3 May, 9:30am – 3:30pm



Centre Visits – Either 17 or 18 May, times to be

A two session programme in which primary

arranged with the Educators

school staff learn and try out strategies to

End of Programme Celebration – 2 May, 2pm – 5pm Napier Initial Workshop (open to all) - 26 May, 9:30am – 3:30pm Centre Visit - either 7 or 8 June, times to be arranged with your Educator. A workshop participant and the child with autism must be present for your centre visit. Final Workshop - 14 June, 2pm – 4pm

support and include a child with autism in everyday school activities. http://www.autismnz.org.nz/training_ programmes/tilting-the-seesaw-southland FANZ, 12 – 13 April


or more information please check our website. http://www.autismnz.org.nz/training_ programmes FANZ Taranaki, 12 – 13 April FANZ Timaru, 3 – 4 May Way to Play Manawatu, 5 May FANZ Waikato, 10 – 11 May

A two-day introductory programme about

Tilting the Seesaw Christchurch, 11, 18,

autism that enables participants to create a

and 25 May

framework for understanding and supporting

FANZ Auckland, 22 – 23 May

people with autism. http://www.autismnz.org.nz/training_ programmes/fanz-southland-framework-for-

FANZ Nelson, 22 – 23 May Way to Play Whanganui, 2 June Way to Play Christchuch, 16 June

Taupo/Turangi, and Rotorua


We are yet to confirm dates for Taupo/Turangi

Introduction to Autism in an Early Childhood

and Rotorua, but may be scheduling them in

Setting, May and June

FANZ Levin, 27 – 28 June

August and November respectively. Please

Two centre visits and a workshop to learn

Way to Play: http://www.autismnz.org.nz/

check the website or sign up to Autism New

FANZ Rotorua, 20 – 21 June Way to Play Waikato, 23 June

strategies to use with children with autism in


Early Childhood.

FANZ: http://www.autismnz.org.nz/training_


Centre Visit – 15 May, times to be arranged


Southland programmes thanks to funds raised by Fight for Kidz 2016:

and the child with autism must be present for

Zealand Membership to receive email updates when new dates are confirmed: http://www.

Autism New Zealand was also lucky enough to have funds raised for us by Fight for Kidz

with your Educator. A workshop participant your centre visit Workshop (open to all) – 16 May, 9:30am – 3:30pm

Tilting the Seesaw: http://www.autismnz. org.nz/training_programmes/tilting_the_ seesaw_-_pilot_programme We may be scheduling Tilting the Seesaw for the first time in Blenheim, Dunedin, and

2016 in Southland. This has allowed us to run

Final Visit – either 13 or 14 June, times to

Nelson for 2017. This is not yet on our website

special discounted programmes in Invercargill.

be arranged with your Educator. A workshop

but may join our membership to receive

participant and the child with autism must be

email updates: http://www.autismnz.org.nz/

present for your centre visit.



Or email training@autismnz.org.nz to register


your interest.

FANZ Adult Specific, 7 – 8 March A two-day introductory programme about autism that enables participants to create a framework for understanding and supporting adults with autism. http://www.autismnz.org.nz/training_ programmes/fanz-southland-framework-forautism-in-new-zealand Tilting the Seesaw, 24 March and 7 April


Autism New Zealand courses coming up in March – June:

To find out more and to register, please click this link: www.autismnz.org.nz/training_programmes

We regularly schedule educational workshops

Or contact Morgan Ryan, Education

all over New Zealand. For the full years dates

Coordinator, training@autismnz.org.nz

March 2017






Mr Men: My Mummy By Roger Hargreaves

are needed, mummies are Splendid, Fun,

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

Magic, Sunshine – lots of the Little Miss

Mr Men (AU Lic)

rolled into one!

The Little Miss will help you show your

The perfect book for giving and sharing any

mummy just how special she is to you.

time you want to say I love you, too.

