Swings & roundabouts: issue 30 - June 2016

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Inside this issue... June 2016


Wint er 2016



















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

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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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June 2016

Not a member yet? The Early l Childhood Council is the only ly l ECE Sector organisation that specifically ly l caters ly for centre owners and managers with th these th thrree great benefits benefits:

GREAT HELP! • Over 100 tools and templ mplates to savve you time • An excellent ressource library ary of use seful, relevant infor orm mation on running a su uccessful ul early e childhood hood education edu centrre • An afforda able, com omprehen ehensive professio sional deve elopmen opment prog ogramm me • Weekly ee-News keep ps you infor ormed

• Quar artterly Sw Swiings gs & Round oundab abouts magazine – free to every licensed early childhood educatio ation n centre in the country, contai ain ning artic articlles on the latest happenings and issues es facing our sector • Regional sociall ne networks of cen enttre managers m • An Employer’s Hel Help Line with up to 15 minutes free legal advice • And single-issue advice on any ECE issu sue e on onlly a phone call away!

• Sociall media med disc discussi sions (Faceboo ebook, Twit T ter)

• Regular ar surveys s of your opinion on key sector issues



• Professionall developmen d opment workshop opss for members underr $10 100 0

• Influencing politicians and policy-makers

• The biggest ECE E conference e for cen enttre managers and their ir teaching sttaff

• Invollv lvement in key sectorr issues and projects

• A wide range of preferrred suppliers for goods and services you use e – saving you $1000s each year!

• Leading significant se ector prrojects • Yo Y ur cha chance to be involv l ed and lv d have h your voice heard!

Joining the ECC makes sense! For further information, Call us on 0800 742 742; or e-mail information@ecc.org.nz or go to www.ecc.org.nz to complete an application form.





Editor “The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, then what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men.” – John Dewy Welcome to the winter issue of Swings & Roundabouts. To all who attended the recent ECC Conference held in Rotorua I hope you returned to your centres full of ideas to explore and reflect on. Within this issue we share with you photos and a summing up of the conference. You all looked very glam in your silver and blue at the Gala Dinner! We love sharing the stories of our readers and in this issue we have several stories from both teachers and centre management.

• •

What does place-based education look like in NZ ECE?

Supporting infants and toddlers to become cognitive and confident communicators and explorers

• • •

Should ECE teachers be post-graduate qualified as a minimum?

Standing out from the crowd; what unique selling proposition are you offering your customer?

Sustainability in ECE – what can it look like? Funding issues in special needs

If you’d like to write on the above themes or have a story our readers will enjoy contact Trudi at publications@ecc.org.nz Trudi Sutcliffe Editor publications@ecc.org.nz

In the recent autumn issue we asked for males working in ECE to share their journey with our readers. Four male ECE teachers from various stages in their teaching career bravely put their hands up and have shared their thoughts and experiences of being a male ECE teacher. Enjoy the read. The stories give you plenty to reflect on and also remind you why we all work in this sector. Kirsty Darvill, the owner of My Treehut in Taupo, shares an aspirational story on how she and her colleagues shared their knowledge and skills in outdoor play experiences to help a local school design their new playground. It’s a great story on how ECE centres and schools can share knowledge, skills and build stronger relationships; plus what a great opportunity to support transitions and showcase how skilled and knowledgeable we are in ECE! Another early childhood centre, The Farmyard for Early Learning, located in Gisborne, reflects on their journey over the last three years as a new centre and how they developed a shared leadership. Be ‘wowed’ with the photos of their early learning environment. Did you watch the recent TV3 documentary, ‘World Class: Inside NZ Education: A Special Report?’ It didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, but what a great reminder on how the ECE pedagogy allows and cultivates creativity, innovation and critical thinkers. The documentary also reminded us on how our sector is at the bottom of the heap when it comes to receiving funding, and also importantly on why we need to keep believing in our pedagogy and current assessment processes and not get trapped in being part of any standardised testing for our four year olds, as they are currently doing in other parts of the world. Upcoming topics we are looking for stories on include:

Assessment – Are we doing enough?

June 2016





The Government’s 2016 Budget was a

That is why so many ECE centres are running


at, or near a loss, battling to maintain quality

There was:

No recognition of increased quality expectations:

No funding for ECE services to participate in Communities of Learning (despite the fact schools are funded for the same thing); and

and/or increasing fees for parents. The impact is worst for those centres unable to access the economies of scale available to groupings of centres. To give the Government the credit it is due, it has announced that ECE services in Communities of Learning will be able, from next year, to access a share of the $75 million

No new special education money (despite

of professional development funding available

the fact schools got $59 million).

currently to schools only.

Most importantly, there was no adjustment in government subsidies to compensate for

There was also, in Budget 2016, $397 million of new spending to meet the growing demand


for early childhood education. And we should

The consequences?

have committed to increasing participation.

ECE services will have to make do with less money. And ECE children will continue to receive hopelessly inadequate special education support. To be specific, the average 50-place centre will lose about $13,000 a year as a consequence of the Government’s failure, in Budget 2016, to increase government subsidies in line with inflation. The true significance of this loss becomes apparent when it is added to the other funding cuts that have occurred since

tip our hats to the Government for this. They They are increasing participation. And they are paying to ensure there will be sufficient capacity to accommodate new children. Well done! The $397 million for new services means little, however, to the thousands of existing services being forced to struggle with perchild subsidies that are being cut year after year. It is those centres, and the families they serve, who will shoulder the consequences: lower quality services and increased parent fees. Outside of exploring the Budget, other

Budget 2010… The loss of the 80 to 99% and

issues this quarter include the government’s

100% qualified teacher funding bands. The

announcement of the Funding Advisory

loss of the Support Grant for Provisionally

Group, of which the ECC’s CEO is a member.

Registered Teachers. The loss of the

The purpose of this group is the tantalising

equalisation payment that funded pay parity with kindergarten teachers. When you add all these losses to the repeated failure to adjust subsidies in line with inflation, you find the average 50-place

opportunity to re-make the way ECE-services are funded. This activity must be seen in the same light as the review of the Education Act and the establishment of Communities of Learning. What might this mean for centres? There is a clear push by government

centre has lost about $90,000 a year since

toward binding future funding to the learning

Budget 2010.

outcomes of children. From that we can

June 2016

by Pe

ter Re



read that one possible direction for future funding of ECE services will rely on their ability to show evidence that their children are progressing against the outcomes and indicators throughout and across Te Whāriki. A challenge for the sector, but one we have known about for a while. There are also fishhooks throughout this work. How do we address current funding imbalances (quality and funding imbalances between ECE Service types, such as quality expectation differences between centres and home-based ECE services; teacher pay rate differences between centres and kindergartens as a result of government intervention, etc). Outside of the Budget, we have been advised by the Ministry of Education that plans are in place to open up access to the $79 million of centrally-purchased PLD for school teachers. In future, from 2017, ECE services will be able to access this. There is a catch. Only those ECE services that are part of a Communities of Learning initiative can access this fund. AND, only where that Communities of Learning group has submitted a proposal to access that fund to the Ministry of Education. AND only where the Ministry has subsequently said yes. Meanwhile, schools are funded to participate in these Communities of Learning while ECE services are not. This picture remains rather bleak. And I’m sorry for that. While this government continues to talk about improving the lot of children, vulnerable or otherwise, and improve the quality of services, they do not accept and therefore do not support the costs that are inherent with that expectation. More than this, they do not believe that the imbalances successive governments have created within the ECE sector are worth fixing.



The 2016 Budget There is not much to tell about Budget 2016 from an ECE point of view. This article, however, summarises the main elements of the 2016 Budget as they impact on ECE centres.

Education We got $397 million of new spending to accommodate the 14,000 new children expected to arrive in ECE services… and that’s it. The most importance absence from the Budget: money to compensate ECE services for the impact of inflation on government subsidies. Budget 2016 was therefore a perchild funding cut for ECE services: about $13,000 a year for the average 50-child centre. As well as $883 million for new schools and classrooms, schools received:

$43 million over four years to target students most at risk of under-achieving;

$42 million for students with high and special educational needs;

$15.3 million over four years for extra teacher aides to help children with a range of learning difficulties; and

$1.5 million operating funding over the next four years for specialised equipment and technology that will help students with special education needs to better access the curriculum.

ECE services got a per-child funding cut.

Regional Development $8 million additional funding over four years for the Regional Business Partners Programme, operated by NZTE and Callaghan Innovation. It’s a stretch, but sometimes these funds can apply to ECE innovations, like the development of community hubs. Worth a think.

Taxation No tax cuts, but the promise of some coming. Meanwhile, Inland Revenue has already announced policy changes affecting small business tax administration, withholding tax, etc that aim to simplify and reduce tax administration and cost. And that’s it. And the World continues to revolve!

