Swings & Roundabouts - Issue 32 (Summer 2016)

Page 1

Summer 2016





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Inside this issue... December 2016

Summer 2016












34 SEAWEEK 2017


Editor Trudi Sutcliffe

Production Co-ordinator Luke Lynch

Editorial Enquiries publications@ecc.org.nz

Graphic Designer Liki Udam

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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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

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December 2016


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.

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EDITOR “One of the great things that any community can do is not teach tolerance, but live tolerance, not talk respect, but live inclusivity.”

The ECC’s Marketing and Communication

– Michael Pritchard

received from Special Education.

Seasons Greetings to you all. I don’t know anyone who ever worked in the ECE sector who said the work was boring. For teachers every day is different with new and exciting adventures to experience and explore with the children they care and teach, ongoing communication with families and record taking. Managers and owners often face changes in regulations and policy, and over this year the changes have been constant, from The Food Act to changes to health and safety to funding children who need extra support, and everything in between. The Early Childhood Council (ECC) throughout the year has offered advice to both its members and to all ECE practitioners through workshops, emails, and Swings & Roundabouts about many of these changes ECE centres have faced. In this issue the ECC has put together a Special Education Update to inform you on the changes proposed and what it may mean to ECE services. The update also shares the many concerns ECE centres have voiced to the ECC in regards to past and current interaction with what was Special Education, and now Learning Support, concerns many of you will be able to relate to. Also within the Learning Support feature there are several opinion pieces, first from Ministry of Education’s Special Education National Director David Wales. David explains the reasoning behind these changes and what the Ministry is hoping to achieve. We have an opinion piece from the ECC’s CEO Peter Reynolds on these changes and the proposed solutions. Geoff Fugle, a lead ECE teacher from Whangarei discusses the current review of Te Whāriki and how our curriculum currently supports the needs of children who require extra support and the possibilities ahead if we do it ‘right’.

Doing the books is child’s play!

Officer Trisha Lealiifano-Mariota shares her own personal story about the various support her young son Joziah and their family

To complete our Learning Support feature teacher Ingrid Wubben and Trustee manager Viv Romero from Kerikeri Community Childcare Trust share how effective the Tomatis® Method has been for several of the children who attend their centre and how it could help to enhance all children’s learning. Plus much more in our information packed Summer issue. Thank you to all our contributors and to all who enjoy reading Swings & Roundabouts throughout the year. If there is a story you’d like to read in Swings & Roundabouts we’d love to hear your ideas. We love sharing all ECE stories, both teachers and management focussed so if your centre has been on a recent journey/ change/reflection and you’d like to share this to inspire other ECE teachers and managers please contact me. Upcoming features in Swings & Roundabouts include:

The Vulnerable Children Act

Successfully employing and inducting a new staff member

Te Whāriki

Designing your centre to be inclusive to all families

Teaching children from diverse ethnicities

If you’d like to contribute to these topics or any ECE focused topic send your enquires, ideas and article submissions to Trudi, publications@ecc.org.nz Trudi Sutcliffe Editor publications@ecc.org.nz

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December 2016



A farewell to Hekia by Peter Reynolds Hekia Parata’s announcement that she will

Parata is a woman and a Māori, and

above what we were told to expect) should

be retiring from politics at the next election

National’s executive is short of both.

be the maximum verification payment. It has

was a surprise to us, as it was to many.

Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye

invited contact from centres being asked to

Whatever you think of her, no one would

would have been the obvious choice to

pay more. We would like MPI to suspend the

call her a coward. She has implemented

replace her, but she is battling cancer.

substantial change in the ECE sector, and has been genuinely committed to getting resource to the low-income, Māori and Pasifika children who need it most.

Some have suggested Todd Muller, Chris Bishop or Jami-Lee Ross (who is Māori). Some have suggested Paula Bennett, a former ECE Spokesperson. Some have even

That, I think, will be her most significant

suggested Bill English, who would have the

legacy – driving up levels of participation,

mana to drive through substantial reform

most importantly amongst some of our most

were the Government so inclined.

needy and vulnerable children.

The range of public guesses suggests the

In a Government in which some have kept

possibility that no one, perhaps not even the

their heads down, she has stood out as

Prime Minister, knows who will take what is

someone prepared to act decisively. We

very possibly the most difficult portfolio in

have often disagreed with her, but we have


respected her as a Minister who sought to serve her constituency and not just her time. Our biggest problem with her is that she purchased her increased participation (in part) by diminishing per-child funding throughout our sector, and has, as a consequence, driven parent fees up and

verification process until enough verifiers are set up in all regions. And we would really like them to do something that guarantees ECE services are not ‘robbed blind’ by those providing verification services. So please. If you are being quoted above $500, tell MPI and tell us. The more who do this, the more likely we will get change. Two: Police vetting. While we oppose the application of the Food Act to ECE, the Early Childhood Council is a strong supporter of the Vulnerable Children’s Act. This Act requires government-funded providers to have child protection policies, and mandates

Whoever draws the straw is likely to face

Police vetting of those set to work with

difficult challenges in ECE. They will face,

children. We have, however, two big problems

I suspect, a sector that has had a gutsful

with Police vetting. Firstly, Police vets are

of ‘funding cuts by stealth’, and a gutsful of increased charges for items like Police vetting and food safety inspections. There will

being delivered late. Police data shows, for example, that almost three quarters of August 2016 vet checks were delivered late.

be little appetite for more of the same.

The result has been stress for ECE teachers,

It is important to note that she is not gone yet,

Seven big issues for ECE

of temporary staff filling in for permanent

has said she does not intend to ‘leave behind

The Early Childhood Council has been

quality down.

unfinished business’, and could, Prime Minister allowing, continue as education minister right up to the next election. It is unlikely she will go this year (2016). The most compelling reason to imagine Minister Parata might stay until the election is the fact that immediate-past Secretary for Education Peter Hughes has exited the Ministry of Education for the State Services Commission and a new Secretary is yet to take over; and changing both Minister and Secretary would be risky in an election year.

focussed, in the past few months, on a wide range of challenging issues. Council CEO Peter Reynolds discusses seven… One: The Food Act. Before this Act became law, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) officials told us verification/inspection services would cost round $300 a time. It seems, however, that the local bodies and private providers undertaking these services are exploiting the fact childcare centres are compelled to comply with the new rules. As a result many services are being quoted $1000

and children destabilised by a procession employees who cannot start work because their vets have not been delivered. To add a slap on the face to a kick in the guts, the Police (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill is, at the time of writing (early November 2016), about to be passed by Parliament. This new law is set to require ECE services to pay for Police vets. We have lobbied government on these matters, and it is our hope we do not see the sort of cost escalations we have seen in relation to the Food Act, and that Police will be required to refund vetting fees should they fail to deliver in the expected timeframe. Three: Te Whāriki. The Ministry of Education

Who is likely to replace her? A cynic might

to $1500, with at least one quoted $4000.

is moving currently to update our curriculum,

ask, who would want to? I can think of no

Some have had enough, and are moving

with a draft document due to be released to our sector for consultation as I am writing

Minister of Education since Peter Fraser

to cease providing food. Some are putting

(1935-40), with the possible exception

up parent fees to cover the higher costs.

(02 November, 2016). The Early Childhood

of David Lange, who has not had their

The MPI has responded to Early Childhood

Council supports the review of the 20-year

reputation damaged by the role.

Council pressure by saying that $500 ($200

old Te Whāriki. We hope the new version

December 2016



retains the best of the current document,

Support”) has been self-defeating:

regulated quality’ no matter what style of ECE

ensures learning outcomes are not assessed

they choose.

in a manner that directs teachers from what is best for children, and improves links between the ECE and primary school curricula. We hope also the Government ensures there is plenty of documentation

and professional development to ensure ECE services are able to implement the new curriculum properly.

Leave children with hopelessly inadequate support during their ECE years when the most important cognitive development is occurring;

And finally: Communities of Learning. The Early Childhood Council has welcomed this initiative: local groupings of schools and ECE

Wait until their development is delayed, and their problems exacerbated; then

services working together to share teaching experience and ensure smooth transitions

Intervene, at school, to address the problems created by this neglect.

from one stage of education to the next.

The consequences of this approach have

There are however a few problems. Schools

current funding system is cumbersome

been disastrous for our children. And it

are funded to participate, but ECE services

for ECE services to administer, and not

was no surprise to us when more than

understood by most parents. The Early

80 per cent of centres, in our most recent

Four: The funding system review. Our

are not. Much of the Ministry of Education online support material talks ‘Communities

Childhood Council supports, therefore,

special education survey, indicated ‘delayed

the funding review the Government is

development’ as a result of delays in getting

of Schools’, and ignores ECE. And perhaps unsurprisingly, very few ECE services have

undertaking. The Early Childhood Council is

access to assessment and intervention

expecting no substantial change until 2020

services. This is the context in which the

at the earliest, at which point, we expect the

Government is seeking currently to transfer

emergence of something along these lines:

some funding from schools to ECE services.

We can only hope it holds the line against the

A ‘per-child’ base funding rate (to replace the existing universal payment), derived, like the current 20 Hours payment, from attendance rather than enrolment; An additional subsidy targeted to ‘at-risk’ children, and replacing the existing Equity Funding; Targeting criteria that might include some variation on the Government’s existing ‘social investment’ criteria… parental benefit dependence, the Ministry of Vulnerable Children finding abuse or neglect, parental Corrections history, and low levels of parental education; Extension of this at-risk component to include barriers to achievement such as lack of English language, and special education needs; and 20 Hours retained more or less as is.

While this is the likely outline, it is however, the policy detail in which the devil is likely to reside. We will need to ensure, for example, that a per-child base rate, focussed on attendance rather than enrolment, comes with an allowance for those services at which attendance is irregular through no fault of the ECE provider. We will need to ensure, if learning outcomes are to impact funding levels, that expectations are reasonable and reflect what matters in quality ECE. And, most importantly, we will need to ensure that any new money for ‘at-risk’ children does not cut into funding for everyone else. Five: Special education. The Government’s

been welcomed into communities of learning. If the Government is serious about creating a seamless experience from 0 to 18, it will need

consequential school-based opposition, or

to act assertively to create access for ECE

better still, finds extra money for ECE special

services in Communities of Learning that are

education/Learning Support and maintains

currently dominated by schools.

current levels of service in the compulsory sector.

We wish all centres a very restful, relaxing

Six: Equivalent regulated quality. There

and enjoyable Christmas and a prosperous

are unacceptably large variations in funding

New Year

and regulated quality in ECE. Kindergartens, for three government-

Serious about sun shade ?

funding increases to

… with our various range of shade options, we will help you

example, have received

cover teacher pay rises since 2011, while ECE centres have received nothing. There is also an incomprehensibly lower standard for homebased than centre-based regulation. The new Food Act, for example, exempts home-based services, because it regards them


as a ‘domestic’ rather than a ‘commercial’ undertaking. And while centres are required to have at least 50 per cent fully-qualified



teachers (with most having more than 80 per cent), home-based (so-called) ‘educators’ require no qualification whatsoever. This needs

recent approach to ECE special education

to change. Parents have a

(what they are now calling “Learning

right to expect ‘equivalent

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u o y So

w o n k e

m lco


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

ECC Conferences 2017 In 2017 the ECC is holding two conferences, a three day conference designed specifically for centre managers/owners and a one-day forum for teachers. Embedding Excellence; lead, Learn, Live! A conference focused on ECC Centre Owners, Managers & Committees. Dates: 26 – 28 May 2017 Location: Shed 6, Convention Centre, Wellington ECE Teachers Forum: The Colours of ECE

Te Ara Metua Punanga Reo Kuki Airani Inc, Tokoroa

International and local presentations on a wide range of ECE topics designed to help teachers grow their professional practice.

