Where are the policy announcements for early learning?

According to Kathy Wolfe, Chief Executive – Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand, early childhood education is conspicuous by its absence from current political debate on education.

“From the recent education policy announcements by the National party government and opposition parties, you would think that our tamariki’s education doesn’t begin until they step through the door of their first primary school.”

“No government is going to materially improve educational achievement at primary and secondary school unless it tackles head-on our country’s persistent under investment in quality teaching in early childhood education.

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New mental health initiatives announced

The Government has announced a new social investment fund for mental health. The fund represent a new social investment approach to preventing and responding to mental disorders in New Zealand. This means looking at the whole of peoples’ lives and the factors that can affect their mental wellbeing.  It also puts increased focus on building resilience earlier before problems become acute.

Two of the 17 new initiatives that directly relate to ECE are:

  • Strengthening self-regulatory skills in early childhoodThis initiative would seek a provider to deliver a pilot to deliver and evaluate an intervention focused on developing internal self-regulatory skills for 3 and 4 year olds in home and/or ECE settings. A pilot approach is needed because, while some promising age-appropriate interventions to improve self-control in pre-school age children are developing, further evidence of effectiveness is needed before a rollout is advisable. It is expected that a proposed intervention would not only show the ability to improve self-control in young children, but also at a relatively low cost per child and before the cost of adverse outcomes is incurred.
    Low levels of self-control appear to be relatively common in early childhood. The Growing Up in New Zealand Study found that just over 25% of children aged four and a half lacked self-control when assessed using a standard test. Higher levels of self-control have been found to predict many important outcomes that extend into adulthood. After accounting for socioeconomic status and IQ, individual differences in children’s self-control can predict physical and mental health, criminal behaviour, and wealth in adulthood, as well as better educational outcomes.
  • Strongest Families pilot
    This investment will support a pilot based on the Canadian programme ‘Strongest Families’ that delivers CBT via telephone conferences for whānau with children experiencing anxiety or moderate mental health or behavioural problems. The programme teaches whānau skills to better manage their child’s behavioural problems, and teaches children how to manage their symptoms of anxiety. It is proposed to test and evaluate the initiative with up to 1,000 children aged between 3-12 and their whānau. The Canadian programme on which this pilot is based has been evaluated to improve behaviour modification (approximately 25% of participants successfully managed behavioural problems to extent they avoided diagnosis), educational outcomes and whānau relationships/functioning; and to reduce treatment barriers, strengthen therapeutic alliance and result in higher self-disclosure than usual treatment. It is expected that these impacts will lead to improved future outcomes for the children involved (including being better able to cope with their symptoms, reduced acute/unplanned care, reduced likelihood of offending and improved employment outcomes) as well as their whānau (including creating safer and supportive home environments, improved health literacy and improved mental wellbeing, resulting in a reduction of the intergenerational impacts of poor mental health).

ERO’s new online resource: Improvement in Action

ERO has released a collection of videos and publications that bring the School Evaluation Indicators to life and showcase schools that are making a significant and positive difference for their learners.

ERO’s School Evaluation Indicators are underpinned by New Zealand and international evidence and research. Their focus is not just on achievement, but also on the importance of wellbeing as a foundation for children to be able to succeed.

The six domains identified within our framework are:

  • Stewardship
  • Leadership for equity and excellence
  • Educationally powerful connections and relationships
  • Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn
  • Professional capability and collective capacityimprovement_action
  • Evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building for improvement and innovation

These domains are related to school practices, which are school-wide in their emphasis.

The launch of Improvement in Action | Te Ahu Whakamua is the first step in an ongoing development project designed to support professionals and effective education practice.
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Have a safe holiday season

We want you to have a fun, safe summer holiday. Unfortunately every summer kiwis die on our roads or drown in our lakes, rivers, or the sea. The links below provide tips for ensuring that you and your family stay safe while having fun in the sun.

Driving in the holidays

You will need to take extra care when traveling in holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments. Being courteous, remembering to share the road with others and scheduling frequent breaks can help you keep your cool when driving during these times.

Follow these NZ Transport Agency tips to ensure your travel is a safe and pleasurable experience for you and others on the road.

Water Safety

As New Zealanders, we love the water – whether playing or surfing in it, boating or sailing on it, or simply enjoying our stunning coastline, beaches, lakes and rivers.

Water Safety New Zealand provide Resources & Safety Tips to ensure you enjoy your time spent on or in the water.

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Helping your kids cope with the earthquakes

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On our Resources page we have some information to help families cope with the trauma of earthquakes. These resources were developed after the Christchurch earthquakes.

Safe and Sound — Helping families coping with disaster

There are some simple things mums and dads can do to help their kids through these difficult times. Nigel Latta.

Clinical psychologist Nigel Latta presents information to help parents guide their children through post-earthquake trauma.

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Webhealth Website

Information Sheet for Parents:

Useful links

  • Get Ready Get Thru

    The information in this website will help you learn about the disasters that can affect you and what you can do to be prepared before they happen. And knowing what to do during and after these disasters will also help you and your loved ones keep safe and get through.

  • EQC

    New Zealanders feel about 150 earthquakes a year. While many are small, those that are strong and close to centres of population can cause great damage and sometimes loss of life. For this reason, it’s important for New Zealanders to know how to prepare for and respond safely to earthquakes.

Jess is having a baby, Lucy is back

Jess has gone on maternity leave. We wish her all the best and will keep you up-to-date with all the baby news.

We have been very fortunate for the return of Lucy to the centre.

Lucy trained in Christchurch and then moved to Wellington worked as part of our teaching team for two and a half years. Lucy left to travel to Asia and North and Central America for 18 months.

Lucy
Lucy

Garden Bird Survey

We have been having fun taking part in this years Garden Bird Survey. The kids have enjoyed making and wearing the bird masks, colouring in the posters, watching the videos and identifying birds (some with more enthusiasm than accuracy).

For more information on the Garden bird survey and lots of activities your kids can do at home see the Landcare Research webs site.bird_masks