June 2016



So you know Welcome The following early childhood centres joined the Early Childhood Council recently:

Avenues Educare, Whangarei

Birthright Hawke’s Bay, Napier

Bright Stars Early Education Centre, Whangarei

BOP Polytechnic Early Childhood Education Centre, Tauranga

Little Bears Early Childhood Education & Care Centre, Manukau

Marshlands Nest, Christchurch

Shooting Stars, Auckland

Sydenham Community Preschool, Christchurch

Te Whare Whai Hua ELC, Gisborne

The Nurtury, Christchurch

The Playroom Early Learning Centre, Christchurch

Westport Early Learning Centre, Westport

Gulf Harbour Preschool, Auckland

Koru Early Learning Centre, Auckland

Ottawa Gardens Preschool & Nursery, Christchurch

Conductive Education Waikato Unit, Hamilton

Fairleigh Kindergarten, Christchurch

Gail's Childcare Centre, Fielding

Happy Times Preschool, Tauranga

Kidspace Early Learning Centre, Tauranga

Mariposa Kids, Auckland

Nga Tamariki Puawai, Auckland

Shore Kids, Auckland

St Andrews Preschool, Auckland

Sure Start Early Childhood Education Centre, Whangaparaoa

Little Learners Childcare, Auckland

Te Waipuna Ariki o Matangireia, Whakatane

The Toy Makers Cottage, Auckland (Provisional)

Tuahiwi Community Preschool, Kaiapoi

Junior Junction, Auckland & Hamilton

Tiny Turtles Educare, Auckland (Provisional)

Active Kids Early Childcare Centre, Tauranga

The Hafiza Centre (Interim name, Provisional)

Awapuni Under Fives Community Preschool, Gisborne

Peninsula Kids, Auckland (Provisional)

Early Connections, Auckland (Provisional)

New Advisory Group for review of education funding systems The Minister of Education recently announced the establishment of an Advisory Group as part of the next step in the review of education funding systems. The group will work with us to test and refine a set of proposed directions for change. The directions focus on how the funding system could be shifted so that all children and young people, especially those who are at greatest risk of educational underachievement, get the best possible education. Peter Hughes, Secretary for Education will chair the Advisory Group, which brings together leaders from across the early childhood and schooling sectors, which includes ECC’s CEO Peter Reynolds, as well as Clare Wells, CEO, New Zealand Kindergartens Inc; and Kararaina Cribb, CEO, Te Kohanga Reo National Trust.

Farewell Dr Russell Wills Judge and has been frequently called upon

The ECC notes Dr Russell Wills, Children’s

children the best start and he has left a true

Commissioner, will be stepping down at the

mark on the role of Commissioner. We wish

to see the results of things going badly for

end of June. Dr Wills, a Hawke’s Bay-based

Dr Wills the very best and feel confident we’ll

some of today’s youth. Judge Becroft was to

paediatrician, has been an ardent advocate

hear from him further in time.

speak at the ECC’s conference in 2014, but

for children, their rights, their health and

Meanwhile, we welcome Andrew Becroft

had to withdraw at the last minute due to an accident. We look forward to continuing the

wellbeing, throughout his tenure. He has

as the new Children’s Commissioner from

acknowledged the role of quality early

July 2016. Judge Becroft has, until this

productive and challenging relationship with

childhood education in giving preschool-aged

appointment, been the Chief Youth Court

Judge Becroft we have enjoyed with Dr Wills.

June 2016


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

View PTC Overview

My Plan

Reflective Questions

•Choose your own reflective questions


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

My Portfolio

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

•Combines PTCs and Tataiako •Upload photos, videos Add new Reflective 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 words to create meaning Delete This Objective

Edit This Objective


Upload File


Manage your progress in

My Appraisal

Close the performance loop with

My Mentors

•Grant mentors access to your Blue Book online

Post Comment

Add new Objective

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

Available from June 2016. Contact the ECC for more information



New Zealand Tertiary College launches resource to support te reo Māori learning As the nation seeks to revitalise the Māori language, New Zealand Tertiary College has launched Te Reo Māori: He taonga mō ā tātou mokopuna - a learning resource to support the early childhood sector and beyond. With a vision to support the college’s early childhood education students engaging with te reo Māori, NZTC began to create this resource a number of years ago with a commitment to seeing the Māori language woven throughout teaching and learning in more natural ways. NZTC Chief Executive Selena Fox explained, “Our students were nervous to try teaching and learning te reo so we have established a resource to support them in the beginning steps to using the language in everyday, practical, real ways.” Spurred by Roimata Rokx, NZTC lecturer (Kaiarahi – Teaching and Learning Support), the initial drafts were a compilation of Rokx’s Māori language learning resources created for the college. The extensive student need for a supportive resource resulted in Ms. Fox pulling together the wider NZTC team to create a resource with the intention of substantially contributing to te reo learning in New Zealand.

June 2016

Selena Fox & Roimata Rokx

NZTC’s design, communication, teaching

language commission and endorsed by Dr

and administrative specialists worked

Te Tuhi Robust (Associate Professor and

collaboratively on the 118 page colour

Director of Operations (Northland) for Te

resource that features basic learning like numbers and colours, as well as additional ideas and practices that can be used to promote and assist te reo Māori learning. Editor Rokx commented, “My vision for the book is to see it used by early childhood centres on a daily basis in a very natural way, emerging te reo Māori words and phrases into everyday life. I didn’t want it to read like a dictionary so I’m ecstatic that the combined effort of the

Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi) to ensure it aligned with not only the Māori language, but also Māori cultural beliefs and values. “It is timely that our launch coincides with the passing of the Māori Language Bill as we are committed to supporting and encouraging the learning and fluency of te reo Māori during children's foundational years,” said Fox. As part of NZTC’s commitment to

NZTC team has resulted in a bright, colourful,

biculturalism and bilingualism it plans to

engaging resource that draws the reader in.”

gift a copy of the resource to every early

The creation of the resource was a

childhood centre in the country with a

comprehensive process spanning several

researched support plan for ECE teachers on

years in which the book was written,

how to best utilise the resource within their

designed and printed in New Zealand

centres. The resource will also be available

making it 100% Kiwi! It was proofread by an

for purchase through the college by emailing

external reviewer accredited by the Māori


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ECC Art Competition 2016 This year’s art award theme was ‘Why I love going to my early childhood centre’.

The main prize page valued at $1250 was sponsored by ECC Preferred Suppliers:

Thank you to all early childhood centres who entered into the competition. Once again we marvelled at the high calibre of artistic talent, use of colour, art media, originality, and the collaboration of many children working together as a group with their teachers. Our judges had a very difficult job indeed!

$250 cash prize sponsored by

$250 in art and products from

$250 Prezi card from

$500 cash prize from

Overall we had three prizes. The overall winner and runnerup chosen by our judges and the People’s Choice Award chosen by those attending this year’s ECC Conference.

The runner-up prize package valued at $250 was sponsored by ECC Preferred Supplier:

The People’s Choice Award valued at $100 was sponsored by ECC Preferred Supplier:

Wi nn er:


Riverhead Montesso

Runn er-up:

Northcote Preschool Community Trust

June 2016

People’s Ch oic e Award:

Carterton Prescho





What is best practice in childcare centre management?

–a business perspective What makes a good centre manager?


This topic was discussed at the recent ECC conference. We all share experiences of good managers from our past; and notbe a successful centre manager in today’s


climate? What are the characteristics that reflect best practice. This workshop took the position that running ○␣

a childcare centre is akin to running a small business. It is a business, and must make a profit or surplus to survive and grow. That doesn’t mean that a good centre manager loses sight of the values and philosophy of the centre, or that they ignore the real first place – to provide excellent education


and care to our youngest children. It does mean, though, that the centre must operate in a commercial-like manner to ensure its survival and future growth, and to


comply with various statutes and owner’s expectations.


general best practice competencies. Communication Management is all about communicating to the staff and parents. Effective communication is a must when it comes to successful management.

Leading by Example ○␣

Respect is an essential value for your centre. Leading by example is the best way of demonstrating this. Define and adhere to leadership by example best practices and also make sure your staff do the same.

When your management style is open and transparent, others respect you more. In addition, information directly flows from the problem areas to you.



This is the most important best practice area when it comes to longterm benefits for the centre. Usually, experienced people in management have their own, successful best practices for strategic planning. Having a clear purpose, values and vision for your centre – and living these every day

There are many tools a centre manager can use for practising management best practices. The following are some areas where you can use such tools:

Benchmarks can then be used for evaluating and assessing the performance of your centre (relative to its competition).

Forecasting, especially, financial forecasting is a key function for a centre. There are many tools, such as cash flow forecasts, price sheets, effort estimates for accurate forecasting.

Performance Monitoring ○␣

Always try to follow the open door policies that do not restrict your staff coming to you directly.



You can define certain KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for measuring and assessing the performance of your centre, functions and people.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) ○␣

that centre. This article concentrates on the

The Centre Manager should have a set of best practices defined for clear and effective communication from/to the staff and the parents.


Strategic Planning

centre can add that reflect the identity of


There are many best practices on how to set goals and objectives, such as SWOT analysis. Since the goals are the driving factor behind your centre, you need to make use of every possible best practice for goal setting.

Remember – staff do not leave jobs, they leave managers!

managers and a number that any individual


ter Re

Realistic goals can boost the morale of your team. Most of the time, centres fail due to unrealistic, unachievable goals and objectives.

Open Management Style

purpose for the centre being there in the

competencies that apply to all centre

by Pe

Setting and Demanding Realistic Goals

so-good ones! But what does it take to

There are a number of best practice

What other examples of values would you expect your centre manager to demonstrate by example?




This is the most effective way of monitoring all the aspects of your centre. You can set up KPIs for any aspect of the centre and start monitoring the progress of the respective aspects. As an example, you can define KPIs for enrolment targets and monitor their progress over time. When the enrolment figures don’t meet the KPIs, you can look into the issues and rectify them. The KPIs used depend on your individual centre. When KPIs are defined, they should align with your overall centre business objectives.

Benchmarking ○␣

Benchmarking is a domain itself. Accurate benchmarking helps you to understand the capability of your centre.

About the author Peter Reynolds is the Early Childhood Councils Chief Executive Officer.