Little Footsteps – Scott Street & John Street, Blenheim

Date: Saturday 13 May 2017

Endeavours Kindergarten, Hamilton

Clandeboye Preschool, Temuka

Ngongotaha Early Learning Centre,Ngongotaha

Little Sparks Educare, Pukekohe

Rockabye Early Learning Centre, Auckland

The Learning Castle, Auckland

St George's Preschool, Auckland

Smart Start Care and Education Centre, Wanganui

Harper Park Early Learning Centre, Hokitika

Kadimah Preschool, Auckland

Jan's Preschool, Blenheim

West Harbour Christian Kindergarten, Auckland

Growing Minds Early Childhood Centre, Auckland

Auckland Girls Grammar School Childcare Centre, Auckland

Puawai Childcare Centre, Masterton

Beginnings & Beyond Quality Preschool, Papamoa

The Toy Makers Cottage Preschool, Auckland (provisional)

Grow Early Education, Cambridge (provisional)

Adore Childcare, Hamilton (provisional)

December 2016

Location: Skycity Convention Centre, Auckland More information on both events can be found at www.ecc.org.nz (under events)

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

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!

2017 PM’s Education Excellence Awards open Education Minister Hekia Parata is encouraging all schools, kura and early childhood education providers to enter education’s answer to the Oscars. The four main categories for the awards are: Excellence in engaging, Excellence in leading and Excellence in teaching and learning and Excellence in governing. The winning entry in each category receives $20,000 and a professional development opportunity. Category winners are also eligible for the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award, which goes to the group that has had the most impact on raising student achievement. The winner of the Supreme Award receives an additional $30,000. A further prize, the Education Focus Prize, is awarded each year focusing on a different part of the education system. The 2017 Education Focus Prize celebrates excellence in the design of local curriculum using digital technologies. It’s about students using digital technology in their local area in an innovative way to tackle the curriculum. Entries opened on 17 October 2016 and close on 17 March 2017. Entry forms and more information are available at this address: www.pmawards.education.govt.nz/

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AND MODERNISING LEARNING SUPPORT From Dr David Wales, National Director Special Education, Ministry of Education

We want all children to enjoy learning easily alongside their friends - to progress and achieve to their very best, doing well in early childhood and then at school. Early childhood plays a huge role in setting a positive frame for learning and developing children’s learning confidence. The sooner any learning difficulties are identified and the right support is provided the better. While most children learn easily, some find learning a real struggle - for all kinds of reasons. This is tough on any child and can have a ripple effect on their future learning and on others, including their peers, teachers and family. Last year we heard from over 3650 parents, teachers and many others in 156 meetings around New Zealand. They told us that special education is fragmented and access to specialist support is too complicated for parents and teachers. It’s clear we can do a whole lot better and the Learning Support Update is looking across the whole education system to make improvements.

Cabinet decisions released On 19 August 2016 the Minister of Education Hon. Hekia Parata proactively released Cabinet’s decisions, together with the Ministry of Education’s next steps to modernise a fully inclusive education system that puts the progress and achievement of all children and young people at its very heart. Key to our new approach is improving access to learning support for all learners who need it and leaving behind terms like “special education” and “special needs”. People tell us words like these accentuate difference and act as a barrier to a fully inclusive 21st century education system so we’re adopting the term ‘”learning support” instead. The Ministry is currently looking closely at three priorities: the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (we want the best support for older students, particularly those who are 18 - 21 years old and who are transitioning out of school); streamlining Communication Services and reaping the benefits of earlier intervention; and clustering Behaviour Services for greater flexibility. Photos copyright Ministry of Education

December 2016

We are not cutting funding for older children so we can invest it elsewhere. However we do want to get more help to children when they are younger and before they start school. All the evidence shows this will make the biggest difference in their lives and over time we expect this to lower demand for support from older children. We also recognise however that not all learning support needs are identified early and some children’s needs will endure. We'll continue to support those children and young people who need our support.

school transitions; simpler processes for parents; and earlier and better support for early childhood learners, their educators and parents. Improved collaboration between early childhood and school teachers is meaning earlier engagement to support transitions, starting these efforts while children are still in early childhood. Working more effectively with teachers is making a difference together with other practical steps, such as establishing an assigned key Ministry contact person for early learning centres enabling better access to assistance and support.

A more individual and childfocused approach

Mordecai, Keisha-Lee, Te Raukura and Indiyah enjoy a sing along session together.

Funding for older children will only fall if they no longer need support because earlier intervention has been successful and the demand is no longer there. We’re also looking at how we can strengthen accountability and are working with the sector on new ways to measure the individual successes of all children. We’re investigating whether it’s feasible to extend and adapt the learning progressions framework to support the measurement of progress and achievement for students who are learning long-term within one level of the curriculum and may not move beyond that. Measures of successful learning support will need to strike a balance between effectiveness for individuals as well as overall system performance.

No two children are the same. We’re stepping away from highly prescribed services to a more individual approach that puts children, their whānau and teachers at the heart of a fully inclusive education system. Our focus is on teaching and learning to support each child’s particular aspirations and potential – not their limitations or a medical diagnosis to access support. We want everyone to get a better deal by making it much easier for parents, whānau and teachers to access the right support at the best time to make the right difference. And we want much better information available for parents and decision makers. New Zealand kids now and in the future deserve a fully inclusive education system that puts the progress and success of each unique child and young person at the heart of teaching and learning.

Local improvements start making a difference in early childhood education The Ministry has already started making local improvements to fit with communities and agreed local priorities. Many of these projects focus on three improvements: better early childhood to

Early Childhood teacher Viola helps Indiyah and Te Raukura navigate their beads




Learning Support –

a horse by another name?

by Peter Reynolds

The Ministry of Education recently released

of the silly barriers that have existed, driven

have not historically talked to one another

the results of its long-awaited non-review of

by a child’s participation in ECE versus what

that well. What chance is there that children

happens when they go to school. Opening up

will continue to slip through the net while

Special Education. What has changed is the name – from Special Education to “Learning Support”.

some of the support services so that the child

these CoL relationships are forged? If

can access the support they need when they

shifting the risk to CoL works, one can see

need it, rather than decisions around access

government claiming the limelight; where

What is promised is a service that is

being driven by where the child is at in the

focussed on the child and not the place

education system.

government blaming CoLs for the failure.

But there is plenty to be cautious about.

Then there’s the elephant in the room. It

the child attends. The promises include better transitions between ECE services and schools for children needing Learning Support; improved collaboration between teachers; simpler processes and earlier and better support. What is also mentioned is the probable role

Waiting until 2017 has been frustrating. And it means more children in need of support have continued not to get it. But at the same time, taking a little time to ensure the systems are in place and working properly makes some sense – so long as that’s the real reason for

that Communities of Learning (CoLs) will

the delayed rollout.

play. While a new concept, CoLs will likely

We are really cautious about shifting the risk

be the manner in which Learning Support

to CoLs. CoLs is a new phenomenon. ECE

services are accessed and funded, shifting

services are yet to find their space in CoLs in

the risk from the Ministry to schools and ECE

any meaningful way, and it will take years for

services at the local level.

that to occur nationally and for the model to

There is plenty to celebrate in some of these

bed in.

shifting the risk to CoL fails, one can see

doesn’t matter how much you slice and dice the cake – it is still only so big. Without any increase in funding, Learning Support will continue to struggle to meet the needs of children with specific needs. In particular, the vast majority fall into the “medium needs” bucket. This is the area proven time and time again to be where children miss out on support. This is the area where, with the right support, a problem can be resolved and prevented early where there is a real chance to make a difference to a child’s educational and developmental journey for the better,

proposed improvements, to be rolled out

Primarily, CoLs is about relationships

rather than becoming a bigger problem

throughout 2017. Firstly, breaking down some

between parts of the education system that

later on.

December 2016

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Special Education Update

What is Happening? During 2015 the Ministry did a detailed

dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum

analysis of the current state of special

disorders that took place in 2015. The ECC’s

education, of system-wide funding

presentation to the select committee inquiry

arrangements and international evidence on

in November 2015 was based on a survey we

what works in practice to raise achievement

undertook in September last year, a survey

of diverse learners.

of 153 early childhood education centres.

They heard about the concerns sector partners have with our special education system throughout their engagement around the country. There was consistent feedback

For example, more than 80% of centres say children with special learning needs are suffering ‘developmental delay’ as a consequence of poor support services.

If 80% are saying this, it suggests thousands of children could be suffering avoidable developmental delay well before they get to school.

much easier and faster access to help, and

Greater involvement of parents and whānau and better information for them

Much simpler and more transparent access to support

Better interagency co-ordination

More joined up services across the education system

And streamlined support when a child moves to primary or high school or to another school.

At the same time the Minister released an

This damage is often irreparable. The return on government investment is greater under-five than over-five.

An increase in Education Support Worker hours.

Our survey gave a clear picture of why things

The availability of Education Support Worker help in school holidays.

More training to ensure Education Support Workers are able to do their jobs properly.

Funding for Education Support Workers to continue after children turn five so they can spend an extra year preparing for school in an early childhood environment.

Initial teacher educators compelled to convey skills that equip teachers to address the needs of children with special leaning needs.

Cheap or free professional development to up-skill teachers who find themselves in situations they cannot handle.

In relation to transition to school processes, we need funded time for early childhood teachers to visit schools, meet with school teachers, and share concerns; and funding to allow an Education Support Worker to move with the child from an early childhood centre to the school, and stay until the child is settled.

are going so wrong for under-fives with special learning needs.

Update Action Plan. The actions were to

40% of centres wait at least six months for assistance with assessment and diagnosis, and many of these never receive any help with anything. Most survey respondents said the help they received was poor quality and getting worse. And 90% of centres said they did not receive Education Support Workers for the amount of time they are needed.

learning support, redesign and implement

This is a picture of disaster for thousands of

a service delivery model, to remove

under-fives. For thousands of children in dire

fragmentation, inflexibility and other barriers

need, there is no effective help. None. Our

to effective service delivery, and undertake

survey made the consequences clear.

work to ensure best use of funds.

Many undiagnosed.

What do ECE services think?

Those diagnosed receive little or no effective help.

of its members throughout the special

They are often isolated and anxious.

education consultation process including the

They fall further and further behind… and then they face transition to school processes that 80% of surveyed centres describe as inadequate.

parallel and closely connected Education and Science Select Committee Inquiry into the identification and support for students with

Our survey was very clear on what is required.

Shorter waiting times to get Education Support Workers.

design a recognisable, simple system of

The ECC has continued to voice the views

Families of ECE children with special learning needs suffer terribly when they know neither what is wrong with their child nor what to do about it.

2015. Six areas for improvement were

Shorter waiting times for the assessment of children.

findings of the engagement in December

Better guidance and training for teachers

Small centres are forced to put one teacher on one child full time, leaving effective teacher-child ratio of maybe one to 19 for everyone else. This ratio would be illegal in normal circumstances, and should be in any circumstances.