The Great Sock Secret By Susan Whelan Illustrated by Gwynneth Jones EK Books This book is sure to charm young readers who adore fairies and have a vivid imagination. Sarah’s mother is tired of finding old socks

Dance with Me By Penny Harrison

in the laundry basket. Where do the missing socks go? Sarah’s mother is pretty sure the puppy is responsible, but Sarah knows better. And her mother simply mustn’t find out the truth! Readers will enjoy the entertaining illustrations as they spot the fairies and the imaginative use of the missing socks throughout the book. This is a book that can be enjoyed in small and large groups.

pops out of her box for some extra fun and excitement when the little girl isn’t looking. But eventually the little girl grows up and no

Illustrated by Gwnynneth Jones

longer needs her and the ballerina is locked

EK Books

away…until one day…

This book will ignite the imagination of

A great book to discuss treasured

preschoolers, especially those who are enthralled with the world of dance and

possessions, and how it’s ok if we no longer need a special possession, but how like this

ballet. This story shows the importance of

little girl we can keep our favourite toys in a

treasured possessions and the memories

special place to open up at a later date. Also

they create through the eyes of a music box

allows the opportunity for discussing other

ballerina whose days are filled with joy as she

options, such as sharing your treasures with

dances for her little girl owner, and who also

others, giving away, etc.

Patch and Ruby By Anouska Jones Illustrated by Gwynneth Jones EK Books This book is essentially about the importance and joy friendship can give, the idea of belonging and will appeal to children who may feel they don’t quite fit in. The main character is Patch the pony who

March 2017

From making you smile, even when things are going wrong, to knowing just when hugs

has fun with his owner Sam and the other farm animals who are all friendly, but Patch feels that something is missing and that he hasn’t yet found his niche. Sam notices that Patch is missing her when she is away at school and comes up with a solution…and Patch’s life is changed forever… The delightful illustrations have a simplicity that will draw in readers again and again. This book is versatile and will be able to be read in small and large groups.


Mauri Ora Wisdom From the Māori World By Peter Alsop & Te Raumawhitu Kupenga Potton & Burton Mauri Ora is a book to treasure and gain wisdom from. Based on whakatauki (proverbs or pearls of wisdom) that have been passed from generation to generation as an intrinsic part of the Māori world. The whakatauki are grouped into six themes:


are central to happiness and wellbeing and to offer readers reflection, learning, personal growth and leadership and stems from the science of positive psychology, the study of how to live a better life. Alongside each whakatauki (written in both te reo Māori and English) is a carefully selected photograph from New Zealand’s past. These photographs themselves are a treat and offer a visual history of Aotearoa. This book is perfect for anyone, but will have particular meaning to those looking to

mātauranga/wisdom, māia/courage,

improve their te reo and their understanding

atawhai/compassion, ngākau tapatahi/

of the world of Māori, and seekers searching

integrity, whakahautanga/self-mastery,

for further knowledge of oneself and

and whakapono/belief. These virtues were

meaning of the world through a traditional

chosen due to being considered ideals that

Māori lens.


clever text will have instant appeal and

By Deborah Hinde PictureBook Publishing

young listeners will not even realise they are learning about concepts such as colour, shape, size and texture. (Hinde has illustrated

“Hare was in a bit of bother. He’d had a really

many well known picture books, including A

good idea… but then he’d lost it. He hunted

Kiwi Night Before Christmas, and the Te Reo

high…He hunted low. But it was nowhere to

Singalong series, plus many more.)

be found. ‘Bother,’ said Hare. ‘Bother, bother, bother.’” Hare’s animal friends try and help, but nothing works until Hare has another idea! The charming illustrations alongside the

Don’t Cross The Line! By Isabel Martins Illustrated by Bernardo Carvalho Gecko Press ‘Don’t Cross The Line’ is written and illustrated by duo Isabel Martins and Bernardo Carvalho that created the award winning children’s book ‘Planeta Tangerina’. ‘Don’t Cross The Line’ is a comical story about a guard who always followed the general’s orders without question. However this time, the order is that no one must cross the line. The right hand page of this book must be kept blank for the general. As the crowd builds up on the border, the guard is put under pressure to make a decision to whether he should continue to follow the general's orders or to disobey him for the sake of the general population. ‘Don’t Cross The Line’ is a slapstick postmodern

This delightful and humourous story is perfect to read in any situation but reading one-on-one or small groups will benefit the most from the possible learning opportunities within the text and illustrations.

tale that is also a profound statement about dictatorship and peaceful revolution. The illustrations with their felt tip and pencil drawn appearance that are found in ‘Don’t Cross The Line’ will appeal to children. They are colourful and represent a diverse population. In his work Carvalho has provided a child with hours of entertainment as they go over the busy and filled pages. ‘Don’t Cross The Line’ has fresh and quirky format and illustrations that will invite and intrigue children. The storyline and illustrations are equally playful, humorous and fun and is sure to engage all children, even those who try and escape from reading and books. ‘Don’t Cross The Line’ would be ideal for both group and one-on-one reading sessions. Reviewed by Fern Anderson

