Nau mai ki te pānui tênei ko te Kōrero.
Thank you to everyone as we continue to work through what may be the most challenging time of this pandemic.
As the recent events at parliament have shown, community cohesion is really important as we try to look after everyone in our communities. It is really impressive how everyone has remained respectful despite differing and strong opinions held by a minority, that are sometimes expressed in a hostile way.
As well as reaching out on the ground to people in difficulty, at an organisational level we also continue to work hard to fight for policies that are inclusive of everyone in areas such as housing, health, justice, welfare, debt and addiction. We will continue to do this as it remains more important than ever.
Over the last 3 days we have had nearly 200 people in and around 57 of our kindergartens either test positive, or live with someone who has. This is unsettling for teams and communities and a lot of work for us to manage. You are doing a great job.
Passing on Information
The things that you need to do when you are notified about a positive case in your community are outlined in Monday’s business as usual update. You can access it here.
When you pass on the details be sure to include the names of the people that have tested positive and who are household close contacts. We must be able to pass on something the MoE can reconcile with Public Health. Thank you for continuing to pass on details, through your senior teacher in the first instance.
The only information we will be giving to whānau about positive covid cases is:
- That there are positive cases that relate directly to kindergarten whānau
- Whether the case was inside the kindergarten or not and,
- Whether they were infectious while inside the kindergarten or not.
No more information than this is to be shared. The privacy and mana of our whānau are really important and there is too much latitude for pressure to be applied on teams if people know it was a teacher, parent or child (all of which can be ascertained as soon as you say how long they were in the kindergarten and what they were doing).
RATs are now available through the Ministry of Education. The use of RATs in ECE is focused on the maintenance of service and not on daily surveillance.
The first question asked is “Are you in a situation where you believe you have insufficient staff available to come onsite to supervise the children of those who are unable to have them at home or where staff are needed back on site to meet adult:child ratios for these children?”.
If the answer to this question alone is no then you are not eligible for the RAT tests. If you have exhausted all other possible options to staff for the number of children you have in attendance and for which no other care is available, then we can put in an application for just the teachers that are Asymptomatic Household Close Contacts to receive RAT tests.
We know that this is not how everyone would choose to be using the RATs, but we also see the perspective that it is not in the interests of children for people living in high risk covid environments to be in kindergartens (or any ELS) teaching children that cannot be immunised yet and that RATs should be a last resort.
Please do not use kindergarten funds to purchase RATs. In many places local pharmacies have free RAT tests available for teachers and we are absolutely fine for you to be accessing these services. If you want to be undertaking daily surveillance testing for your own piece of mind you may also choose to purchase the tests privately.
Remember you are not alone, we are here for you. Please reach out if you need help – from your head teacher or senior teacher in the first instance. You can also get help from the office staff if you would prefer.
Amanda Coulston 029 262 6322 • Amy Weightman 021 500 391 • Karen Skett 021 857 826 • Tania Braybrook 021 375 894 • Louana Fruean 021 2422 762
Here is another resource from the Ministry of Education about the ECE Close Contact Exemption Scheme – RAT Eligibility Process.
As the picture keeps changing we will keep you informed. Here’s a diagram of what you need to do:
Kia ora koutou katoa,
Reliever Network Meetings
Sadly, with the number of Covid cases rising we have decided to cancel our reliever network meetings on the March 16th. However, Senior Teachers are still available for any relievers who would like to talk about their 2022 professional growth cycle.
Relievers are very welcome to contact one of the STs in their regional cluster (listed below) or a senior teacher they know well, to talk about professional learning for this year. Email contact information below:
Kapitia and Horewhenua
Induction and Mentoring Hui - Saturday 12 March 2022 (9.00am – 1.00pm)
Venue: Online > in your own Kindergarten
Due to the impact of the latest Covid infections, we have decided to hold this term’s Hui totally online through TEAMs. We are encouraging our Mentors to work with their Tōmua and Pūmau kaiako at their own kindergarten together (or at a venue that has great internet!).