The Minister of Education released the

things about what is happening to our special needs children under five.

that the approach to providing learning


Some physically attack teachers and other children.

This survey uncovered some very distressing

support is far too complicated, people need the support needs to be seamless.

On the following pages is a letter the Early Childhood Council received from an ECC Member.

December 2016




Annabel’s Educare 14 South Tce Darfield 7510 23.9.15

To Peter Reynolds We want to bring to the Early Childhood Council’s attention the difficulties and concerns we have regarding the accessibility to and ongoing support for children in our services with special needs. We have 6 centres in the Canterbury region, 3 in Christchurch and 3 in rural Canterbury. This is a concern for all our centres. We have also discussed this at Learning Cluster meetings throughout the Canterbury region our centres are part of and this is a major concern for all centres in the clusters. We hope that the ECC will take this as a priority and strongly lobby the Government to allocate realistic funding and an equitable service for children with special needs, as well as recognising and responding to the fact that the service they are currently providing for Children and Early Childhood centres do not meet a child’s learning needs, their attendance at the centre or the centres operational needs. Over the past several years gaining support hours for children with recognised specials needs has been difficult to access. Lately this situation appears to have reached an all-time low. The following issues are the major concerns that Early Childhood centres are facing: 1.

The initial assessment of children can take 6 weeks or more to be undertaken and then there is a lengthy wait to be assigned an early intervention teacher, let alone allocated ESW hours– education support worker. This process can take 6mths or more.


There doesn’t appear to be the funding necessary to support children with needs. Currently in our centres we have children who are attending 24hrs a week and they are only receiving between 24hrs of ESW support. One of our centres has 4 children with identified special needs attending on the same days and sessions. Only one child has support over this time for 2hrs. Parents are making full use of their 20hrs ECE entitlement as they are in desperate need of a break too. Once again this puts pressure on our teaching teams although they understand the parent’s needs for a break.


Parents of children with special needs are seeking enrolment into sessions that already have a number of children with special needs in them that are either unfunded or have very little funding. Our ethical problem with this is we have an inclusion policy and to not take them we feel would be discrimination. However to accept these enrolments places a huge pressure on our teaching staff and the centre resources. Also sometimes parents do not disclose their child’s needs until after they have started attending.


In the past we have had children with high needs attending our centres that have only received 24 hours of ESW support a week, however, when they have moved through to school they have received full Orrs funding meaning they have a teachers aid supporting them all day, every day, just because they turned 5yrs old. This under values the importance of their early years and hinders

December 2016




the holistic learning and teaching opportunities a quality EC centre provides. These are vital years that with adequate support would make a significant contribution to learning outcomes for these children. What is the difference between one day you are 4 and the next you are 5? 5.

In New Zealand children do not need to attend school until they are 6yrs old and an increasing number of children are choosing to delay entry to school and stay in an Early Childhood centre. For children with special needs it has often been assessed that the Early Childhood programme best supports and meets the child’s learning needs at this time however this option has been removed for children with special needs as all ESW funding and early intervention specialist support STOPS when they turn 5yrs old. If they wish to continue to access specialist support they must start school. Choosing to remain in the Early Childhood setting puts additional pressure on our teachers and resources.


The current system of specialist early intervention support and ESW support is based on a school system. ie delivered school term time only. Over the school term break there are no ESW support hours provided although children are still entitled and do still attend. What this means is Early Childhood has at least 10 weeks of the year where children with special needs are unsupported, unfunded yet still attending centres.


When ESW’s are on annual leave or ring in sick, they are not replaced. Why can’t these staff like other staff be replaced? Centre’s could find a reliever and then charge the appropriate agency ie: GSE, Champion Centre etc


Without adequate support this places immense pressure on centre teachers to be fully responsible to respond to and meet the needs of children with special needs. It is not unusual for one centre teacher to be solely involved working with and responding to the needs of children with special needs. This places additional pressure on the teaching team and results in less opportunities for other children to be engaged in quality teaching time with their teachers.


We have had parents voice their frustration when they see there are several children with special needs in one session, that these children are receiving no additional support, the resulting additional teaching pressure this puts on centre teachers time and the resulting lost learning opportunities for their child.

10. We are aware that in order to relieve this pressure on their teachers and ensure all children have equitable opportunities to spend quality teaching time with the centre teachers some centres are having to engage an extra Teacher to come in and work over this time. This is, NOT funded, NOT affordable, NOT our responsibility and NOT fair to the children or the centre. We feel this will set a very dangerous precedent and will allow the Govt to continue to underfund special needs in Early Childhood. Currently we have an inequitable service that disadvantages children and Early Childhood centres. Appropriate levels of support needs to be provided for children in the setting that best meets their learning needs for the period of time they are enrolled to attend this setting. The age of the child and the setting they attend is irrelevant and should not be the deciding factor when allocating support. We attended the consultation meetings held last month to ‘review’ Special Needs service delivery and voiced our concerns then, however as with previous reviews over the years we have had very little feedback and do not hold much hope that anything will change. We will keep lobbying on this front and would like the ECC to strongly lobby on the national front also. Looking forward to your response and support.

Annabel Sloss Director Annabel’s Educare

Ceri Foote Area Manger Annabel’s Educare

December 2016




Where to from here? On 19 August 2016 the Minister announced

as outlined in the July 2016 Cabinet paper.

the Ministry’s next steps for special education

The Ministry of Education has said that by

The announcement drew from a July 2016

January 2017 the overall changes to Learning

Cabinet paper called Strengthening Inclusion

Support will have started.

and Modernising Learning Support that asked Ministers of Parliament to say “yes” to the four things identified as needing checking and changing – accountability, investment decisions, improved services, and Ministry language.

Accountability includes measuring individual and system performance and improving accountability through a stronger outcomes framework Improving investment decisions with a focus on three priorities ○␣



• •

reviewing the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme to ensure the most effective support for students, particularly those between 18 - 21 who are transitioning out of school streamlining Communication Services so we reap the benefits of early intervention clustering Behaviour Services for greater learning support flexibility

Improving and modernising the Ministry’s own specialist services, and Changing Ministry language from "special needs" and "special education", as it can act as a barrier to developing a fully inclusive education system. Special education will instead be called ‘learning support’.

The ECC is somewhat relieved to hear about the Government’s recognition of the need for serious improvements for learning support, including early intervention for under fives,

December 2016

The ECC will continue to influence where it can for a new and improved learning support (special education) system for under fives. In September 2016 we asked for our members’ views on the special education local improvement projects being rolled out across the country. The local improvement projects have been set up in specific regions and tailored to local needs to ensure that:

that were captured in the survey from those involved in a local improvement project. We have left out names for privacy reasons as agreed with respondents.

Comments from ECE services involved in a Local Improvement Project “Yes we have had some children identified and picked up by special ed quite quickly and a lot sooner than expected. We seem to be involved more with transition to school such as being involved in meetings between all parties which is great.”

Moving from early childhood to school is easy for learners with disabilities

The education system is easier for parents to work with

2014 received ESW worker twice a week in

There is good support for early childhood learners their teachers and parents

child to move to a 'home care' situation

To find out more about each of the Local Improvement Projects go to this website

“All experiences have been disappointingly negative. One child - first referral in April August 2016!!! We have now asked for the with only 3 children. Not able to function in larger groups without violence. This is one incident of many. Too many to mention.


I have sympathy for the Special Needs


teams because they are stretched over


their limits and are only able to touch the


surface of each case. Teachers have so

In our small targeted survey of 65 respondents, 26.15% stated they had had involvement in a local improvement project. We also asked these same ECE services to share any other concerns they may currently have so that we can explore the extent to which the Ministry’s new Learning Support approach is going to help. In this same survey, 76.56% of respondents said they find the current special education system frustrating and/or unhelpful. We share with you just some of the stories

much on their plates nowadays and adding high-needs children into the mixes above and beyond what a teacher in main stream circumstances, should have to deal with. One Special Ed person told us that we were not abiding by professional criteria by expressing our concern over a very high-needs child that required absolute 1 – 1 attention all day. (climbing shelves, cupboards, fences, eating everything - bark, plants, toys) We expressed Health & Safety concerns and we told we are unprofessional - does wonders for the morale of the staff”


“Over the recent year we have had help with speech for a couple of children. I feel the process to get help allocated takes too long but once we get help I am pleased with the quality of the care and education. On occasion I feel that speech therapy isn’t the only concern and getting extra learning support in a time consuming process that takes a lot of energy and that the process seems confusing as to who and how this best works” “The child was due to start school and suddenly the MOE staff involved with our child contacted us and wanted to meet for their transition - this was all expected to happen in the last month the child was with us. Prior to this, we had very infrequent visits from the specialists but we did feel if needed we could contact them via phone - just actual visits were few and far between. We also didn't know about the improvement project on school transitions until they tried to fit everything in the final month!” “We have had a positive and supportive experience with MoE.” “Essentially they have been great to deal with, this is once you actually make contact with them. Professional, supportive and willing to assist within the perimeters of their agency.” “Have been allocated support worker hours in centre for two children. 1 hr a day each. Not enough hours to really support them. IDP's have been erratic and not particularly helpful. A new speech and language therapist has been appointed as previous therapist left but had not engaged with the two children at all. Support worker allocated is fantastic.” “We had to advocate quite hard to get a ESW for a child; we had an in-house teacher we recommended but were told SES had to find a person themselves, wasting time in advertising, checking and employing that person...and jeopardising the child's learning. We ended writing letters of advocacy to key people and suddenly we were allowed to employ the perfect match for that child. Once this was going, it was Ok, but what a battle to start with!” “We have had several children who need learning support transition from our centre to primary school. For some children the transition has been smooth sailing but for others it not so. There is no consistent expectation from the schools. Each one has a different process. There is disparity between how many times a child will visit, who takes the child, who is responsible, how long the

visit will be. One school for want of a better word 'expelled' a child who needed learning support. When I spoke to the family about two months ago he was still only allowed to attend for 30 mins a day. This has been going on for about 8 months maybe longer. In effect he is being denied the right to an education. What is happening now I'm not sure. But it is a disaster for all concerned. The early intervention team that we work with, particularly one woman, is absolutely wonderful and goes out of her way to do everything she can to transition each child carefully and successfully but the system is faulty. They are under funded and under staffed. As for getting to children earlier well I've never heard such a falsehood. Child A referred June 16 we waited 3 months before she was assigned to an EIT and we are still waiting for her first IDP and actual help for her at the centre even though this family have 2 other children on the ASD spectrum. Child B referred Sept 2015 was assigned a EIT in June 2016. He has had no support at the centre. Child C referred Feb 2016 had one course of SLT which was unsatisfactory and still waiting for further support. Child D referred May 2016. He has just been allocated an EIT but still waiting for his IDP meeting so that we can get some support for him. Child E referred may 2106. He has just been allocated to an EIT but we are still waiting for his first IDP meeting so that we can get some support. This child is related to child A. There are 11 members of his close family all of whom has ASD. These are just the current children. Is the system working you tell me?” “Due to a concern we had with a particular parent about the family's reluctance for a referral of their child we consulted a speech language therapist from the MOE we've had the fortune to work alongside in the past. She volunteered and attended one of our staff meetings and discussed the importance of early intervention, advised us on strategies to help parents on these occasions and provided some resources for us to use with the children in our care. This was a great session for our team as the majority of the team, although qualified teachers, seem to lack experience and knowledge on the subject of 'learners in difficulty'.” “So far we have had positive experiences with the support. The support person has been able to work collaboratively with the parents, child and Centre. She has also initiated plans for further support for the child and his family.” “I have attended two meetings. I am well aware of the issues but we have not been consulted on