June 2016




Where is the male ECE teacher - & how can we recruit him? In the Autumn issue of Swings & Roundabouts we asked the question, Where is the male ECE teacher, how can we recruit him?, We also asked for male ECE teachers to share their experience of teaching ECE in Aotearoa. Over the next few pages four male ECE teachers from beginning to experienced bravely put their hands up and offered to share their journey and experience from a male perspective of teaching ECE in Aotearoa. Enjoy the read…


Demystifying the cult of the male teacher in Early Childhood Education Male teachers are a rare and special breed of teacher in the world of early childhood education and every week new articles surface championing male teachers. The messages are many. There's the good: role modelling, gender equality, supporting boys learning, new perspectives and ways of being. And of course there are the 'reasons' why men aren't busting down the door: it's women's work, low pay rates, challenges to their masculinity, fear of sexual abuse allegations, and difficulties of returning to study late in life, are common excuses touted as barriers. It's confusing. And I believe that's kind of where we men are at in Early Childhood Education: confused, but it needn't be so. I believe we have a problem with stereotypes – socially constructed ideas about gender, about what men and women can and cannot do, who can be masculine and who can be feminine that create 'barriers' and much hand-wringing. We are also guilty of exploiting these stereotypes to gain advantage. Men may be a minority in ECE, but we know how to work it. We can deal with the 'barriers to male participation' issue in the stroke of pen: quit whining. Yes its hard work and the pay is crap etcetera, but get over yourself and get stuck in. We made these walls, these 'barriers to participation', to protect our privilege and it's up to us to start dismantling them. The question of what is expected of maleteachers is a bit trickier. We are to

June 2016

be role models: a father-figure for those without, a source of raw 100% masculinity, a challenge to gender stereotypes, and an attempt to counter the ridiculous 'boys are victims of a feminised education system' discourse. It's busy! That our participation hinges on the idea of role modelling is problematic in that we assume developing a gender identity is simply about showing/reinforcing what is 'correct' to be a boy or a girl. We teach them the rules. It takes an essentialist view of gender, that it is black and white, clearly defined, and that it is a fixed state of being. If it's as simple as teaching a child what to be – why does it often blow up in our faces? Clearly there is more to gender construction than merely accepting messages from parents, teachers, the media and wider society. From Naiama Browne (Gender Equity in the Early Years, 2004):

children receive multiple messages that are often conflicting

social and cultural factors play a huge part

children make decisions about which messages they are attracted to and will use

these decisions at random

it is a process of negotiation

it is an on-going process.


By Geoff F The whole role model argument is just too simplistic. Drop it.

You could delve deeper into gender equality and argue that traditional masculinity is simply not wanted, that it “is problematic for female teachers, girls and boys who are trying to construct alternative ways of being male,” (MacNoughton & Newman, 1996). The authors ask: whose interests are being served? By reinforcing behaviours and attitudes that silence the voices of girls, our position of being a 'positive role model' may be an anchor on gender equality. Fortunately it’s not black and white. It's not feminine or masculine, that's just absurd. If men and women can express positive masculine and feminine traits then it means that neither is better than the other provided they are sensitive to the needs of children and are aware of what is required to promote gender equality. Okay then. Welcome to early childhood education, but before the congratulations, consider this: Browne (2004) argues that male teachers are valued because of their rarity rather than their performance. Short-comings such as unwillingness to 'do the paper work', unreliability and poor punctuality are frequently overlooked. According to Browne, men are clearly an advantaged group – interview processes favour them, and being seen as natural leaders, they are encouraged to seek promotion and they generally receive it… Research (Browne, 2004) shows that



is often the result of a lifetime of gender

while female teachers fume, their male

It needs to be understood that leadership

colleagues are oblivious to the power of

is no longer considered a static positional

identity construction. As a male teacher in a

their gender - not a good look. Despite the

role, but a dynamic process of innovation

leadership role what can I recommend? That

regular intake of men into training, we never

and change. Leadership is an action.

you investigate a 'servant leadership model'

seem to rise above 2% of the total teacher

Lambert (A framework for shared leadership,

as I believe this best balances the ways

population in Aotearoa. Where have they

2002) contends that “the days of the lone

of being and doing that life in a dominant

gone? Behind that big desk. The speed that

instructional leader are over. We no longer

culture has instilled in us. My challenge for

male teachers ride that escalator through the

believe that one administrator can serve as

you: intentionally seek a place of humility,

glass ceiling and into positions of authority is

the instructional leader for the entire school

empathy and trust.

breath-taking. The issue of gender-equality within leadership roles is a huge concern that the education sector as a whole needs to tackle. From the early childhood centre to University, men are in charge. Should we turn down an opportunity to advance our career? No. But tread carefully, and when you make it to the top (unfortunately it's almost a given), stop

without substantial participation of other educators.� Leadership is a strategic choice to best address a particular situation. You can be dynamic and visionary and full of energy and passion, but it's not about you. Collaboration has been boxed as 'feminine' leadership with lots of talking and listening, but sharpen up, collaboration is a strategy and boy does it work.

We may be considered traitors to patriarchy in accepting 'women's work' and in the eyes of many we get what we deserve, but we need to be mindful that we can't have it both ways. We helped make this bed that we are now lying in and while we may end up leading, we must listen, and listen very carefully. About the Author

and reflect: professional and personal power

Collaborative environments have come to

Geoff Fugle is a Northland-based early

can make or break the types of relationships

the fore in ECE for several reasons: they are

childhood teacher who is dipping his toes

that nourishes the early childhood

recognised as potentiating environments

into leadership. As a recent graduate of Te

community. Males as positions of authority

that facilitate growth and development in

Rito Maioha's Postgraduate Certificate in

need to be acutely aware of the power they

ways that recognise and embrace diversity,

Leadership (ECE), he is a convert to the

hold and how we conduct ourselves. We also

they promote reflective pedagogical dialogue

idea that we all have a professional

need to learn about leadership per se, as

and are critical to meaningful and sustained

responsibility to lead, but that leadership is

there is a real risk of defaulting to learned

transformation. While many men may feel

a process that includes all and is not about

patterns of behaviour.

the have an intuitive knack for leading, this

power and control.

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Caleb Koia-Hamling:

Teacher Man By Caleb Koia-Hamling

I had spent most of my life working in radio,

women. I want the children I teach to see that

mainly writing radio commercials, and I was

a “real man” is someone who gives others

very good at it. But after 10 years I needed a

around him love, respect and care. It’s O.K

change- I didn’t believe my purpose on earth

for a man to cuddle you if you are sad, to play

was simply to be that I wrote great radio

dolls with you, or to show different emotions.

ads that convinced people to go into stores

A real man interacts with children, joins in

and buy stuff that they didn’t really need. So

their play, listens to them and doesn’t place

in December 2013 I decided to follow my

any limits on what they want to do.

passion of giving children the best childhood

Sure, I love wrestling with the children,

possible and started working full-time as an early childhood teacher while studying full-time to get my Teaching Degree. To make life even more fun my wife and I also decided “Great! I dressed up as Spiderman and had a paint fight with a four-year-old!” That may not be the most common answer when your wife asks you how your day was, but I am not a common person. I am Caleb Koia-Hamling, a man working in early childhood education, an uncommon group

we would add three young children into the equation, I would also study te reo Māori part time, and would continue training for running races and half-Ironman races. Let me just

had face-painted as Spiderman, while my four-year old friend was face-painted as his nemesis Venom, and then we threw paintballs at each other (I lost convincingly for the record). A couple of weeks ago I dressed up as Elsa from Frozen and danced and sung all day (the blue dress really brought out my eyes!). The other day we got covered from head to toe in shaving foam and paint. The next day I had my hair and makeup done by two budding beauty therapists. It is so awesome feeding off the magic,

If you really want a show, turn up at 3pm and most days I’m vacuuming or scrubbing toilets.

again? No. Hell no. But the point is, I multiAnyway, fast-forward to today and I am

fantastic world of early childhood? As I

about feelings. Or I might be with a group of children in the kitchen making pink cupcakes.

bed. It has been extremely time-consuming

rare breed known as “man teacher” in the

mentioned in the first line, last week I

also be sitting under the tree with a couple of children on my knee reading a book

and energy exhausting, but would I do it tasked for three years!

And why wouldn’t I want to be part of this

having messy play, kicking a ball around and racing around the bike track. But I might

put that old “men can’t multi-task” rubbish to

of lads which make up part of the 2% of that early childhood sector.

(a teacher and a man)

now working in my dream centre- Tamariki Station in Paeroa. Erin, our boss, and the rest of our awesome A-team are so supportive of me, there’s a real positive buzz in the centre, and of course, we have the best children and whānau. Our own three sons have all been here (two of them still are), and I am so lucky to be able to teach so many wonderful children, including being able to watch my own children develop. As the only male teacher on the team there are many other perks too: no queues at the male toilet, being the only staff member who can burp their “A, B, C’s”, and never being asked to look for anything (due to the much publicised “manlook” theory),

My goal is to show the children that men and women can both do everything and there is no set gender for any role. In time I want to help encourage more young men

positivity, and fun that being around children

I’m proud of helping break generalisations,

gives you. Also, how can you not be excited

such as men not doing house work, or men

to be responsible for giving children so many

many benefits of working with our future

just being rugby-watching, beer-drinking

important values in those precious first years

generation. Until then, I’m just grateful to

grunters (sometimes we watch car-racing

wake up every morning and head off to the

of life- aroha, manaakitanga, giving and

and drink beer too!). But seriously, I get

best job in the world. Now if you don’t mind,

receiving respect. To help mould a child, give

sick of hearing “real man” used to define

I must go…important business to attend to…I’m getting face-painted as a gremlin and

into early childhood, and let them know the

them a love of learning, and show them they

cave-man style attributes such as “a real

are unique, wonderful individuals is the most

man hunts” and “a real man fixes cars”. That

then going to teach the children how to make

privileged job there is.

is true, men do hunt and fix cars, but so do


June 2016



By Richard Perica

The challenges and rewards of working in ECE – A male perspective Teaching has always been a strong passion

Without a great team beside me it may have

maybe consider early childhood. There is

of mine ever since I started coaching

been a different outcome.

so much we can do for children of this age

hockey. There was always something about seeing children grow and succeed. The majority of my hockey coaching was for children between the ages of 5-18. During my coaching times it was always exciting watching players learn and build their skill sets and witnessing these achievements. It was then I knew, teaching was a passion of mine.