We will use break out rooms through the TEAMS Meetings App to promote networking and discussion in small clusters still, as we see this networking with others as a key component of our Induction and Mentoring programme. It is expected that all Tōmua join in with this online hui as it is required part of the HWM Induction and Mentoring (I&M) programme.
A Meeting link will be sent to all Tōmua and Mentors on Tuesday 8 March so please check your HWM email account for this. (if you don’t get it by Wednesday 9 March, please let me know😊)
Teachers who hold a Pūmau Practising Certificate (STC) are very welcome to join in too – please email Lynette Wray for the link.
It's wonderful to see that we have quite a few new kaiako joining our programme this year, so we will make time at the end of the hui to do an introduction to our programme and our Induction and Mentoring kit for those that are interested.
Our programme includes:
- Two Te Manawa workshops looking more in-depth at our two key areas: Intentional Teaching and Individual Portfolios
- Introduction to the Induction and Mentoring Programme for new kaiako
- (The Induction and Mentoring Kits are available on the Teachers Toolbox and have just been updated, if you are wanting some information about what our whole I&M Programme involves.)
- An opportunity to ask questions – what is on top for you?
Please contact Lynette Wrayor your Senior Teacher if you have any questions or concerns related to our HWM I & M programme.
Induction and Mentoring Evaluation and Survey
(for current and past Tōmua/PCT and mentors)
Thanks to those of who have taken the time to complete the survey – there are some very valuable comments coming through and Senior Teachers do appreciate contribution to their evaluation.
The Survey is still open and encouraged for all current and past Tōmua (PCTs) and Mentors– an email with the link has been sent to individual work emails and can be accessed below:
Survey for Tōmua (PCT)
Survey for Mentor
Submission to Parliament to Improve Quality of Early Education
Whānau Manaaki’s Chief Executive, Amanda Coulston, appeared before parliament’s Education Select Committee this week on behalf of Kindergartens Aotearoa.
Amanda was speaking to our submission on proposed amendments to the Education and Training Act which affect early childhood education.
Our main points were about retaining the commitment to a 100 per cent qualified teaching workforce, making sure new early childhood centres are run by organisations with clear connections to the community, and prioritizing community-based centres over profit-oriented ones.
Kindergartens Aotearoa is a collective of eight kindergarten associations representing 365 kindergartens and several homebased networks and playgroups serving 18,000 families from north Auckland to south Otago.
Our submission also recommended that police vets be able to be used for a number of services to save duplication, and that if ERO is to oversee professional development a wide range of PD needs to be approved to suit the needs of different services and teaching teams in different communities.
Changes to Fees
You will have communicated with your families about our fee rises that will take effect next term (May 2) and you may now be getting queries from families. Please pass these on to Robyn Mareko in our Porirua office in the first instance.
The Head Teacher meetings that are currently underway (remotely) will allow more discussion of how the changes will work in different communities.
New Secretary for NZEI Te Riu Roa
The union for early childhood teachers, NZEI Te Riu Roa has appointed a new secretary, Stephanie Mills.
Stephanie has a strong commitment to the early childhood sector and has a good understanding of the issues in our sector.
She has worked for the union for several years, most recently as director of campaigns including running the ECE Voice campaign for pay parity across the sector.
New Teaching Council Elected
A new Teaching Council has been voted in, with Lorraine Carr being re-elected as the early childhood sector representative.
Lorraine is a kindergarten head teacher based in Palmerston North.
Here’s a link to details about the new council: Successful Candidates Board Elections 2022 :: Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand
Waste Minimisation Course
The Waste Minimisation Course planned for 9 March at Plimmerton Kindergarten has been postponed. An email has been sent to all those who had signed up. However, if anyone has any questions they would like answered in the short term, you are welcome to email Sophie.
Welcome to Spencer Phoenix!
Ngahina Kindergarten whānau are delighted to welcome brand new pēpē Spencer Phoenix!
Congratulations to Ngahina kaiako Trish. Well done he is just delicious!!
Last week the kōrero featured Te Reo Kaiako Bea Joblin who is running waiata sessions and providing Te Reo support to our kindergartens.
It's come to our attention that the email hyperlink in the kōrero was incorrect, our apologies for this and if you had this issue please try again using this correct email address
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