the solutions. I have offered to provide some of the things we are doing but haven't been contacted back after initial discussions.” “We had a child who was diagnosed as being autistic from a pediatrician from starship hospital. We were part of a pilot scheme to make his transition to school a smooth one. He was not eligible for ors funding. It involved several meetings before he started school and another one 6 weeks after he started. At the meeting at the school were principal deputy head, both parents, special ed early intervention teacher and speech therapist, a private speech therapist the family paid for two years, several other support agencies and myself head teacher. I was so impressed with the first meeting. I felt it was a quality meeting with all parties on board to get a great outcome for this child. Those of us who knew the child: the paid speech therapist, parents and myself shared as much information about the child as we could to help the school as they prepared for his arrival. Several emails have crossed since then to help support a smooth transition. When he stared school it was a disaster on the first day as his teacher was a new one to the school and she had no experience with an autistic child. I had the parent phone me in tears as she knew that this was not going to be the great start we had hoped for. The principal rang the parent and said this was not the best start and two weeks later he was transferred into another class with an experienced teacher. The principal was excellent. I felt so gutted as several of us including the wonderful parents had really worked hard to communicate his needs and the school have accommodated some of these but it was let down by the school being so slow to react and special Ed should have taken a leadership role here but seemed to be of no help at all. I feel it was not worth all the effort that we put in was worth it. This child has not benefitted from a smooth transition at all. I'm not sure I want to be involved in a pilot scheme as the high hopes were a huge let down for me as a head teacher and for the parents and the paid speech therapist.” “We have been involved in the work by [name withheld]. She has been a huge help for our new centre. Her guidance and support has helped to focus where we want to be or go as a centre. It has helped us to align our procedures so that we didn't feel overwhelmed with the amount of work we are now required to do. We enjoyed more the opportunity to spend time with [name withheld] at our centre so that the information could be tailored to us as a centre and more individualised.”

December 2016




*Other initiatives that will impact*

Funding Review

Investing in Children



These are:

Quality Teaching and Learning

For more information

Education Act Update


To keep up to date with what is happening with Special Education check out this website:


Inclusive education resources




Investing in Educational Success

There is other work being done outside of the Ministry of Education that will impact on how special education is delivered. Three key ones are:

The Ministry of Education has a list of initiatives that overlap and contribute to the learning needs of all children being met.


http://www.education.govt.nz/ministry-ofeducation/specific-initiatives/investing-ineducational-success/ Communities of Learning http://www.education.govt.nz/ministry-ofeducation/specific-initiatives/investing-ineducational-success/#CosAcrossTheCountry

Childrens Action Plan Teams http://childrensactionplan.govt.nz NZ Disability Strategy Update http://jointheconversation.nz/

Final Early Childhood Council (ECC) comments The ECC will continue to monitor the pros and cons of the Ministry’s Learning Support system and make sure members’ views are listened to. As all the evidence clearly states, the earlier a child has access to quality ECE and access to other universal services, the better lifelong outcomes that child will have.

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December 2016




He’s such a good baby

By Trisha Lealiifano-Mariota

“He’s such a good baby!” “That is good you can take your baby anywhere and he just sits there and doesn’t cry.”

the first couple of visits my husband and I

My husband and I both have backgrounds

did not receive much information. However

in education where I am a qualified ECE

during his third visit, the consultant let it slip

Teacher with a Masters in Education and my

that his hearing was fine but was showing

husband is a Senior Advisor at the Ministry

“Oh he sleeps right through the night!”

signs of ‘autism’.

of Education with a Masters in Theology.

“What a good baby, my little one was always

This was the first time my husband and I had

crying to be fed, crying for something.” These were some of the comments I got from more ‘experienced’ mothers when I told them about how calm and quiet my son was during my first year of being a new mother. I felt lucky that my son was a ‘good’ boy and ‘behaving’. At 20 months my son was still very quiet. I had routine Plunket visits at home and regular GP checks. These visits did not raise any concerns about my son. I remember asking my Plunket nurse on one of her visits that I was concerned that Joziah was very quiet and did not cry when he was hungry or had a wet diaper. She advised that some children were like that and not to worry. During a hospital visit at 22 months, the on duty doctor was surprised when I said that Joziah was not yet imitating sounds and words. “Have you had his ears checked?” the doctor asked me. I replied “No”. The GP then made a referral for my son to have his hearing checked.

heard the term ‘autism’ associated with our son. The ENT team quickly tried to make up for ‘the slip up’. They apologised that they were not in a position to make this type of diagnosis. Their notes were subsequently passed onto our GP. Our GP however did not see any concern, so we made the decision to change. Our new GP saw Joziah only once and made an immediate referral. During the time we were on the waiting list, my husband and I did a lot of research to learn as much as we could about autism and find local support groups to meet parents that had children on the spectrum. We discovered that not every child is the same and that the autistic spectrum is wide and complex

knowledge, this did not mean we were prepared or able to support our son.

The ECC asked Trisha a few questions in relation to her experience. “What first caused you to contact Special Education?” “Special Education was only introduced once he was officially diagnosed. The referral was made by the child development team at the Puketiro Centre in Porirua.” “Have you found Special Education easy to work with?” “The waiting list was very frustrating. We waited almost a year before we could get

Finally in April 2015 Joziah was seen by the

the support from the Ministry. As a result we

child development service as part of the

sought a private speech language therapist

Puketiro Centre in Porirua. It was there that

who we still use to this very day. He is

he was diagnosed with moderate autism.

amazing and has been the turning point for

When we were told the news, it was very

Joziah’s amazing progress.”

emotional because my son had a ‘label’. At the same time we were relieved to finally

The following year Joziah had three visits to

have an official diagnosis to begin our journey

an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. At

to support Joziah.

December 2016

Despite having these combined roles and

“Has your involvement with Special Education helped your son?” “When we eventually got access to an early




intervention teacher, education support

how to approach some of the challenges that

be comfortable around his Special Education

worker and speech therapist through the

he faces in his ECE environment.

team. He is now 4 and will be 5 in January

Ministry, we decided to still keep our private speech therapist because of the relationship he had built and will continue to build with Joziah. We now have an amazing team with the special education experts from the Ministry, our private speech therapist, and

Before any ECE service should approach a parent with this kind of information, it is very important that there has been enough evidence collated to paint a picture of why ‘special education needs’ must be discussed about their child. ECE services are not

not to mention the amazing teachers at his

qualified doctors who can give this kind of

ECE service. Joziah’s progress is credit to

diagnosis, however if ECE centres come

everybody working together.”

from a strengths based approach, advising

“What advice would you give to ECE services who have a child or children they suspect as having special education needs when approaching parents?” “For both parent and ECE teacher this can be a very difficult conversation and must be approached very carefully. And not all parents will react in the same way. When we had the conversation with Joziah’s teachers about his diagnosis, we were open to moving forward and seeing what we could do to support him while we waited for Special Education help.

parents it is to help with their child’s learning development in the centre, may be accepted easier by parents. It is always important to focus and emphasis the child’s strengths by addressing the

2017. We have worked well together with our amazing team mentioned above to complete Joziah’s application for ORS funding. We remain hopeful that Joziah will get the wrap around support he needs when he starts primary school. “Do you have any other comments?” “If your child is diagnosed with autism, always remember that you are not alone. The support is there if you are persistent to find it. Be patient and always express love towards your child.” About the author

strengths of their child and use the

My name is Trisha Lealiifano-Mariota and I

opportunities to strengthen their child’s

am also known as Toreka. I am a qualified


ECE teacher currently employed as the

“Do you feel confident that your son will receive the special education support he needs when he starts school?” “When Joziah was diagnosed at 3 years old

Marketing and Communications officer at the Early Childhood Council. My husband Martin Mariota works for the Ministry of Education in the ECE regulations and Planning team. We are the proud parents of Joziah who is 4

We discussed his strengths and his interests

with autism we started to build a support

years old and currently transitioning from

and from his interests we were able to plan

system around him. It took him over a year to

ECE to Primary school.

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December 2016




making te whâriki special for everybody Te Whāriki is currently under review, so it's timely to look at how our curriculum supports the needs of those children who require extra support. Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 1996) is a complex multi-layered document that was designed to be interpreted and utilised according to the context of individual centres. It works for everybody – or at least it's supposed to, but sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees amongst so much possibility!

By Geoff educators, but is a double-edged sword as it

needs' to deficit discourses could easily be

by educators (Nuttall, 2003; Duhn, 2006).

overlooked amongst such inclusive language,

At the beginning of Te Whāriki is the paragraph titled “Including Children with Special Needs,” which details a brief but surprisingly prescriptive set of guidelines for educators. This paragraph includes the statement that “the curriculum assumes (my emphasis) that their care and education will be encompassed within the principles, strands and goals set out for all children in early childhood settings” (MoE, 1996, p.11).

draft document, Te Whāriki was rich with

This assumption is reliant on many

special needs. For each principle and strand there were affirming statements, ideas and strategies to ensure an inclusive curriculum. It was all dropped in the final draft. Now, learners who require extra support are left with a brief introductory paragraph and if you are not looking too hard, this may appear to be it. But wait, there's more, but it's implicit and this is where good intentions can fall by the wayside. Within the framework of Te Whāriki, the Contribution-Mana Tangata Strand acts as a powerful advocate for the inclusion of children who are considered to have special educational needs. It states that “opportunities for learning are equitable and each child's contribution is valued” (MoE, 1996, p.64), and that learners, irrespective of ability, have the right to full participation in the learning community. Sounds perfect, but remember Te Whāriki is a descriptive, rather than prescriptive, framework for curriculum building that allows for the reflection of local community contexts. This ability for interpreting and constructing curriculum is a powerful tool for

December 2016

no chance there. The linking of 'special

places the onus on personal discourses held

When it was first released in 1998 as a examples of ways to include children with


factors: curriculum content and teachers interpretation of this, personal discourses about disability, about their role as a teacher, and the rhetoric and practice of others involved in the care and education of children who experience disability. Everybody's got an opinion and it's not always good. That's a big gamble.

Te Whāriki incorporates the intent of human rights legislation that calls for the full inclusion of all children in education, and the language of the Contribution strand reflects this (MacArthur et al, 2003; MoE, 1996). Words and phrases such as affirmed as individuals, active participation, collaboration, inclusion, appreciating diversity and fairness, respect, and equity of opportunity, individually and collectively offer a strong mandate for inclusive practice. Amongst such powerful language the term 'special needs' is used only twice, firstly in reference to controlling “behaviour that is both socially and individually appropriate” (MoE, 1996 p.65) and secondly, in enquiring if individual attention is being given to children with a disability. Both references conjure images of a problematic child who needs extra resources – sadly,

but the term 'special needs' has far-reaching implications for inclusive practice (Corbett, 1996). Is it time for it to go?