March 2017




Māui – Sun Catcher By Tim Tipene Illustrated by Zak Waipara Oratia Books What perfect timing! Although this book’s Māui has a different look and storyline to Disney’s Moana, this similarity I imagine will give this beloved Māui story a larger audience than first ever imagined.

than you know. That sun moves too fast, I’ll make him slow.’” This modern bilingual version will appeal to preschoolers and to our younger teachers who can relate to the modern slang and terminology, such as ‘bro’ and ‘cheeky fella,’ and of course, being a modern tale Māui now rides in a car instead of walking on foot, which it makes even more relatable to our contemporary youngsters. Alongside the text

In this modern retelling Māui is a school

the graphic style illustrations further allows

boy who lives with his mother and four older

a new generation to enjoy this ancient and

bothers in a city setting where the day is

beloved tale. Perfect to read in large and

never long enough to get things done.

small groups.

Ako Pānui

The simple stories each an amusing twist

Ako Pānui Pukapuka Mahi 1

or quirkiness within the storyline and throughout the illustrations, which will help engage these learner readers and those

Illustrated by Scott Pearson

being first introduced to te reo Māori.

Huia Publishers

Ako Pānui Pukapuka Mahi 1 has been

Ako Pānui is a set of five first readers in te reo Māori, with each book focussing on an area of

published as a companion to support and reinforce the learning from Ako Pānui. The activities are in te reo Māori and are ideal for

language and concept learning for children,

children aged four to six. Activities include

including: shapes, colours, counting up to ten,

dot-to-dot, puzzles, colouring, finding hidden

prepositions and different types of transport.

animals and matching puzzles.

Tōku Whenua: Aotearoa Tōku Ao

of each country displayed alongside colourful

Huia Publishing

features of each country.

Tōku Whenua: Aotearoa is a fantastic reference for both children and teachers to learn the names of many New Zealand’s towns, cities and significant natural and built landmarks in te reo Māori.

These two brightly coloured poster-sized

Tōku Ao, a world map, has the Māori names

encourage discussion and engagement.

When the Bell Rings

This fun and rhyming story set in a classroom

By Maxine Hemi Illustrated by Andrew Burdan Huia Publishers Every morning Nanny Hineari and her class

March 2017

“Māui flicked his brow and smiled. ‘I can do more

illustrations of significant landmarks and

maps are a perfect addition to brighten up any learning environment. The illustrations scattered throughout the posters are interesting, draw the reader in and

will have wide appeal as the storyline melds together realism, fantasy and humour and which is captured not just by the text but also by the colourful illustrations. The book encourages children to learn and remember the days of the week, and

start the day off singing along to the tune

is a good introduction to simple sentence

from an autoharp, until one day the harp goes

structures and prepositions. Perfect to read

missing…Will the class ever find their harp?

in large and small groups.


If I Was A Banana By Alexandra Tylee Illustrated by Kieran Rynhart Gecko Press ‘If I Was A Banana’ is a capturing children’s book that is both beautiful and intriguing. After being read the story resonated long afterward and begs to be read repeatedly. The boy’s-eye-view of the everyday brings



the heart in all of us. ‘If I Was A Banana’ hits right on the mark for both the oddity of a child's mind and the importance of a child learning self love and self acceptance. A child's voice and worldview is perfectly encapsulated by Tylee and Rynhart. The words flow with the essence of a poem while simultaneously being both funny and full of depth in their simplicity. The illustrations in ‘If I Was A Banana’ are visually

alive the absurdity of the world inside our

impeccable, they are evocative, technically

own heads. It beautifully captures the magic

skilled and emotionally resonant. The words

a child can find in common objects and day-

and illustrations work together to make a

to-day encounters; clouds, bananas, toys,

whole greater than its parts.

breakfast starts. Each of these mundane and simple things sparks a new train of thought, and the result is a gorgeous mix of the poetic

‘If I Was A Banana’ would be ideal for one-onone reading sessions.

and the prosaic which will touch the child and

Reviewed by Fern Anderson

The Genius of Bugs

The book caters to a wide range of ages,

By Simon Pollard Te Papa Press The Genius of Bugs by biologist and awardwinning author Simon Pollard draws on the latest research that reveals recent discoveries about the super-sized powers of some of the world’s most astounding insects and spiders. Pollard who was Te Papa’s science advisor for their science exhibition Bug Lab, which opened in December 2016,

with each page full to the brim of interesting and wacky bug facts that can be read in full to the older reader or the adult reader picking and choosing from the easy-read text for preschoolers. The up-close dramatic photography adds to the book’s appeal. This book is perfect for those children that love bugs and factual books. Best read one-onone or small groups as it’s a book that will encourage plenty of collaborative discussion. There is also a companion activity book, The

introduces readers/listeners to an arrange

Genius of Bugs Activity Book, which is most

of bugs including the master-of-disguise

suited for school-aged children, although

orchid mantis and the killer brain-surgeon

some older preschoolers may also enjoy

jewel wasp.

some activities as well.