One of the most rewarding aspects of working in early childhood are the bonds you form with the children and how you connect into their lives and their interests, watching them grow and develop, from seeing a 6 month old sitting up to crawling and walking, 2 year olds singing the alphabet all by themselves, to five year olds leaving for school. Every experience is rewarding. Every

People asked me what I was doing before I

time I walk through the front door, seeing the

started teaching, and that was djing, which

children and getting big hugs, talking about

I’m currently still doing. I knew it wasn’t

the weekend or what we did the night before,

enough and I needed to look for more work.

makes for great daily conversation.

When I was reading through the Queenstown Lakes Bulletin Weekly, I saw a position for a caregiver at ABC Queenstown. I applied for that position and within a week I was offered the job, and I was thrilled.

A teaching philosophy I endeavour is to encourage and support children. When learning a new activity, explaining and showing them so they understand, allowing them to try the experience on their own and

One thing during my interview I had asked,

supporting them. Sometimes when we learn

can I train to become an early childhood

a new experience, we slowly develop, and as

teacher, and I was told yes I can. I never knew

they achieve what they are learning, it’s great

how tough early childhood would be, however

to be able to watch from a distance and see

I can say it’s been nothing but amazing. One of the best parts about working in

them achieve it on their own, it’s such a great feeling and you feel incredibly proud of them.

early childhood education is definitely

I plan on studying for my bachelor’s degree in

having a great team to work with, yes, they

early childhood. I have such a passion for this

are all girls, and they share their wisdom,

age group. Even though I have a long road

knowledge, planning tips and even how to

ahead of me to achieve this starting my level

change a nappy, which was a new experience

four in July and then hopefully my degree

and this knowledge definitely has helped

in 2017, ultimately it would be great to go

me along the way. One thing that is really

around speaking to other males throughout

important for me is to ask questions, I always

the country sharing my message and journey

ask a lot of questions throughout my day.

to other males, who plan on teaching to

group. One of the surprising responses when I tell people what I do is remarkable, they are very encouraging, and think it’s amazing. This is pretty cool. Sometimes when I tell people I can’t but help think their response will be different. I guess when you’re working with just females it can be a challenge, you definitely have to have a good set of listening ears on, and watch what you say. I do believe there aren’t that many male teachers in early childhood due to it being discriminated as a “women’s job” no different I guess if females did a trade. Times certainly have changed, so seeing men work alongside children from 6 months to 5 year olds is no different seeing females achieve and be successful in a trade’s job or as a mechanic. I certainly believe more male forums, communication or even going to high schools and talking to both female and males could be an encouraging factor to embrace more male role models in the sector. I don’t see this job as being frowned upon or indifferent, I see this as challenging as any other job people are faced with. It’s a new era, definitely no longer you would see this as a women’s role, I do strongly believe that it would be a fantastic opportunity if more males took a chance and experienced early childhood teaching. If it surprised me how amazing this job is, I do see this surprising other males considering heading into early childhood education also.

June 2016



"What do you do for a

job? " By Kent Hallman

I work in high end conflict resolution with an aim to provide all concerned parties the tools with which to grow as confident and competent individuals within a strong culturally centred team environment. This is how I could answer that particular question if I so desired, however that would give the questioner far too much to work with in furthering the conversation. This then gives me two other options. Ask them to guess. They never ever guess correctly. Or I look them straight in the eye and proudly say "I am an early childhood teacher". I can tell immediately whether I have just brought the conversation to a shuddering halt or I am about to be bombarded with questions regarding my chosen vocation. Personally I am amused by those that seemingly do not know how to continue a conversation when confronted with a "startling" revelation. Fortunately for them I work with young children and can easily get things moving through verbal or non verbal means of communication. Why are people so startled with my answer? I am a caring soft hearted intuitive individual who is as comfortable around a nappy changing table as I am singing and dancing to the Frozen theme tune. I can recite The Gruffalo and Going On a Bear Hunt without the need of the books! Yesterday I dressed up as a ladybug (how I got that dress-up on and off is a science lesson in itself) and not one child treated me any differently.

June 2016

I have stayed at home with my two children

So I now elaborate on my answer as to my

for 8 and a half years while my incredibly

chosen vocation. I work at Secret Garden ELC

amazing partner worked long and hard to

previously Secret Garden 4 Kids (Igot over

afford me this privilege. I have a deep and

the use of a numeral and use of the word

meaningful understanding of breastfeeding,

kids) which fosters my imagination, enhances

separation anxiety, childbirth and sleepless

my honesty, builds my perseverance,

nights. Why are people so startled at my chosen vocation? Maybe it is because I have a beard. Maybe it is because I have a bald spot. Maybe it is because I am surrounded by women and children all day each and every day and I always look happy? No it couldn't possibly be that. That would be far too superficial and lack insight into the enormity of what it takes to be an ECE teacher and under value who I really am as a person. Maybe it is because I am a male? Yeah that’s probably it, because I am a male. Those blank looks, those - what the heck do I say next faces, the next two mumbling sentences about yeah, I looked after the kids for a while once. Don't get me wrong this may sound like these responses all come from males. They do not. The dichotomy of yes there should be more

strengthens my patience and enhances my comprehension about relationships and trust. This is all sounding rather selfish is it not? Any teacher understands that being selfish in this wonderful profession is a theory only espoused by those that don't know. Because those that do teach! Right? Sorry this was supposed to be a piece about what it is like to be a male teacher in ECE. Well it is enlightening, energizing, fun, challenging, peaceful, loud, incredible, tiring, happy, sad, confronting, reflective, ageing, youthful, personal, engaging, fulfilling, crazy, humorous, MESSY, colourful, sobering, never ending, soulful, unpredictable, I could go on forever but most of all it is enjoyable! Now ask a female teacher? You might just find those words are not gender specific. I have the privilege to work in ECE with an incredibly supportive bunch of people, yes they are all women. I love them all dearly and they treat me no differently to anyone else. So what do I do for a job?

men in Early Childhood Education, however

I be myself. If I didn’t the tamariki wouldn't

why did you choose to do so is not lost on the

accept me for who I am and neither would the

general populace I can assure you.

parents/whānau or people I work with.

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June 2016



How an ECE centre inspired a school’s outdoor area

By Kirsty Darvill

I sit here humbled….. I have just attended a beautiful school assembly, a Grand Opening, a celebration, a new beginning… a symbol of a community embracing and caring for a school… Let me tell you the story about how early childhood centres and primary schools can work together for the benefit of our tamariki.

outside all day every day - unhindered by the

imaginative play and was a sharp contrast to

weather, experimenting, playing and make-

their ECE outdoor settings.

believing - imaginations running wild - on an imaginary pirate ship; on a treasure hunt; making cups of tea, and creating mud pies in the mud kitchen. My children and many of our My Treehut children attend Taupō Primary school. This school has had a rapid roll growth and their

In November last year, I was at home with a six week old baby when I had a phone call. There was a $25,000 grant being offered for a M10 Mega Makeover weekend with the support of the 100% Lake Taupo Charitable Trust. The school wanted to upgrade their junior play area to make it feel more natural, more “Treehut” like. I jumped at the

I am an early childhood teacher, a strong

junior play area was challenged by the huge

believer that the environment is the third

number of children. As a parent, my children

opportunity to bring this project to life. We led a committee that transformed the

teacher. The environment affects how

often came home with holes in their trousers

children interact with one another, how they

and grazed knees from playing chase games

junior play area from a concrete jungle into

play and how they feel in a space. At our

and tripping on the uneven concrete.

a natural oasis - the highlight of which was

early learning centre, My Treehut in Taupō, we embrace the outdoors and have beautiful large natural grounds for our tamariki, providing space to run, explore and create. In the ECE setting we find many children are

June 2016

With 300 juniors the numerous attempts to revive the grass had failed due to the high

a M10 Mega sponsored makeover weekend with over 100 volunteers!

traffic levels. The children’s games were

I dreamed up an elaborate design of what

running, tag, or wandering around in groups.

we could do in the area - a mixture of what

The mass of concrete was not conducive to

we have at My Treehut, what I had seen





elsewhere (including Pinterest) and what the

dinosaur land alongside a river-stone bed

releasing of six biodegradable dove balloons

current layout lent itself to and the school

with flowing water. Each classroom now has

filled with wild flower seeds.

was so excited that they took everything

a large Planter Box and the new gateway

on board… this project had suddenly got

entrance creates a sense of the space - this

extremely large!

is the Junior Play Area - please respect this.