Te Whāriki has constructed an image of the 'ideal child' as an active learner who is confident and competent, who shapes the learning curriculum through self-initiated play. The presence of a child who has 'special needs' signals difference or 'other', a child who is outside the curriculum, who is a passive recipient of adult-initiated and directed instruction (Duhn, 2006; Cullen, 2000). So while at a micro-level the language and intent of the Contribution strand strongly advocates for inclusive practice, overshadowing this are deficit discourses that are embedded in the framework of Te Whāriki. The introductory paragraph Including Children with Special Needs essentially operates as an opt-out clause: teachers are advised to plan 'activities', that goals are to be 'realistic' and to meet 'objectives' (MoE, 1996). Te Whāriki is interactive, dynamic, and shaped by the children's interests, yet it also promotes a separate curriculum for learners with disabilities with content and objectives to be defined by adults (MacArthur et al, 2003; Cullen, 2000). Joce Nuttal (2003) argues that in a country where free-play is almost sacrosanct, confusion about socio-cultural theory and its place in our curriculum is a barrier to supporting those with extra needs as it leads to resistance about 'teacher-directed' activities. Te Whāriki “emphasises the critical role of socially and culturally mediated learning and of reciprocal and responsive relationships for children with people, places, and things,” (MoE, 1996, p.9), but core tenets


of this theory like 'guided participation' or 'scaffolding' are almost dirty words – but a lifeline for those with extra needs. Socio-cultural theory creates a bridge between informal, child-initiated play-based learning and the structured individualised approach required to support a disabled learner by providing a rationale for a more interactive style of teaching that is deemed appropriate for the context (Cullen, 2000). A message for education providers? For the reinstatement of professional development funding? Absolutely. The discourses and practices which inform

teachers understandings of disability become evident in their practice (Lyons 2005). In advocating for inclusive practice, the Contribution strand presents as a powerful discourse, but effectively must compete with some hugely powerful social and institutional discourses and “it may be unreasonable to expect that a curriculum statement alone can offer a potent counter-discourse” (MacArthur et al, 2003, p.138). Lets make that statement. And make it strong. Lets fund the learning needs of all our children

References: Corbett, J. (1996). Bad-mouthing: The language of special needs. London: Falconer Press. Cullen, J. (2000). Early Intervention. In D. Fraser, R. Moltzen, K. Ryba (Eds.), Learners with special needs in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp.211-236). Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.



Lets bring back funding for professional development. Lets hope it doesn't come down to crossing our fingers.

About the author Geoff Fugle is Lead Teacher at Open Spaces Preschool in Whangarei. He spends his days crashing through the bush with a horde of kids – it’s a good life and leaves ample time for some critical reflection about kids and education.

McArthur, J., Purdue, K., & Ballard, K. (2003). Competent and confident children? Te Whāriki and the inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood education. In J. Nuttall (Ed.), Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice. (pp. 131-161). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

Duhn, I. (2006). The making of global citizens: traces of cosmopolitanism in the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. 7(3).

Ministry of Education. (196). Te Whāriki: He whāriki matauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa, early childhood curriculum. Wellington: Learning Media.

Lyons, L. (2005). A place for everybody? Challenges in providing inclusive early childhood education for children with disability in Aotearoa / New Zealand. The First Years: Nga Tau Tuatahi: New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 7(1), 16-20.

Nuttall, J. (2003). Exploring the role of the teacher within te whāriki: some possibilities and constraints. In Nuttall, J. (ED.), Weaving te whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand's early childhood curriculum document in theory and practice (pp. 161-187). Wellington: NZCER.

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December 2016




the tomatis method:

A sound approach to enhancing learning within early education By Ingrid Wubben, Coral Dallison and Viv Romero

The Tomatis® Method of sound training was

However, these children’s behaviours did not

developed by Dr Alfred A. Tomatis, a French

fit within the special education parameters

physician who specialised in ear, nose and

for funding, and both the teaching team

throat medicine and speech therapy. He

and the families were open to looking

discovered the close connections between

at innovative ways to improve learning

the ear, the voice, and the nervous system.


The Tomatis programme is delivered by specialised headphones which send the sound to each ear separately and by a vibration unit that rests on top of the head. They also ensure listening through bone conduction. The music is beautiful and relaxing. While listening to Tomatis music, children are ideally engaged in child-initiated focused creative play without pressure, just having

In April this year, the Trust invited Maria Moell Lundqvist, director of Tomatis New Zealand to talk at a KKCCT whānau evening. Maria’s talk encouraged parents and teachers to learn more about auditory processing and how important listening skills are for a child’s development. In May four children began Tomatis auditory training with Ingrid Wubben. The children

fun. Encouraging eye-contact, modelling

listen to music which is modified so that its

speech articulation and enriching the child’s

various frequencies challenge and surprise

language reassures them that the ideas they

the brain.

are expressing are valued.

“I look like a superhero aye?”

KKCCT and his mother remarked: “Before the Tomatis he wouldn’t listen”. “He’s more calmer with our cat – their

One of these children was three and a half

relationship is much better now - he

The Kerikeri Community Childcare Trust

year old Karl (not his real name) of Welsh

understands she’s tiny”.

(KKCCT) was aware that some of their

and Māori descent. In October he began his

children had a need for learning support.

third 20-hours block of Tomatis training at

After reading his teacher Emily’s learning story, (see page 28) Karl’s mother said: “He wouldn’t draw before – now he’s happy to draw trains all over my coursework! He wants me to show MY teacher.”

How do we assess these children’s progress during their Tomatis programme? Alongside the learning stories, the KKCCT teachers and parents used the SEAM® (Social/Emotional Assessment Measurement) questionnaire. It provides both a baseline and tracks changes in the children during their 80 hours course of listening (20 hours per term for 4 terms). SEAM is a standardised tool developed by Jane Squires, professor of special education at the University of Colorado and her team. Ingrid Wubben plays along with 'Karl’s' game during his Tomatis hour.

December 2016

Coral Dallison, ECE senior teacher states: ‘The SEAM assessment tool asked us to tick boxes.




I had participated in this type of assessment

again stressed how I did not like to tick the

kinds of needs we are seeing in children today,

some 30 years ago when I began my teaching

box ‘Concern’ and we changed this to ‘Continue

teachers have to understand more about brain

career and believed that we now had better

monitoring’ which felt much better.’

ways of assessing children. Wanting to both

After three months both parents and

support Ingrid and our tamariki I agreed to

teachers completed a second SEAM

participate. At first I found it very difficult, I spoke with other teachers and was able to tick the boxes because we know our children well but I still wanted to write and clarify why!’

questionnaire. Coral reflects: ‘We also got the

and behaviour. Having Tomatis available for our children will make a big difference to how we help transition them into schools’. Having both seen and measured the benefits,

other teachers who work closely with Karl

it would be valuable to see how the Tomatis

to fill in the assessment forms separately.

method could be expanded into the daily

To my delight we all ticked the same boxes

curriculum for all children. With appropriate

showing we know our children well. Our

funding and with more teachers trained to

assessments. This time the forms included

learning stories record children’s learning

deliver the program to bigger groups, many

ages with the samples which I found simpler

and SEAM provides evidence of development.

more of our children could improve their life-

and more user-friendly.

It’s a valuable part of assessing our children’s

long learning.

‘After 3 months I was asked to revisit these

Tomatis journey. The two work side by side.’

I was still uncomfortable with the boxes ‘Concern’ and ‘Focus area’. Ingrid had stressed to fill these in to help her with her focus. I

KKCCT is the first ECE centre to trial the

One of these ECE teachers, Helen Piesse,

Tomatis method within a New Zealand early

is primary trained. She believes, ‘with the

childhood setting.

The Tomatis® Method for ECE is a neuro-auditory educational programme that is natural, non-invasive, drug free and playful. It is designed to help all children enhance existing abilities or to overcome listening-related problems with learning, auditory processing, speech and language. More info at www.tomatis.co.nz

About the authors: Ingrid Wubben is the first early childhood teacher to be trained as a Tomatis practitioner in New Zealand. She works part time at KKCCT and part time as a Tomatis Practitioner Level 3. "My background in occupational therapy helped me to recognise that auditory processing was fundamental to learning and that auditory training required specialised intervention – one that teachers can train to use themselves in their work with young children”. Email: creativeingridients@gmail. com Coral Dallison began her 30 year career in ECE as an untrained reliever. She has worked in all kinds of centres since completing her training when her four children were young. “I work 3 days on the floor because that’s where teachers can make the most difference. In my spare time I work with my partner Craig developing our ECE management support website.” Contact: coral@pdhq.co.nz

Viv Romero, Trustee manager of KKCCT says, ““It is my responsibility alongside my team, to notice, recognise and respond to diverse learners and to provide the best possible environments that support the development of a holistic child. It is

heart-warming to watch a child blossom through the Tomatis programme, developing positive self esteem which then supports their language, relationships and develops the whole child”. Email: kkcct@xtra.co.nz

Viv, Ingrid and Coral

December 2016




Seeing is believing: “I can draw a train”! A learning story By Emily Fladgate – ECE Teacher October 2016 “ I can, I got wheels here… see?” What else can you see I wonder? Together we discuss the elements of a train and attempt to assemble these onto the page. Karl listens, holds his pen and before long he can see his train take shape. After 40 hours of Tomatis auditory training, Karl has become calmer, more settled and receptive. He is able to listen and take direction: a key component in successful personal relationships. It is exciting to see changes happening for Karl after his Tomatis training with Ingrid. He had developed increased: eagerness, Karl loves trains! Anything to do with trains gets him involved: books, tracks and train puzzles. At childcare, Karl is taking positive steps towards directing his own learning. And now, after Tomatis, he is starting to make connections and interlink his interests into different curriculum areas. Here, he is learning to piece together his thoughts and actions. Not only can he play with the trains, but he can draw them too! Today, Karl was eager to see what he could do with his pen and paper. I was on hand, to offer support and guidance.

thoughtfulness and involvement. Adult prompting is not so crucial now - he takes more active interest in directing his own learning through play, both on his own and on a collaborative level within a group. He is participating at a deeper level, taking an interest beyond where he did before he started. As a tool for enhancement, it is clear that the Tomatis method has brought the process of learning to a higher level for Karl. His processing skills have been honed, and Karl is now able to delight in his own achievements.

Emily Fladgate is a qualified registered early childhood educator with over 30 years experience across the sectors, working not only in childcare but in kindergartens and playcentres as well. She has worked at the Kerikeri Community Childcare Trust as reliever for many years.

December 2016


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TEACH A CHILD, TEACH A COMMUNITY By Brogan Harvey Potiki Early Childcare Centre in Manurewa, Auckland is enjoying the benefits of being part of the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart Award programme and they want to inspire other services to get involved too. The Healthy Heart Award is available to all early learning services in New Zealand. It provides guidance and structure to promote healthy eating and physical activity in your service.

Our teachers are very proud of our tamariki

Heart Foundation and shared this knowledge

for making informed healthy choices and

with our young teen mothers. Some of the

being a positive role-model for their siblings

mothers offered pies, noodles and soft drinks

at home.

to their children under the age of one. They were surprised to learn about the high

How have you involved whānau throughout

amount of sugar and salt that is present in

your Healthy Heart Award journey?

these food and drink items.