Tuna And Hiriwa

the same. Disappointed, he hatches a plan

By Ripeka Takotowai Goddard Illustrated by Kimberly Andrews Huia Publishers ‘Tuna And Hiriwa’ is both visually stunning and captivating in its text. It is author Ripeka Goddard’s first picture book and is inspired by tales of eeling she gained whilst growing up in rural New Zealand. ‘Tuna And

to take the nymph’s light. But the moon sees what Tuna does, and in her anger, she prevents Tuna from swimming in her moonlight again. The combination of story and illustrations in ‘Tuna And Hiriwa’ are almost unbeatable. The story is captivating and in combination with the illustrations a reader would not wish to take their eyes of the page. Young children

Hiriwa’ tells the story of how the tuna got

will be enticed by the story and in be in awe

its silver belly but forever had to live in the

from the detailed and technically skilled

dark depths of the river. Young eel Tuna is


in awe of a beautiful nymph named Hiriwa that glows and dances along the river bank in the moonlight. Night after night Tuna meets Hiriwa and basks in the moonlight, hoping that he will also glow but he remains

‘Tuna And Hiriwa’ is ideal for either a oneon-one or group reading session in any ECC centre. Reviewed by Fern Anderson

March 2017




A is for Aotearoa A Lift-the-Flap Treasure Hunt By Diane Newcombe Illustrated by Melissa Anderson Scott

a secret message that has washed up on an Auckland beach, the place where the alphabet treasure hunt begins, due to Auckland starting with the letter ‘A’. From then on in, the reader/listener is working out where they are in New Zealand following the

Picture Puffin

alphabet and the revealing clues under each

This quirky interactive book is a fun


introduction for children 4+ to discover

The mixed media illustrations add to the

different places in New Zealand. The book celebrates our rich history, culture, diversity and physical beauty.

fun. This book can be enjoyed by both young readers and adults alike, and when reading to preschoolers possibly best read one-on-one

The story begins with a bottle containing

or very small groups.

Amazing Book of LEGO® Star Wars™

cool fold-out papers. Large pictures and

By Dorling Kindersley Dorling Kindersley The Amazing Book of LEGO® Star Wars™ is

away in this early year’s reference book with short, simple sentences bring LEGO Star Wars to life for children aged 5 and beyond. Favourite Star Wars characters are explored from Anakin Skywalker and Yoda, to Rey and

the perfect introduction to the Star Wars

Kylo Ren, while awesome LEGO Star Wars

universe for young fans.

sets are brought to life.

Children new to Star Wars will love

The Amazing Book of LEGO® Star Wars™ also

discovering more about the galaxy far, far

comes with a gigantic pullout poster.

Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas Penguin Random House Prize Pack

written story is a delight to read.

The simple water colour illustrations work

By Lynne Cox

Illustrated by Brian Floca

alongside the text and help describe the story perfectly. Due to the longer text the book is best read and enjoyed by older preschoolers.

Potton & Burton Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas is based on

Penguin Random House as kindly donated THREE a true but widely unknown story about an prize packs for Swings and Roundabouts readers, elephant seal that made Christchurch’s Avon each pack containing THREE Books! River her home despite many attempts to keep her away. This beautifully and well-

In saying that, despite the lengthy text the descriptive narrative will draw listeners in as it’s an inspiring tale of one animal and its love for a different kind of home. A slice of history that should be shared with all young New Zealanders.

To win a free pack of Penguin Random House books finish this book title: A is for …

Competition Winners

Email your contact details and the answer to the above question to publications@ecc.org.nz by Friday 29 April 2017 and be in to win.

Kamini Hermon, Rangimarie Montessori Children’s House, Johnsonville

(Clue: answer found in a Resource Review)

March 2017

Congratulations to the following winners who have won 3 Penguin Random House books for their ECE centre: Maria Golding, Edukids Montel, Henderson Janice Hemingway, St Marks Preschool, Tokoroa

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Last Laugh

Obituary of the late Mr. Common Sense 'Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Elastoplast to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; along with his daughter and son, Responsibility and Reason. He is survived by his four stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

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