We developed a plan using zones - The Nature Zone incorporated the current sandpit around which we planted grasses and shrubs to make it look like it belonged, a donated concrete pipe became a hill covered in planting and tall fescue grass - a hardier variety of grass for the high level of foot traffic and log rounds were used as pavers. The Obstacle Course Zone is old school style with cargo nets, rope bridges,

The areas are connected by sensory paths, a donated and revamped garden bridge and board walk over the river. The project was a M10 Makeover weekend but to make it happen much of the building work was done prior to the weekend by volunteers. The Makeover Weekend was a hive of activity with over 100 volunteers

With much emphasis being placed on transitions, I had always had concerns of how children can transition smoothly from their beautiful outdoor areas of early childhood to the school playground - the contrast between these two outdoor spaces is often evident not only in the look and feel of the spaces but also in the play that these areas encourage. When Taupō Primary School invited our ECE ideas into their outdoor space, they offered a

donating their time to make it all happen and

true symbol of their commitment to improve

complete the transformation.

transitions for tamariki.

balance beams and upper body swings and

Today’s assembly was the opening of this

ropes. Our Creative Zone used effective

new space, a wonderful celebration of the

About the author

planting to create a flowery fairy land, while

hard work and coming together that made

Kirsty Darvill owns My Treehut Early Learning

ponga ferns and driftwood create a Jurassic

this project happen. It was topped off by the

Centre in Taupō, www.mytreehut.nz

June 2016




Living the dream By Fiona Dawson

Ehara tāku toa, he takitahi, he toa takit ini “My success should not be bestowed onto me alone, as it is not individual success but success of a collective”. I introduce this article to acknowledge our children, teachers, whānau and wider community who have all contributed to the successful unfolding of our journey over the last three years. The Farmyard is a rural discovery based; sustainable early learning environment situated in a quiet valley within the city boundaries that is inspired by Steiner education. I have the honor of being able to teach, learn, laugh and love alongside our children, which enables me to create meaningful contributions towards the wellbeing and sustainability of this environment for all to enjoy. Ownership is not a word I like to use, as we have provided this land for the collective good of many, so I will simply say we are the kaitiaki to design, re-generate and maintain this natural space with respect. By working in this way we have been able to create opportunities that invite exploration and enrichment of learning for future generations. The home farm provides interesting hill and low country which allows children to move freely throughout their daily life

June 2016

here, which also led us to defining a more mobile and flexible curriculum to reflect this. The Farmyard building in itself is environmentally conscious and contemporary in its architectural design, with a rustic rural feel to each of the five learning spaces that comfortably blend in old and new values. This sustainable development flowed onto the formation of how this dream was to become a living reality through the gradual design of our core values in support of our philosophy. These core values, developed through collective contributions from us, as a new teaching team, which are Respect, Trust, Authenticity, Sustainability and Passion, and are now visible throughout our environment, as well as being welcomed in by our community. I discovered that this process unfolded over months of thinking and feeling in relation to what would be the best pathway to deliver this, which, in and of itself was challenging. It was important to us that these five words were able to convey how we intended to nurture the child and enhance the healthiest promotion for their well- being, as well as allowing us as a teaching team,

more clarity and accountability to surround our areas of difference. The next challenge was to understand how we were going to create a culture of respect within a private setting, while at the same time, bringing in a focus with a shared community approach. I came across some misconceptions about how private settings operate within early childhood, but my thoughts are if you keep the child at the heart of everything you do, then it happens naturally as you integrate with your community. It also allowed our whānau time to create their own forms of shared leadership that would also guide us. Another facet of this way of thinking, was to bring together an authentic shared leadership team, and as I had no prior ‘leadership’ experience I was not sure of how this would look like in practice. The first time we trialed this, it did not gel in the way it needed to in order to be effective. Therefore, after a shift in teaching focus within our team we eventually came up with just the right balance of skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm




needed to successfully deliver this model. One of our first collaborative decisions involved discussions on how we would present our aims, values and philosophy out to our community that would best support and grow our vision in partnership. Initially this really ‘great idea’ I had for this project, years before as a student teacher, led me into the environmental court as not everyone in our neighbourhood thought that it was going to be such a ‘great idea’! However my research during this time only reinforced my determination of the need to provide an alternative environment which took several years to design before the building work began. This is when I needed to have courage and to remain totally committed and passionate to this ideal. The support from the rest of the community during this time far outweighed the negatives, and the building was soon allowed to proceed. There were many times during this stage that I felt it was not going to happen, causing a few uncertainties! However as I look back on the last three years I can say now that it has been most definitely worth it, especially when you see the children engaging in their wonderful adventures every day. One of the best pieces of advice I have been given recently is, that sometimes you need to stand up and speak, and also have the grace to know when you need to sit down and listen (Christie, 2016). To me leadership belongs in our life-long learning kete, and it strengthens as you gather in these life experiences. There remain many challenges as we regularly re-visit our original goals and values, and time is needed to allow all teachers and support staff to settle into this way of thinking. Keep hold of your imagination, as it will still be needed to continue on with the design. As a result, we now have some inspirational findings that provide us with inclusive documentation that illuminate many improved outcomes for our children’s holistic health and well-being, further strengthened by the support we have from our whānau and wider community. It has taken us all of these three years as a teaching team to evolve the right blend of abilities and talents to be able to enjoy this model of leadership. We have noticed that through shared leadership we have all gained more confidence and engage in effective communication, which has allowed us to participate with honesty alongside each other. At times the best pathways seem unclear, but as time unfolds it guides you in a natural

June 2016




progression. Successful implementation

well-being is nurtured. We focused on how

enhanced by key teaching teams to allow

relies on working together, which sounds

our anthroposophical understanding impacts

optimal engagement and quality interactions.

fairly easy in context, but it is not always so

on our curriculum, and this pathway of

in practice, especially when you are starting

knowledge led us to defining and exploring

off from scratch and still need to understand

what we offered to our community. These

what each other’s role involves. Thinking as

insights provided our teachers with a body

a team, also takes practice and time, but is essential to allow teachers the opportunities to contribute, gain confidence and appreciate others ways of knowing.

of ideas that now support our daily rhythm, and enable teachers to harmonise with the needs of the child to provide a healthier

As I see it now, we have begun to create this vision that simply began as a dream, where all children participate inclusively, live sustainably, enjoy increased physicality in natural open space, are nurtured in their inner and outer health, encouraged in their

balance between movement and rest for

resiliency, participate in safe risk taking and become motivated thinkers. This is our

For us Steiner education best supports

optimal well-being (Steiner Curriculum,

our sustainable way of life and by sharing

2015). A large teaching team is engaged to

shared contribution towards the protection

in bio-dynamic principles we feel our

ensure unhurried time is available to nurture

of freedom in early childhood now and in the

communities inner and outer health and

small groups in this approach. This is further

future (Steiner Curriculum, 2015)

"Nothing Happens Unless First We Dream” – Carl Sandburg

About the author Alongside my family, Pete and children Matt, Chris

created The Farmyard for Early Learners. I have


and Holly we have had the pleasure of living in a

always been passionate about early childhood, and

Christie, T. (2016). Leading with Heart and Soul. Childspace. Early Childhood Institute. Wellington. New Zealand.

small rural community of the Gisborne-Tairawhiti

involved with the many beautiful facets that this

region as the children were growing up. I have a

sector offers. My children are adults now, and we

background in health, prior to the completion of

each actively participate in outdoor sports when

my Bachelor of Teaching and Steiner qualifications,

not at work. We all appreciate the natural beauty

which provided a sound framework in which to

that New Zealand-Aotearoa provides, and I look

view children’s holistic health and well-being. My

forward to continuing my natural learning journey

husband has run a large building company over

alongside children, friends and whānau that

the last 30 years which was put to good use as we

inspire me each day to be the best that I can be.

June 2016

Steiner Curriculum (Draft) (2015). Early Childhood Curriculum Essentials for Aotearoa. Printed by Steiner Federation Early Childhood Members. New Zealand.

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Take my advice on…

Advisory Boards

It is funny how life occasionally throws up something completely unexpected. For me, the unexpected came in early March when I was asked to chair an advisory board for a local co-working and networking group, known as Sub Urban (www.suburban.org.nz). While I have advised many businesses before, all of my previous work has been on a conventional consultancy-basis. In other words: I go in, do a bit of work, add some value, issue an invoice and try to keep my bank manager happy for another month. As far as business models go, it is all quite straight forward and a win-win for all involved. The Sub Urban advisory board offer came out of left-field and it made me stop for a moment and think hard about this new opportunity. The invitation to chair an advisory board was both an unexpected offer and a challenge to the way that I usually make my living. For those who don’t know, the idea behind an advisory board is to create a flexible, hands-off team of knowledgeable people who can provide specialist insights and independent opinion. As an early childcare centre on a limited budget, imagine having your accountant, lawyer, HR advisor and other professionals all sitting around the same table, sharing valuable observations with you and tailoring their advice to suit your

June 2016

business. Now imagine if you only paid them

By Phil Sale


you have a limited budget then an advisory

a nominal fee for their valuable time and

board may be a good way to keep your costs

insights (or better yet, nothing at all)!

down, while still getting good advice from

Of course, in practice advisory boards aren’t

professional advisors.

quite as simple as all that. To start with, the

Aggregating professional resources is

fact that you aren’t paying professional rates

another potential advantage. Often we take

to advisory board members means that they

professional advice in isolation and this can

are probably there out of the goodness-of-

create a ‘silo effect’: Our accountant probably

their-hearts. In most cases, you will need to

never hears what our legal advisor or our

spin a compelling story as to why it is a good

marketing expert tells us and we are left

idea for them to be part of your team. It also means that you will have to work hard to keep members on-board by showing that you value their advice and that you are prepared to put their recommendations into practice. In reality, advisory boards have

to make sense of conflicting advice. On the other hand, when advisory board members sit around the same table they can bounce ideas back-and-forth among themselves until they come up with workable solutions that everyone agrees on.

few real powers: They are purely advisory

Regular advisory board meetings can also be

in nature and they don’t have authority to

a time saver. Instead of multiple individual

actually make you do anything.

emails, telephone calls and meetings with

Advisory Boards are also hands-off, which means that you can’t expect the board members to do your annual accounts for free or to write your HR plan for you. If something needs to be done, then you are probably looking for someone on your staff to do it or else you are back to paying a professional for their services. So, if you still need to pay for getting the work done, then what are the advantages of having an advisory board in the first place? Cost is certainly one factor to consider. If

each of our key advisors, we can meet with them all at the same time and in the same place. For additional flexibility, you may only need to meet with two or three board members on specific projects, which opens up the possibility of smaller boards for set purposes (be careful not to double up on advisory board members or to create extra work!) There is also genuine benefit in creating a ‘community feel’ to your advisory team. When you bring knowledgeable professionals together, their focus can shift from each one



‘selling you a service’ to all of them working towards a common goal (i.e. your success). So far, this looks like one-way traffic (all designed to benefit you) and you might be starting to wonder why anyone would agree to be part of an advisory board? In effect, advisory board members are donating their time and expertise to your organisation, with very little apparent return. Both emotionally and ethically, this situation can feel awkward when it comes to attracting quality advisory board members to your early childcare centre. So, let’s turn the advisory board model around and ask ‘what is in it for board members?’ At some stage, we have probably all been on a regular committee when everyone is expected to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and get stuck into fundraisers, sausage sizzles and working bees. Some people excel in these hands-on situations while others quickly burn-out or just don’t have the time to commit, in the first place. Advisory boards are a great way to involve people in a handsoff capacity, with only limited additional commitments. In some cases, there is a strong feeling among successful professionals that they should pay-back (or, in some cases, payforward) into their local community. Others may feel some level of emotional buy-in to your organisation (maybe their children go to your early childcare centre?) or they may have a ‘public service’ requirement as part of their job. Some people may be looking to extend their networks or to build a goodwill component to their own business. In some cases, there may also be the possibility of delivering professional services to your organisation, at some stage in the future.