We communicated with parents and whānau through newsletters, online-Storypark, posters and announcements during our morning karakia. We also used our learning

We also printed copies of the Heart Foundation’s Lunchbox Guidelines for each family to take home and get ideas for

Visit Potiki and you will see children happily eating healthy sandwiches, fruit and

stories to share our exciting journey with

vegetables. Teachers facilitate daily physical activity, encouraging both children and parents to take part.

whānau. Throughout the year, we hold special

Our cook and teachers advocated for healthy

healthy celebrations with whānau such as

eating by verbally sharing positive stories

Heart Day and our cook shares recipes with

about children’s food at the centre and at

parents from the free Heart Foundation


Healthy eating and physical activity are now part of the daily routine for Potiki, but it has been a journey to reach this point. Centre Manager, Saswati Basu has been inspired by the changes she has seen in children and whānau since joining the programme, and hopes Potiki’s experience will empower other centres to be leaders of change in their own communities. Early Learning Advisor for the Healthy Heart Award Programme, Brogan Harvey, asked Saswati to share her advice for those starting their journey and wanting to create a healthy environment in their early learning service. What changes have you seen in the children since you introduced healthier food options and daily physical activity? Before we started the programme we had a few children and staff, who never showed interest in movement and physical activity. It is nearly two years since we joined the programme, and now just about all our children are engaged in physical activity every day. Our teachers are all on board too. We are delighted that some of our four year olds are now taking the healthy message home. They are being leaders of change, driving awareness of healthy eating. Children suggest to their parents what healthy food they want in their lunchbox and encourage parents to buy fruit and make sandwiches for their lunchbox.

December 2016

preparing children’s lunches.

cookbooks. She also regularly discusses children’s eating with parents.

What would you say to other services who are just starting their journey, but not sure

Did you face any challenges making changes to the food in your menu? Yes, but it was very minor. Mostly it was around the adult’s perceptions – what we were used to doing for a long time e.g. white bread tastes better than brown, adding salt and butter to mashed veggies. Our cook attended a nutrition course run by the Heart Foundation’s Pacific Heart Beat and used

how to take the first step? Get started, it’s never too late. It may seem hard at the beginning but with the support of the Heart Foundation and the new knowledge gained, it’s a very exciting journey. Having the full team on board is really important and having the confidence to be an influencer of change in your community

this knowledge to make changes to our

Teachers are becoming increasingly aware

menu. At the start, children were reluctant

of healthy living and getting whānau involved

to try brown bread as they had never eaten it

too. It’s extremely rewarding to see children

before. However, this quickly changed as we

growing as leaders too –advocating for

consistently provided brown bread instead

healthy eating and physical activity.

of white. Our budget and spending has not changed much, we used to buy biscuits and crackers now our cook makes our own muesli bars, savoury and fruit muffins. The overall menu has changed significantly in the last two years with a minimal increase in our food budget. How have you supported your whānau to provide healthier lunchboxes? We presented education sessions to share information on specific issues related to healthy choices of food and drink. Our cook and head teacher attended free professional development provided by the

A journey that begins at the centre influences many lives beyond the gate of the centre, this is truly empowering! Our birthday cakes are no longer baked cakes, they are delicious seasonal fresh fruit cakes, have you tried one?? For more information please contact: Brogan Harvey Early Learning Programme Advisor broganh@heartfoundation.org.nz 09 571 0891 www.learnbyheart.org.nz

December 2016




The importance of asking

“why?” By

You may have seen the cartoon: A monkey,

As many people have pointed out over the

an elephant, a goldfish-in-a-bowl and

years, recruitment is a little bit like dating:

several other animals are lined up in front of

If we get it right then it is wonderful but

recruitment desk. The man behind the desk

if we get it wrong then there are tears all

says, "In order to make this selection fair, we

around. Like dating, recruitment should be a

need all of you to complete the same test:

mutually beneficial relationship, so it makes

Climb that tree."

sense to think about what we might offer the

I have a picture of this cartoon on my desktop. I love the absurdity of the idea that you can

candidates and how our offer could meet candidates’ particular needs.

ask an elephant or a goldfish to successfully

In a cash-strapped industry such as early

climb a tree. I love the suggestion that

childhood education, remuneration can’t

standardisation has got so out-of-control that

be your main selling point when attracting

we can set tasks without thinking about the

talent to your team. However, fairness (in

capabilities of those who we are testing. One-

both financial and non-financial matters)

size-fits-all gone mad!

can be important to people, so being open

Strangely, I find that the absurdity of the situation is heightened even more by another,

and transparent about finances, hours and conditions is a good policy to follow.

very different, response that I have to this

How flexible can you be with rosters, leave,

cartoon: So what if goldfish can't climb trees?

duties and other negotiable items? Even

That's not what goldfish do. If you want a

something as simple as car-pooling on

tree-climber then hire the monkey! Admittedly, there isn't that much call for tree-climbing specialists in early childhood

the way to and from work could be seen as a welcome bonus for a prospective team member.

education centres, but the cartoon does get

So, let’s say that we have given these areas

me thinking about what we expect of our

some good solid thought and we now have

team members and how we select them.

several people expressing interest in the

An ideal starting point, when recruiting, is to be very clear about who and what it is that we actually need. Are we looking for regular staff members, specialist skill providers, committee members, volunteers

job. Do we have processes ready for shortlisting, interview and selection? How robust are these processes and do they have the necessary flexibility to give us the outcome that we want?

or enthusiastic supporters? Full time, part

In an ideal world, we know that we have a

time, casual? Supervised or autonomous?

responsibility to hire the best candidate for

Once we know what it is that we need then it is relatively easy to move to the next step, which is about conveying our needs to potential candidates. Are our position descriptions clear about what we are looking for, the nature of the job, the tasks involved

the job. It looks so simple on paper, almost like a shopping list or maybe packing your child’s bags before they go off to school camp. But what is ‘best’ and how do we decide between different ‘bests’, especially when we look at a blend of desirable qualities on offer?

and how success will be measured? Are we

Qualifications, based on approved training

looking in the right places for our candidates

and testing, are relatively easy things to

and do we have some means of getting their

assess and they can be useful stop / go


decision-points when recruiting new team

December 2016

Phil Sales

members. Does the candidate have ECE qualifications? How good are the grades? Does the candidate have any special training which could be useful? Experience can be a bit more difficult to evaluate. Obviously there are benefits to hiring someone who has spent time in the industry but how do you weigh up the value of this experience given that the candidates may be from different backgrounds? If your ECE centre has a special character (such as providing a particular philosophical or religious setting) then you may have other factors to consider. Of course, interpersonal qualities (such as attitude and affability) can be another important factor in making the right selection. Can you see the candidate ‘fitting in’? How well do you think that he / she will work with the children, their parents and other people at your early childcare centre? Is there a good cultural fit? It is also worth thinking about what extra ‘value-adds’ the candidate brings to the job. Could that male candidate bring a bit of gender diversity to your team? Would it be useful to have that candidate with experience in sourcing community grants? In a strange way, this discussion brings me right back to the cartoon at the start of this article. So far, everything that I have mentioned is reasonably stock-standard when it comes to recruitment and selection. After all, a good system should reflect our needs and produce the right result for us. Occasionally though, it can be helpful to challenge some of our basic assumptions and to try taking a slightly different approach to the task ahead of us. Maybe you have heard the dictum, ascribed to Einstein, that “the definition of insanity is doing the same things



over and over again and expecting different results”? Having asked that question, let me be quite clear about one thing: I am not suggesting that current ECE recruitment practice is in any way flawed. What I am suggesting is that our approach to recruitment can sometimes be overly linear and process-driven. By taking a more expansive and creative overview, or by changing our perspective slightly, we can sometimes find interesting solutions which we never knew existed. Returning to the recruitment cartoon, we know that the tree-climbing challenge has several serious defects. Among other things, we just don’t know what the task is that the candidates are actually being tested for. If we assume that the test is related to the job, then tree-climbing might be an appropriate test. But if climbing trees is a suitable test then why do we have non-climbers applying for the job? So, with a lateral bent to our thinking, maybe our cartoon recruiter doesn’t need an elephant or a goldfish-in-a-bowl. Maybe he doesn’t really need the monkey either.

Why would I say this? Sometimes the tasks that we think we need others to do are not the real tasks that need to be done. For example, our cartoon recruitment man may think he needs a treeclimber when what he really needs is simply someone who can reach the top of the tree. Yes, a monkey can do this but so too can a giraffe or a bird (or maybe even an elephant with a long trunk!) A useful tool that you can use here is simple technique known as ‘the 5 Whys”. This tool was developed by Toyota to uncover root causes of production problems but its application is far wide than simply being a manufacturing problem-solving tool. In fact, the 5 Whys can be used in many situations to develop deeper understanding and to identify real issues. You can use the 5 Whys tool be repetitively asking ‘why?’ until you fully understand what it is that you are attempting to do. For example, you can start by asking: “why do we need the job done this particular way?” or “why do we need this particular task done?” If it then turns out that tree-climbing isn’t


essential of completing the task then we can start working out what it is that we actually need. So, the next time that you are reviewing your recruitment needs for (say) a volunteer or committee role, try challenging some of your existing assumptions by using the 5 Whys technique. You might be amazed by what you discover!

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].

ECC members: If you’d like further information on recruitment and managing staff go to the Support section in the members-only-pages of the ECC website for further advice on these topics, and take advantage of the free templates from job to employment contracts to an induction checklist…and much more. www.ecc.org.nz

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December 2016





Activity: Explore your shore Saturday 25 February – Sunday 5 March 2017 “Toiora te Moana - Toiora te Tangata, Healthy Seas – Healthy People”

What is Seaweek?

Introduce the idea that the coastline is a special place we can all visit and enjoy. Where are your local beaches, harbours and estuaries?

The coastal environment is home to lots of creatures, who live in different habitats.

NZAEE Seaweek is an annual New Zealand-wide celebration run by the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE). The theme for Seaweek 2016-18: “Toiora te Moana - Toiora te Tangata, Healthy Seas – Healthy People”, invites us to explore our many connections with the sea, and the many ways our seas contribute to our health and wellbeing. Pre-schoolers, their teachers, families and whānau were a new target audience for Seaweek in 2016. Celebrate Seaweek to help our tamariki learn about, experience and enjoy the sea and discover some simple things they can do to help look after our amazing marine environment. Below are just some of the ideas your centre can use to start your planning for Seaweek. For a list of events and more resources visit www.seaweek.org.nz.

Find out what animals and plants make your local coastline their home. Visit the Marine Metre Squared website at mm2.net.nz and register as a class. Download and print the identification guide resources in English or Te Reo and make a plan to visit your local shore.

Take a trip to explore your local coastline to see what lives there.

As a group identify all the creatures and plants you can find in rock pools (use the Rocky Shore Guide) or dig in the sand or mud (Sandy Shore Guide). Take photos of anything you cannot identify;

You could pick up any rubbish you find on the beach while you’re there;

Back indoors, check out the things you couldn’t identify by uploading a photo of them to the blog on www.mm2.net.nz and someone will help you;

Where did the rubbish come from? How did it get to the beach?

How healthy is your shore? Did you find lots of creatures living there or not very much?

Imagine the sea!

Discussion Point: Healthy Seas •

What do we mean by “healthy seas”?

What do we expect to find living in the sea?

What makes the sea unhealthy?

December 2016

Michael has to stay with his Granny by the sea while his parents are away on an adventure but when the house floats away the real adventures begin…. Michael thinks life on the ocean is boring but Grandma loves adventure. They meet mermaids, a shark and pirates but each time Grandma decides it’s best to sail on with Michael. When Michael finally takes a swim he finds a message in a bottle. It’s from his parents giving their location…. You can listen to the story on Radio New Zealand: http://www.radionz.co.nz/ collections/storytime-treasure-chest/ audio/2550275/the-house-that-went-to-seaby-melinda-szymanik For non-fiction, we recommend Ned Barraud’s & Gillian Candler’s ‘Under the Ocean’ (Craig Potton Publishing, 2014). “We came up with the idea of writing ‘Under the Ocean’ when we were visiting schools to talk about our first book ‘At the Beach’”, says the publisher. “The children we talked to were very interested in big sea creatures – octopuses, rays, sharks, dolphins – so we knew that it would be worthwhile writing a book about these creatures and other animals that live in the sea. “The seas around New Zealand are home to other amazing ocean creatures – whales, albatrosses, penguins, giant squid and much, much more. “Some of the sea creatures in ‘Under the Ocean’ can be seen from the coast, from boats, or out snorkelling. But some you will only see in museums, aquariums, or on film. “In our book, we have chosen sea creatures that we think are most interesting. Ned has drawn pictures of them to help you recognise them and to show you where they live. Gillian has written about the animals so you can learn more about them.” "Ocean life can seem quite hidden and hard to observe, perhaps it’s the very secretive nature of the ocean that adds to the fascination children have with marine life.” Here are some ways, as parents and educators, to help your children get to know more about New Zealand’s ocean:

Story, song, art and film are wonderful ways to help young children develop a sense of curiosity about and connection with the sea. We asked some parents what stories they liked sharing with their young children. One that popped up straight away was the New Zealand story: ‘The House That Went to Sea’ by Melinda Szymanik:

Borrow books or DVDs from your local library.

Find YouTube channels that are dedicated to ocean life – you’ll be amazed what you can see online.


Take binoculars with you when you go to the beach with the children.

Visit your local aquarium, museum or zoo.

Find and read Māori legends associated with the sea, such as, Paikea the whale rider.

See Gillian’s Pinterest board for more great ideas to help pre-schoolers explore New Zealand’s Sealife: https://nz.pinterest.com/ gilliancandler/explore-nz-sea-life-for-kids/ You’ll find lots of great ideas here including ocean crafts for preschoolers, ocean themed ideas and links.

Using the senses – colour, sound, feeling, taste… Young children experience and learn about the natural world primarily through their senses. Going to the beach can be a very memorable experience for children and we hope that, as part of Seaweek, you will plan a trip with your children. For some, it may be their first time ever to the beach. Prepare well, have lots of adult helpers and enough activities up your sleeve to keep children interested and engaged.

Teacher Resources You’ll find lots of resources on the Seaweek web site that can be adapted for use with pre-schoolers –or for your own learning. Seaweek website for resources and links, events and activities http://seaweek.org.nz/

Discussion points: Healthy people •

How are we connected to the sea? Help children explore all the ways they interact with the sea, eg eat kaimoana seafood, swim, fish, collect shellfish, paddle, sail, kayak, play on the beach etc;

Who eats what and what do we eat?

How can we harm the sea? eg overfishing, pollution, dropping litter etc;

How can humans get sick from the sea? Pollution;

Building sandcastles and driftwood huts

Making sand sculptures

Scavenger hunt

Picking up shells, stones, drift wood

Paddling in the water

Exploring rock pools If it is simply not practical to take your children to a beach, there are still lots of great activities you can do to build their sense of connection with the sea.

Marine Metre Squared project website for guides and support at http://mm2.net.nz Science Learning Hub website for educational resources on life in the sea, ecosystems, food webs, catchment management and more http://sciencelearn.org.nz Ministry for Primary Industries website for information on Recreational Fishing rules https://www.mpi.govt.nz/travel-andrecreation/fishing/fishing-rules/ Department of Conservation website for information on Marine Reserves http://doc.govt.nz/conservation/marineand-coastal/marine-protected-areas/ Experiencing Marine Reserves website for community guided snorkeling events http://emr.org.nz

Here are some simple things many kids seem to love:


Sustainable Coastlines website for educational resources and presentations http://sustainablecoastlines.org/education/ education-overview/ Love Your Coast website for resources for clean-ups and events http://www.loveyourcoast.org New Zealand Coastal Society website http://www.coastalsociety.org.nz

Activity: Young Ocean Explorers •

Search on YouTube for “Young Ocean Explorers” or visit www. youngoceanexplorers.co.nz/pages/ tv-series to watch episodes of this fabulous TV series about 13 year old Riley Hathaway and her Dad exploring New Zealand’s underwater world; Children can role play being Riley and the different animals she meets on her travels.

(We had great feedback from pre-schools who used this series during Seaweek 2016).

Department of Conservation website for information on Conservation Education "http://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/ conservation-education/" doc.govt.nz/getinvolved/conservation-education/Young Algalita Ocean Research Vessel’s Ship2Shore blog connects your school to live ocean pollution research in the Pacific Ocean "http://www.algalita.org/youtheducation/ship-to-shore/" algalita.org/ youth-education/ship-to-shore/ Young Ocean Explorers website https://www.youngoceanexplorers.co.nz for videos and fun inspiration about what lives in New Zealand’s oceans.

December 2016

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

ECE Teacher’s Forum

The Colours of ECE Saturday 13th May 2017

Convention Centre International and local presentations on a wide range of ECE topics designed to help you grow your professional practice

Watch this space for programme details! Places are limited.

Early Childhood Council



and leadership. Course options include The Authentic Leader and The Effective Early Childhood Manager.

Graduates praise flexible NZTC postgraduate qualifications New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) graduates Joanne Beaumont-Bates and Barbara Scanlan have reflected on their postgraduate studies at the college and shared their thoughts and experiences. NZTC identified a sector need for postgraduate qualification options as early childhood education specialists looked to further their expertise in specific areas. With a 34 year history of providing early childhood teacher education, NZTC introduced two new postgraduate qualifications in 2016. The two course Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Leadership and Management) and six course Master of Early Childhood Education.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood Education) is a one year, four course qualification. Course options include The Arts in Early Childhood Education and Children and Families in Early Childhood Education. The Master of Early Childhood Education is an 18 month qualification aimed at early childhood professionals who wish to advance their scholarship in curriculum, leadership, advocacy and ethics. Course options include The Ethical Self in Early Childhood Education and Working with Adults: Participating in Dynamic Relations. The Master of Education (Early Childhood Education) is an opportunity to gain higher level research, curriculum and leadership skills. The two year qualification is beneficial

Barbara Scanlan graduates with Master of Education (ECE)

Teaching (ECE) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ECE) before completing her master’s. “I believe that the knowledge I gained from my master’s degree greatly informs me as an early childhood educator, as well as giving me additional career options for the future,” said Scanlan. Pathway options are available for all of NZTC’s qualifications:

Nelson based Joanne Beaumont-Bates recently completed a Master of Education (ECE) and found NZTC’s various learning modes useful as she balanced her work, study and family commitments. “I think there’s a real gap in the market for higher educated teachers, and I think it helps our profession for teachers to move forward and be recognised. My education has been a great support for my teaching practice, and has helped me to mentor and give feedback to the other teachers I work with,” said Beaumont-Bates. “Having a higher level qualification also gives me options, so if I keep teaching it’s because I want to, not because I have to. I feel I’ve positioned myself well to move up in my career. I could move into a more academic role, maybe lecturing or research, or even do my doctorate – I do think Dr Beaumont-Bates has quite a nice ring to it!” NZTC provides four postgraduate qualifications ranging from six months to 24 months in duration with part-time and fulltime study options available. The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Leadership and Management) is a six month, two course qualification for early childhood professionals in management

December 2016

to early childhood education practitioners and those who seek careers as researchers, scholars, lecturers or academics. Students have the opportunity to complete a thesis or dissertation. NZTC Master of Education (ECE) graduate Barbara Scanlan completed a Bachelor of

For more information about studying with NZTC please contact our Enrolments Team on (09) 520 4000/(03) 366 8000, email enrolments@nztertiarycollege.ac.nz or visit www.nztertiarycollege.ac.nz


Welcome to the BlueBook Online Portal brought to you by The ECC YOUR BLUE BOOK ONLINE

My Blue Book Summary Menu

Providing teachers with a sense of direction in the identification and management of development goals


Welcome to your Blue Book on-line.

My Portfolio

While the Blue Book on-line is a website with a structure, it is you as you see fit.

PTCs / Tataiako Reflective Questions

The Blue Book on-line has three core parts to it:


My Portfolio – this is where you start. In this section you will find the Tataiako, facility for you to add your own reflective questions on free text dairy notes; upload evidence to support your progress of the overall average self-evaluation by others using the Blue Bo

Self Evaluation Diary

•Fast, easy-to-use interfaces •Smart phone friendly •Downloadable templates •Knowledge-base of resources

My Plan – once you have completed the self-evaluation, My Plan that focuses on those PTCs you have identified as requiring mos Against each PTC you will be able to add your own development will be invited to add an objective due date for each objective give permission to your mentor to access your Blue Book on-line

My Plan

PTCs / Tataiako Objectives Evidence

My Appraisal – pulls together a summary of the evidence you h section also provides an opportunity for your mentor to read and point for your progress against each PTC.

My Appraisal My Details

You can access these three core parts from here. You can also and evidence in your Blue Book on-line.

My Subscriptions

1. Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of all akonga

Set your PTC goals in

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My Plan

Reflective Questions

•Choose your own reflective questions


How is the role of a teacher viewed in my setting? Within my teaching aching practise, how do I demonstrate effective relationships with akonga, their whanau, my colleagues and d others? How do I show that I enrich the learning of those I teach?

My Portfolio

How do I show in my practice that I actively promote the well-being ng of all akonga for whom I am responsible?

•Combines PTCs and Tataiako •Upload photos, videos Add new Reflective Reflfle ect ctiive Quest Question and other file formats •Make comments

How have my ‘everyday’ conversations with families given me inspiration to plan and respond to children?

Objectives Due by 09/12/0015

Class uses a range of high-frequency, topic-specific, and personal-content sonal-content words to create meaning Delete This Objective

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Bank of reflective questions and planning objectives to choose from or write your own •Membership Membership to Blue Book Online is by subscription •Purchase Purchase subscriptions for yourself or your centre could purchase for you •Ongoing support

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Ranger the Kaimanawa Stallion By Kelly Wilson Illustrated by Jenny Cooper Picture Puffin Ranger is a wild horse living in the Kaimanawa Ranges of New Zealand. One winter day, Ranger hears a helicopter approaching. Humans – Ranger doesn’t trust

be his last day in the wild. Will ranger grow to love his new life? This is a beautiful true story of a wild Kaimanawa stallion who was caught and then rescued by three sisters and who became a prize winning show horse. It’s a touching and emotional read which the illustrations express exquisitely.

them. He rounds up his herd to flee, but after

This is a longer read, so more suitable

hours on the move with the helicopter in

for older preschoolers, but well worth the

pursuit, he finds himself locked in a pen with


Did You Hear a Monster?

little girl. In fact, Clarice Caroline is a little frightened of . . . EVERYTHING! So she always wears her helmet (just in case).

By Raymond McGrath Puffin A delightful monster-themed picture book and CD from the award-winning author of It’s Not a Monster, It’s ME! Clarice Caroline is not exactly a brave

Who Sank the Boat? and other stories By Pamela Allen

So WHY is Clarice Caroline out of bed in the middle of the night, to investigate a bump and a THUMP? This book includes a bonus CD with three songs performed by The Little City Critters, plus a read-along version of the story.

situations. Stories included are Who Sank the Boat?, My Cat Maisie, Belinda, Alexander’s Outing, Brown Bread and Honey, Daisy AllSorts, Cuthbert’s Babies, Grandpa and Thomas

Picture Puffin

and Share Said the Rooster.