Remember also that social media platforms (such as LinkedIn) often offer profile sections such as 'interests', 'volunteering experience', 'causes you care about' and 'supported organisations'. It is now quite commonplace for professionals to discuss their interests online and to present themselves as wellrounded community members. If you can make your organisation stand out in some way then you may find it easy to attract advisory board members. Do you have a compelling vision, a great story to tell, a really cool project or an intellectually stimulating challenge? Do you have a trackrecord of success or a list of prominent advisory board alumni? Seen in this light, you might expect advisory board members to be lining up at your door (and maybe they are)? So how do you choose the right people and avoid making costly mistakes? Start by being very clear about what you need to achieve at business level. Is your advisory board intended to get you through a specific challenge (or crisis) or is it businessas-usual? Be clear about what you need in the people who you hope to attract. What skills do you actually need and how well do potential advisory board members match your requirements? Avoid appointing friends-because-they-arefriends or rewarding long-time supporters by offering them advisory board positions. Advisory boards may need to be challenging, innovative and provocative beasts, in order to do their job properly. They may also need to disrupt current thinking, introduce you to new people and explore new ideas which are beyond the scope of your existing governance board and management committee.



It is also a good idea to draft out some terms of reference for your advisory board so that everyone knows what is expected of them. State what is expected of all parties and what issues you intend the advisory board to address. This was the first action that I took for the Sub Urban advisory board and, as it was a completely new concept, I drafted the initial terms of reference for the other members of the group. We then discussed the draft, changed it as necessary and adopted it as our guiding document. If you think that an advisory board may be just what your early childcare centre needs, then have a look at some of the free resources available on the internet. The Institute of Directors has a particularly useful publication entitled the Advisory Board Toolkit which you can download from the IoD website (https:// www.iod.org.nz/FirstBoards/Advisory-BoardToolkit). The toolkit will take you through the main steps in planning, establishing and operating an advisory board (and, yes, even exiting, as your needs change!) As with any advice that you get, you are always free to accept, modify or reject it, as you see fit. Maybe that is where the true value of advisory boards really lies!

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]. Whitireia are the ECC preferred suppliers for the ECC Centre Manager workshops [go to www.ecc.org.nz for upcoming centre manager workshops].


Tropical Playhouses

Transform your play areas naturally 0800 278 784 www.brustics.co.nz June 2016




Advisory Boards and Privately-owned Childcare Centres – an opportunity for growth? One of the slightly “different” topics to be offered at the ECC conference this year was the role of advisory boards. Not necessarily

Improved decision making

Development of healthy business partnership relationships

an “ECE-specific” topic, but of growing interest to many small and medium-sized

Specialist knowledge

growth and the ability to compete in an

Access to key skills and networks

increasingly busy market.

Scaling the business effectively

An advisory board is just that. A group of

Facing up to major changes and

businesses around New Zealand who seek

people specially selected to offer advice to the centre owner. Any advisory board


has no governance function and no legal

A word of warning: an advisory board isn’t

responsibilities for the company. It offers

a group of consultants who will undertake

by Peter R


Are you ready for an Advisory Board? An advisory board is different because it doesn’t represent shareholders; and it isn’t bound by fiduciary responsibility. The intent of an advisory board is that it provides advice and support. Thus it is less formal than a statutory board of directors and is more flexible. An advisory board isn’t a substitute for a formal board of directors; has no power to veto, instruct or direct. Most importantly, an advisory board doesn’t focus on governance; it deals primarily with strategic aspects of the business and is thus an important source of valuable business insight and oversight.

advice and guidance to the owner. That advice

work for you. It is a resource for you to use

can be taken or not.

and to help build your centre as a successful

Thus, an advisory board can be one of your

business. It will challenge your thinking and

centre’s crucial success factors in today’s

enable you to utilise your resources more

competitive and challenging business

effectively to achieve your goals.

How to go about setting up an Advisory Board

So, why have an advisory board?

There are a number of steps to consider in setting up an advisory board.

environment. The Board works alongside the Centre Owner in their strategic journey and can be a very simple, focused and cost effective tool. Advisory board provide centres with:

An independent sounding board

Strategic planning support

Assessment of viable growth plans

Implementation of change and growth

Succession / exit planning

June 2016

Advisory Boards offer an additional set of eyes and ears and can provide valuable business insight and oversight. They frequently comprise a specific area of interest to provide specialist advice to the centre owner. They can help the centre owner

1. Clearly establishing what you are trying to achieve 2. Which area of the centre/business will most benefit from external support? 3. Aim to lock down your own expectations

become investment ready. And they can help

4. It is really important to select a balance of individuals; start with a chair

the centre to become more professional.

5. Set skill criteria.

to progress succession planning and/or to



Ask yourself the following questions, to

extra careful thought and selection. The

help you determine the composition of your

following are some key attributes for the

advisory board:

selection of chairperson you may wish to


How many advisory board members are you seeking? Four to six is a reasonable rule of thumb

Who will be involved from management? Just you? Your head teacher?

What specific skills will help your situation?


What soft skills will champion cohesion? In other words what “sort” of people will work best together and with yourself – don’t look for “patsies; look for people who will challenge you in a focussed-butfriendly way.


Tips for approaching potential Advisory Board members:


Tip 1 – Don’t just tap your personal contacts

Tip 2 – Don’t be disappointed if a prospect is not available

Tip 3 – Both parties need to undertake due diligence

Tip 4 – Compatibility

Tip 5 – Pick the chair first

Chair role description ○␣

your advisory board; and therefore demands

re’s t n e c One ience… exper

Lead advisory board meetings in a manner that encourages participation and information sharing from all advisory board members Provide (and facilitate from other advisory board members) qualified guidance and support to the business at appropriate times Challenges the business’s thinking to consider what is outside the box and encourage innovation.

Recognises what makes a critical difference for both the business and the particular market.

Communication and engagement ○␣

The chairperson is the most critical role in

Guide the operations of the advisory board including the setting of agendas for meetings in collaboration with the business

Business acumen ○␣

a sounding board for the business representative on emerging issues and alternative courses of action ○␣

Strategic leadership ○␣

Serve as the advisory board’s central point of official communication with the business. Develop a positive and collaborative relationship with the business representative, including acting as


Stay up-to-date with respect to the entity’s operation and determine when an issue might be resolved via interaction with and guidance from the advisory board.

Attributes ○␣




Is truthful, trustworthy and demonstrates absolute integrity Upholds and lives by a strong personal standard of ethics Fosters cooperation and effective teamwork, is participative, collaborative and collegial, values the input of others Demonstrates a strong, positive first impression.

Where to go for help? To start the process of setting up your own advisory board, use your existing networks for advice and direction (your accountant, lawyer, bank manager, etc). Alternatively, consider approaching Advisory Boards New Zealand (http://advisoryboards.co.nz/ or phone 04 528 6218). About the author Peter Reynolds is the Early Childhood Council's Chief Executive Officer.

In hindsight, I wouldn’t use an advisory board if I had just one centre and no intention of growing. Advisory Boards are most useful if you are wanting to expand, grow your business or diversify, and if you do not have a lot of business experience. If I was just operating a single centre, I would probably opt for a business coach instead. Don’t make the classic mistake of approaching your own accountant, lawyer, etc to be on your advisory board. You need people with skills, but people who are willing to challenge you, to help grow your skill set. Have a clear description of the criteria you want these people to meet. Advisory boards mostly expect to be paid, so make sure this is covered off up front. If you pay your advisory board members, you are far more likely to get more work out of them. Find the right chairperson first! If you want some more information, try the local Chamber of Commerce. They sometimes run half-day workshops on setting up an advisory board. Maria Johnson, Little Schools

June 2016



Conservation Week 2016 10 – 18 September www.conservationweek.org.nz

Conservation Week 2016 Getting children active in nature

Research shows that children who spend time outdoors demonstrate more creative and imaginative play, are generally healthier, have lower stress levels, have a greater respect for themselves and others and a greater appreciation for the environment. Studies also show that children who are encouraged in their connection to nature are more likely to become environmentally conscious in the future. Conservation Week is the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) annual event celebrating our nature and giving all New Zealanders a chance to get active in conservation. It’s a full week, including two weekends, of inspiring activities and experiences for conservation. The week is all about raising awareness of the value of the physical, social, environmental and economic benefits of nature. New Zealand has celebrated Conservation Week since 1969. Conservation is something everyone can participate in, whether as a business, group, or individual. We all benefit from conservation, so getting involved means you’re playing an active part in protecting our future. This year’s theme is ‘Healthy Nature Healthy People', which is all about improving health and wellbeing by enjoying the natural spaces around us. Exposure to our natural environments provides positive effects on human health and wellbeing. DOC promotes this connection between the health of our environment and our people through Healthy

June 2016

Nature Healthy People. We encourage getting out into natural spaces, from our backyards, urban parks and beaches to our national parks, seas, lakes and wild rivers.

opportunities for children to experience and learn through nature on a regular basis. You’ll find more information on the Enviroschools website at www.enviroschools. org.nz

Practical ways for ECE centres to get involved To ensure the protection of our nature for this generation and generations to come, DOC has a particular focus on working with teachers and educators. We have a wide range of amazing resources ready for Early Childhood Education teachers to use and adapt in their centres. The Early Childhood Education section of the DOC website www.doc.govt.nz/educationearlychildhood is a portal to activities tailored

Whanaungatanga - one way to explore the inter-relatedness of people and all of nature is through the family of Ranginui and Papatuanuku. Kaitiakitanga - the practice of looking after something or someone, we all have a role of kaitiakitanga of our nature.