Full of imagination and with moments of

Truly to be treasured, Who Sank the Boat?

hilarity, this treasury contains nine popular

and other stories by award-winning writer

stories by one of New Zealand’s best-loved

and illustrator Pamela Allen, is the perfect

picture book creators. Inside, you will

collection to share with children, and to read

meet playful characters facing all sorts of

over and over again.


and Doctor Grundy’s Undies.

By Dawn McMillan Illustrated by Ross Kinnaird Oratia Books This fun story is from the popular team who

December 2016

over a hundred frightened horses. This will

Squeakopotamus is a pet unlike no other: “Is he a hippo that looks like a mouse; Or, is he a mouse to big for his house?” This story is essentially about having fun, and letting the imagination believe in the

have crafted some of New Zealand’s most

impossible! The wacky illustrations add to

popular children’s titles in recent years, such

the fun – a book to be read and enjoyed for all

as I Need a New Bum, Why Dogs Sniff Bottoms



That’s Not A Hippopotamus! By Juliette MacIver Illustrated by Sarah Davis Gecko Press ‘That’s Not A Hippopotamus’ is a delightful tale that is packed with wordplay and energy. In ‘That’s Not A Hippopotamus’ a class trip to a safari descends into a chaotic hunt for the missing hippopotamus. Teacher, ranger and all the children join in the search. The noise and drama reach a pitch, and no one thinks to listen to quiet Liam, who really might know where the hippo is hiding. ‘That’s Not A Hippopotamus’ is packed full with



clever rhymes that are featured page by page. The illustrations create a whole different story to be enjoyed with the real expressions and emotions featured on each character's face and the small yet delightful surprises that can be found in the pictures of each page. ‘That’s Not A Hippopotamus’ while being a fun and bubbly tale also hits on the real emotions of the children, in particular the quiet child who just wants to be heard. By the end of the book the reader is left satisfied knowing that each individual deserves the right to be heard and understand that even that quiet people have a voice. ‘That’s Not A Hippopotamus’ would be perfect for a group reading session in any ECC centre.

clever wordplay such as the irresistible and

Reviewed by Fern Anderson

From Moa to Dinosaurs: Explore & Discover Ancient New Zealand

giant penguins and shark-toothed dolphins,

By Gillian Candler

as the dinosaurs of Gondwana and Zealandia, crocodilian and turtle inhabitants of ancient lakes, moa, adzebill and other extinct birds,

Illustrated by Ned Barraud

tuatara, wētā and bird survivors.

Potton & Burton

Beautifully illustrated, written and

The perfect book for keen young palaeontologists who will enjoy exploring and discovering New Zealand’s ancient past and the animals that lived here. Creatures such

The Cuckoo and the Warbler A True New Zealand Story By Heather Hunt Illustrated by Kennedy Warne

impeccably researched by the award winning team of the ‘explore & discover’ series, this book will be a welcome addition to any early childhood centre.

warbler parents into hatching and raising the cuckoo chick as if it was one of their own, before the shiny cuckoo migrates to the Pacific Islands in the winter. This book is for older preschoolers and be

Potton & Burton

prepared to be asked a lot of questions, such

This beautifully illustrated book tells the

as what happened to the grey warbler’s eggs/

unusual and unique relationship between the

chicks etc? A story of tragedy, trickery and

shiny cuckoo (pīpīwharauroa) and the grey

care and it plays out each spring and summer

warbler (riroriro). The grey warblers’ nest is

in the forests of Aotearoa. A striking example

the only nest in which the shiny cuckoo lays

of natural inventiveness and a book to be

its eggs, with the shiny cuckoo tricking the

read to all young New Zealanders.

Crabs & Crustaceans

gazing at the award-winning photographs

By Nigel Marsh New Holland Publishers This book has been designed for readers from 8-14 years of age, but children who enjoy

by Nigel Marsh. Teachers can easily adapt by picking and choosing various facts and figures from the text about the various crabs and crustaceans like spider crabs, cleaner shrimps, prawns, spiny lobsters and mantis shrimp, Find out how they live, grow, breathe,

non-fiction books and have a fascination

what they eat and what feeds on them. Best

with crabs and crustaceans will enjoy

shared one-on-one or very small groups.

December 2016




Tiny Owl on the Ramshackle Farm

of overcoming children’s fears of the dark

By Lotte Wotherspoon

Owl hears are not monsters of the night as

Clay Press This simple but beautifully illustrated book will delight preschoolers as they share

young readers that the scary sounds Tiny he imagines but noises by other farmyard animals. The rhyming text is a fun and enjoyable read and is perfect to read anytime but the

Tiny Owl’s anxiety on the various noises as

rhyming and soothing rhythm makes it also a

he sleeps. The story explores the theme

great read before rest/sleep time.

Bud-e Panui (Books 1 – 5)

with information about how to enhance

By Jill Eggleton Illustrated by various illustrators: Richard Hoit, Grant Snow, Stella Yang Huia Publishers The popular reading progression series Bud-e

the reading experience of each book to encourage children’s comprehension, questions to ask children about the story, plot clues for children to look for in the illustrations, and ways to encourage children to predict what might happen in the story.

Series written by Jill Eggleton have been

The books gradually introduce new words

reversioned for a Māori language speaking

and constructions, building on the word

and learning audience.

bank children need to become independent

The reviewed titles are part of the first

readers. All five books share a sense of

20 books that have been translated. Like

humour, engaging characters and amusing

previous series, the Bud-e Panui has been

illustrations. Books are best one-on-one and

designed for both parents and teachers

are in te reo Māori.

The Creation; Noah’s Ark

classical biblical stories with simple text and

By David Miles Familius

colourful illustrations. These books are a perfect addition for ECC centres who want to share these stories with

These two lift-and-look foam board books

their babies and toddlers with sturdy and

show hidden illustrations and tell two

interactive text.

Title: A Day With Dogs

The Illustrations within ‘A Day With Dogs’ have an inviting aesthetic that will allure children in. The palette appears watercolor based, which gives the images a neutral tone which allows the busy pages to not appear cluttered.

Author: Dorothée de Monfreid Publisher: Gecko Press Written and illustrated by Dorothée De Monfreid ‘A Day With Dogs’ has the feel of a classic Richard Scarry children’s book, with an added touch of personality in De Monfried’s fun illustrations. In ‘A Day With Dogs’ the reader follows nine cute dogs as they venture through their lives. There is variation within each of the dogs appearance and character, each giving a funny and charming performance on each page.

December 2016

and unfamiliar sounds in the night, showing

‘A Day With Dogs’ offers rich and playful scenes that offer a “doll house” dogs’ world. Included in these fun and creative scenes are numbers, letters, colours and names for various living and inanimate objects. ‘A Day With Dogs’ would be suitable for preschoolers, in one on one reading sessions with minimal supervision. Recommended for all ECC centres. Reviewed by Fern Anderson


Super Rabbit



and thinks he is a Super Rabbit. The hilarious text follows on from there, often featuring a

By Stephanie Blake

comical to-and-fro between the young Super

Gecko Press

Rabbit and his mother.

Author of bestselling ‘Poo Bum’, Stephanie

‘Super Rabbit’ features brightly coloured

Blake, has now produced another fun book

illustrations that have been proven to engage

that children will love, ‘Super Rabbit’. ‘Super

and focus children. The large block colours

Rabbit’ is another classic in the best-selling series about Simon, a cheeky little rabbit who knows just what he wants. Of this bestselling series ‘Super Rabbit’ is one of the most popular books internationally along with ‘Poo Bum’ which has been a bestseller and sold 30,000 copies since its release

capture the reader's eye and will certainly be able to hold the attention of a child. Children who are already familiar with Stephanie Blake’s fun rabbit series will instantly recognise and love the bold and clever illustrations in ‘Super Rabbit’. ‘Super Rabbit’ is ideal for a group reading

in 2011. The storyline of ‘Super Rabbit’ is based on the idea that a young rabbit wakes up one day

12 Huia Birds

session in any ECC centre. Reviewed by Fern Anderson

its likely decline. The story starts from 12 huia birds playing in the forest, through to the

By Julian Stokoe

arrival of humans and pests to finally the last huia flying into the sky. It’s a fantastic story

Illustrated by Stacy Eyles

to introduce issues about caring and saving

Oratia Books

the environment, and current issues such as

A challenging and somewhat melancholic

eradicating all pests by 2050.

story about the huia, one of New Zealand’s

The brightly coloured illustrations will draw

most distinctive birds, but one which is now

readers in and offer a further dimension to


the story.

This book subtly covers an environmental

This book is also supported by an app, which

message as it conjures up the life of this

links to educational resources and games

beautiful bird as it tracks the reasons behind

about the huia and other native birds.

Penguin Random House Prize Pack

Penguin Random House as kindly donated THREE prize packs for Swings and Roundabouts readers, each pack containing THREE Books!

To win a free pack of Penguin Random House books answer this question: What type of animal is Ranger?

Competition Winners Congratulations to the following winners who have won 3 Penguin Random House books for their ECE centre:

(Clue: answer found in a Resource Review)

Emma Hatton, Little Pipis Childcare, Wellington

Email your contact details and the answer to the above question to publications@ecc.org.nz by Friday 27 January 2017 and be in to win.

Kim Maera, Educare Totara Park, Whanagrei

Emma Gunn, Polykids Early Childhood Centre, Dunedin

December 2016

Now you have a better option when looking to sell your ECE. Brett Barker has sold many centres throughout the country in the last 5 years and has many more coming up, gaining solid momentum within the industry. Barker Childcare Sales has employed 2 new brokers (Geoff Mackenzie & Alan Dufty) as well as a Marketing and Admin Assistant (Kate Kitchener) to help out.

We are comfortable selling centres licensed for 25 right through to groups of over 1000

A database of over 1000 current buyers directly interested in ECE businesses

Confidentiality is everything to us, we ensure we ‘vet’ buyers thoroughly before introducing them to you.

Thinking of selling? Contact Brett or one of the team today.


Unit A2/ 17 Corinthian Drive, Albany, North Shore City p: 09 448 0751 f: 09 448 1287 m: 021 744 9900 e: brettb@barkerbusiness.co.nz





Last Laugh

"Police in Australia are searching for a group of men seen releasing live crocodiles into a school building. Though, if you ask me, they should probably be searching for the crocodiles." -Seth Meyers

Q. Why do milking chairs only have three legs????

Q: What do you call a sheep with no legs?

A. Because the cow has the UDDER

A: A cloud.

Q: What do you get if you cross a cocker

Q: How do snails fight?

spaniel, a poodle and a rooster?

A: They slug it out.

A: Cockerpoodledoo!

Q: Why did the scarecrow win an award?

Q: Why do dogs run in circles?

A: Because he was outstanding in his field.

A: Because it’s hard to run in squares!

Q: Who are the coolest people at the

Q: What does a television have in common with a rabbit?


A: His ears!

A: The ultra-sound guys.

Q: What did the crop say to the farmer?

1. Without geometry life is pointless.

A: Why are you always picking on me?

2. I fear for the calendar, it's days

Q: How do you organize a space party?

are numbered.

A: You planet.

3. I'm reading a book on the history of glue - can't put it down.

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