Ko au ko te taiao, ko te taiao ko au I am the environment, the environment is me

Activity ideas for children Managers and teachers can focus on conservation and our nature in many different ways; while in centres, while in the environment and looking specifically at actions or activity that will benefit the environment. These options are covered on our website at www.doc.govt.nz/educationearlychildhood and within the wider activities section www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/ conservation-activities. Some of these could be teacher-led or adapted for younger children. A few sample activities are profiled below. Outdoor activities

to this age group. Activities are aligned with Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, particularly the principles of Whanaungatanga (family and community) and Kaitiakitanga (guardianship/stewardship). Many centres recognise the benefits and learning experienced when children are outdoors. Centres could consider becoming part of the Enviroschools Programme and making a commitment to providing

How about making your own weta motel, planting native bird friendly plants, going on a scavenger hunt or taking a garden insect census?

Sensory games in the outdoors encourage children to experience familiar surroundings in a new way. Feel the variety of textures in nature. Have a go at making a bark rubbing with paper and crayons. Collect leaves with different


textures, colours and shapes and bring them inside for use with artwork. Indoor activities

Arts and crafts ○␣

Take a look at the 13 options of native bird and weta facemasks for colouring, cutting out and role playing. How about making costumes or thinking about what type of habitat these birds like to live in and what they eat? Add a soundtrack with around 65 different recordings of songs and calls of New Zealand birds available for streaming or download at www.doc.govt.nz/ birdsong.

Conservation Week 10 -18 September Leading up to Conservation Week, there will be a wide range of family-friendly events throughout the country to get people connecting to nature. Details of the events will be listed on our website www. conservationweek.org.nz. We’re also running three child-friendly national competitions with the chance to win fantastic prizes. These are: Habitat Heroes Habitat Heroes encourages young people to explore a local natural environment and think about how they can make a difference. To enter, a group of children need to work together to: 1. Get outside - explore and investigate the health of a local natural environment


Whio Competition Genesis Energy and DOC work together on the Whio Forever project to protect the unique and endangered whio (blue duck). This year they will run a kids competition as part of Conservation Week with a whio experience in Tongariro National Park as the grand prize. National Geocaching Challenge Geocaching is an international phenomenon; an outdoor adventure that has been described as a ‘real life treasure hunt’. Players use a free mobile app and GPS coordinates to find cleverly hidden containers ('caches'). In our national challenge, special DOC caches are hidden in some of our very special, easy to access places. Participants can search for caches and submit a record of their success to go into the draw to win prizes.

2. Share a summary of their work showing: ○␣




Print out six forest animals for the children to cut, colour in and make a forest background to position them on. Print out a marine mammal poster for your wall.

Short video clips ○␣

Learn more about each bird or animal by watching Meet the Locals video clips, searchable from www.doc.govt. nz/locals

Their learning and experiences outdoors, in particular, their observations regarding the health of their local environment. Ideas and an intended action they could take to improve the health of a local environment.

3. Send the entry as a PPT slide presentation or PDF document to conservED@doc.govt. nz. If you wish you can also post your entry online via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest with the hashtag #HabitatHeroes. The competition closes on 18 September 2016 and there is an Early Childhood Centre prize category. For more information and to register, visit www.doc.govt.nz/habitatheroes. Registration Packs including posters and stickers will be sent out to those who register online.

Photos: Nicole Portner Photography

For more information about Conservation Week, check out the website at www.conservationweek.org.nz and be sure to include #conservationweek in your social media posts to join the movement! Any questions about Conservation Week or these resources can be directed to Sarah Cox at conservationweek@doc.govt.nz

Conservation Week 10–18 September 2016

conservationweek.org.nz June 2016




Improving maths learning for EVERYONE

By Margi Leech

We all love GOOD teachers! You can read

encourage a strong and complete foundation

Consider these conversation opportunities

what good teachers and their teaching

that can be built on through the rest of their

and maths concepts:

looks like in the Education Review Office


Jigsaw activity - Can you find the smallest piece? Which piece do you think will fit here? Would the piece fit if you turned it around? Could you make this puzzle again out of the tray? Exploring shape, space and then extending to a 3-D counting exploration! Good problem-solving skills in ‘making it fit’.

Reading a book together -Which is the first one? What will come next? What happened before this? How can we find out how many there are? Where does that number come on our number line? Sequencing and generalising.

Shopping activity –I’ve got two small ones, Can I have one of your big ones? How many of these match those? If you want to buy this toy dog, you need three big coins. How many is that? What will you do if you don’t have enough? –Generalising, fractions, counting - Exchanging parts to match one of an equal size.

Play dough –Can you make another one of those the same size? What will you need to do to make it bigger? Relationships of size, dimensions, patterns of colour and image.

latest report, Early mathematics: a guide for improving teaching and learning. It’s rich reading!

Painting, drawing, and making patterns with cars, trucks, beads give children the concept of sequence and order. Enjoy ‘time’


by following a sequence of schedules – play


and eat, sing and goodbye. Create patterns

and-learning-March-2016 Mathematics ability is fixed at an early age, and those who self-identify as being ‘poor at maths’ can also usually remember a precise incident in which they were unsuccessful and felt shamed. So what can we do to ensure a happy start and enrich our own experience of maths and even re-write our history if it was poor? Early childhood is the best place to provide children with strong foundations of key number ideas.

in the sand pit, use play dough, read and sing words and actions, rhymes, plant out seeds in patterns, organise shoes. Dressing-up and shopping games help children understanding quantity. Playing with different sizes and weights of toys, trucks, containers of water, toy fish help children understand comparison and use words of smaller, tallest, bigger, biggest, older, slower, heaviest. Purposeful learning and exposing children to learning opportunities need to be clear. Some children don’t make the learning connections unless they are pointed out to them and given

Firstly, make a commitment to try again for

repeated activities to establish confidence.

yourself. Even though you didn’t like maths at

Conversation through all of these activities

school, the children you care for have every right to expect to learn well. Secondly, in learning through play, children must actually be given meaningful play activities with an emphasis on conversations about patterns, relationships and solving problems. Let’s get our mokopuna thinking!

is vital for a child to gain meaning from their activities. So what can we talk about? -Shape, space, colour, size, comparison, and sequence. Te Kākano– patterning, measuring, sorting, locating, counting and grouping, and shape.

Maths at early childhood is more than

These are the beginning of key ideas that

counting, reading and writing numerals. The

Children develop the foundations of

are later seen in: Geometry, measurement,

best thing we can do as educators is help

mathematical concepts through their play

counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication

children gain a sense of what the numerals

probably without realising it. It’s our role to

and division and fractions.

mean. Incorporating maths everywhere and

June 2016




all the time will make a HUGE difference in the creativity and enjoyment of maths. Encourage the parents to show their children how maths is involved in every part of their lives too. Planning ideas for a week: (It’s a good idea to follow plans too!)

Theme of BIGGER – explore this in every area of your centre, look around the community, consider construction, cooking, create a wall display, look at other –‘er’ words

Theme of COLDER and our response to being colder, especially in the weather

Sorting – shapes, blocks, tidying up, toys, beads, words, people, games

Matching – groups of objects to numeral words and numerals, to other groups of the same amount, puzzles, action songs, dance moves, mixing coloured paint, making pathways in the sandpit with the trucks.

Maths is the foundation for science, economics, language, the arts, music – everything! It is the language of all that we see and experience around it. We must give

About the author critical attention to it for everyone’s sake! The ERO report describes some activities with children drawing our attention to the careful questioning and extending thinking that is possible. Read the report – it’s excellent!

Margi Leech is an experienced teacher, who now works for Numicon, a maths programme designed for early childhood to Year 8, that offers a multi-sensory approach both teachers and children love. The results are very exciting! Find out more at www.numicon.co.nz

Matta Products

June 2016

CE 2016




DEFINING BEST PRACTICE From the start, this event was special. Over 400 centre owners, committee members and managers gathered with their teaching staff and others from around our sector to celebrate, learn, discuss, argue and enjoy three days of conference.

rald got Jamie Fitzge

ing start

ce off to a fly

the conferen

” b r i l li a n t ! ght ening , n i n g , e n li int !” o p n “ Ent ertai o t h an d rig ir at ional “ How insp

NZTC Postgraduate Award winner Congratulations to Elisha from Suits and Gumboots Country Daycare Ltd on winning the Postgraduate Certificate qualification scholarship offered to delegates at the ECC national conference this year by the New Zealand Tertiary College. Very exciting!

June 2016


CE 2016


Paul Wood finished the conference off on a high note! “ This was an awesome in s pir at ional k k eynot e , t han ng you for s hari d your s tory an s t r at egies for being t he be s t v ers ion o f o u r s e lv e s p o s s i b l e .”

us about bell talked to ing! Dr Christy Is der - fascinat essing Disor Sensory Proc

- so amazing t ris t y was ur kids a o f o “ Wow Ch l a r to seve ok!!!” o b r relevant e h t l - I go Preschoo ing Out s tand

June 2016

CE 2016



s. Fantastic, y note addres ke r he time ng vi ce is gi ing back your Robyn Pear gies for gett onal te rs ra pe st d ur an yo s in efficiently practical tool d an y el iv ct n! e effe ank you Roby to work mor onal life. Th and professi ! I

ion res en t at Robyn's p it h e ly lov e d er talk w t h lu m o o s r b f a y a he “I w t a n i d e e k m l a elp li e v e I w e deas to h really be ols an d i nd genuin o a t y t w i e c i n t y n ” he so man to speak! d her aut e n v y o b l o I R ! g in job I do C in get t C E e k r u u o Ta e y pas s ion ! to manag ant ” s on how e – b r i l li obyn' s t ip r R a d w e t v f o o l s “I email

ucational Director of Ed the impact Wendy Lee, d te si vi re d, oject Lt ulum Leadership Pr the EC curric on d ha s ha i rik hā W Te e

ould b dible . S h “ So incre l E C E s .” ry for al com p u ls o

June 2016


CE 2016

urist & Rohit Talwar, global fut



a z i n g ly “A ! am n g” k t h o u g h t p r ov o i


dat e : edback to of the fe A sample tres n e to the c t e Reo in ” “ Bringing ron – wit h Sha uelahi nce . Faka s con f ere u o l u “ Fab ” k you and t han ina nd Chris t Wat son a a r a b .” “ Bar - Thornley d on d, finis he e ll-pa ce w , “ hig h” well ome job , s . An awes e speaker t “ o n y e k e d, th ade t he organise really m d n a c i t s ta were fan s p e c i a l” ing very whole t h

Thank you to all the Exhibitors who donated prizes at ECC’s Conference 2016 Infocare: Free subscription to infocare, 2 hour business health card-Right Way, 1 year membership with N3, Champagne & Chocolates: Sophie Harper; Teacher Direct: Bamboo Channel Prize: Lynette Douglas; Hebe Natural Childrens Furniture: Wooden Throne Chair: Vaolele Walker; Educa: Box of Magna Tiles: Monique Kilgariff; Mace IT Services: Gift Baskets: Sophie Harper, Ranjila Chandra, Tynaya Mane; The Kiwi Puppet Company & South Pacific Books: Karen, Mangere East Family Service Centre; HQ Recruiting (Main Prize): Celebration Package for 2 at Chateau Tongariro: Julie Ferguson; HQ Recruiting (Second Prize): Bottle of Moet Champagne: Sophie Harper; Link Business: $400 restaurant voucher: Lisa Robinson; Xero NZ Ltd (First Prize): Bottle of Moet Champagne: Monique McDonald; Xero NZ Ltd: XERO BPA Free Water Bottles: Lynette Douglas, Yanniing Yuan, Rachel Thomas, Victoria Cate, Apu Auitenea; Zesty: UE Megaboom: Danielle Harper; Zesty: Marley Jammin Headphones: Tynaya Mane; Early Childhood Council (Stand competition): Sony Xperia Mobile Phone courtesy of Spark Business Hub: Kamlesh Chand; Early Childhood Council (First person to register): Free Registration to ECC Conference 2017: Charlene Grace-Dare; Sharp Corporation (Winner of the ECC Passport Competition): Sharp Television: Janet Sonne

June 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




Resource Reviews My Grandpa is a Dinosaur By Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones

the quirky comic-style illustrations tell the story with extra details for children to

Penguin Random House New Zealand

discover with each read. Children will

Wanda has noticed some very unusual things

dinosaur when nobody else can. And, of

enjoy that they can see that Grandpa is a

about her grandpa... His pants need tail holes.

course, a story like this can’t end without

He can eat an entire tree. His footprints attract

a surprising twist! Plus a great story about

palaeontologists. GRANDPA IS A DINOSAUR.

relationships children can have with their

Wanda knows it, but nobody will believe her!

grandparents. Perfect book to be enjoyed in

So Wanda decides to ask Grandpa herself.

small or large groups.

I Love Mum with The Very Hungry Caterpillar

celebrates all the things a Mum does for their child and cleverly uses the illustrations of the animals to describe the action, ie a picture of a kangaroo and a joey, comes with the text; ‘you lift me up’, the text with a penguin and it’s chick, says: ‘and hold me close’, and guess which animal has this beside it: ‘or get snappy’?

By Eric Carle Penguin Random House New Zealand This delightful hardback book features Eric Carle's bright and distinctive artwork of animal mums and babies - from giraffes and crocodiles to bears and penguins - with The Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance with each animal. This book

Tickle My Ears By Jőrg Műhle Gecko Press This hardbook is a very cute interactive bedtime story for young children and will be popular with parents at bed time especially for parents whose little ‘treasure’ resists going to bed.

This simple book will appeal to the very young and the older pre-schooler, with plenty of scope for further discussion.

“It’s late. Little Rabbit must go to bed. He’s brushed his teeth. His pyjamas are ready. Clap your hands – he’ll put them on. Well done, thank you! We’re almost there. Can you fluff up the pillow?...” The book has been proved to be popular with 50,000 copies sold in the first two months of its release in Germany and nominated for best baby book in the Netherlands. Also a great book for ECE centres at rest/

The delightful story has the pre-schooler

sleep time and in support to parents whose

‘help’ the little rabbit get ready for bed:

children resist bedtime.

Smile Cry

spinning round-and-round smile, A quiet with

Happy or sad, wailing or glad – how do you feel today?

sometimes – I want to cry. It might be…Perhaps

By Tania McCartney

the nightlight smile,…’ ‘Sometimes – just it’s a lost cry, A tickly cry...’ The descriptive illustrations of three friends’,

Illustrated by Jess Racklyeft

piglet, bunny and cat make the story come

EK Books

alive as they react emotionally to the variety

This fun flip-over picture book reads from

of events and feelings.

both the front and the back and covers many

A simple enough book to read to a large

of the reasons why you might feel happy or

group of children and perfect to read

sad, such as: ‘Sometimes – a lot of sometimes

individually or in small groups with plenty of

– I want to smile. It could be…Perhaps it’s a

June 2016

This humourous story has limited text letting

scope for discussion.


Gladys Goes to War By Glyn Harper



be needed. If you want to help the war effort you should stay at home and knit socks and balaclavas.'

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

Gladys then enlists with the New Zealand

Penguin Random House New Zealand

Volunteer Sisterhood and sails to Egypt,

This book tells the true story of Gladys

story follows Gladys as she defies sexism to

Sandford, a mechanic, a First World War ambulance driver, New Zealand's first woman pilot and a trailblazer ahead of her time. Gladys wants to follow her husband and go to war and offer her services at the front an ambulance driver. But its 1914 and this isn’t possible as Gladys soon finds out after receiving an infuriating response from the War Office:

where William is stationed as a soldier. The become one of the few female ambulance drivers in the Army, taking wounded to hospital in Giza. There are many stories about men who enlisted and courageously fought for their ideals, but very few about women. In Gladys Goes to War, the award-winning team of Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper brings us this amazing story. A perfect book to inspire all

'This will be a short war and women will not

children in being independent and brave.


Magpies that are flappy, make it snappy’.

Kelvin Roy

Another good addition is that there are also several tracks that are perfect for using

Martian Music

music sticks or claves, which is perfect for

Kelvin Roy’s latest CD, ‘Birds’, will be a great

instrument sessions, and a few instrumental

addition to your centre or at home with your

sections for a bit of free-style movement!

child. With his jazzy tempo Kelvin features flightless birds, both native and otherwise, and shares through the music their well known quirks with fun and descriptive lyrics to get children moving and singing, ‘Emus have lots of fun, ostriches and emus like to have a run; Flap your wings, then look down, you see your legs are what you use to get around’ and ‘Magpies kinda yappy, magpies sounding happy;

Another advantage with Kelvin’s music is that you can go to his website and either order a CD or buy and download either individual songs or the whole album (which I’d recommend), plus you can freely download the lyrics and CD guide. Go to www.kidsounz.com for more information or buy the CD.

Penguin Random House Prize Pack

Penguin Random House has 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: Which famous book character gets a ‘stomachache’ after eating too much? Email your contact details and the answer to the above question to publications@ecc.org.nz by Friday 29 July 2016 and be in to win.

Competition Winners Congratulations to the following winners who have won 3 Penguin Random House books for their ECE centre: Lynne Gardner, Te Manaaki Preschool, Kawerau Carol Hirst, Patiki Room, Little Orchard Preschool, Whakatane Angela Kelly, Otaki Montessori, Otaki

June 2016

June 2016

Spend less time doing paperwork.


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Last laugh

Q: Why do you go to bed? A: Because the bed won't come to you.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

Q: What's the difference between a welldressed man and a tired dog? A: The man wears a suit and the dog just pants.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

Never tell your problems to anyone, because 20 percent don't care and the other 80 percent are glad you have them.

Take my advice — I'm not using it.

Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?

Broken pencils are pretty much pointless.

Q: Why is my Uncle Energizer in jail? A: Battery. Q: What happens if you get a gigabyte? A: It megahertz. Q: How do you make your hanky dance? A: Put a little boogie in it! Q: Why don't cannibals eat clowns? A: Because they taste funny. Q: What do you call a girl with sausages on her head? A: Barbie.

"A study found that many types of head lice have mutated and now have become resistant to over-the-counter treatments. The problem has scientists scratching their heads." - Conan O'Brien

Q: What do you call a boy with rabbits up his nose? A:Â Warren.

"Today is national dog day. Dogs, as you're probably aware, were widely considered to be man's best friend, until 2007 when the iPhone was invented to replace them." -Jimmy Kimmel

Q: What did the mother buffalo say to her child as he was leaving for school? A: Bison!




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Fu June 2016

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