Welcome to our latest update of information and stories you may be interested in...
There is some information below which may help your team discussions for feedback on the MOE Draft Strategic Plan.
Hope you have had a great week.
Position Available – Driver’s Assistant
Whānau Manaaki is looking for a new Driver’s Assistant to join our Transport Team.
The role of the Driver’s Assistant – commonly called the ‘Runner’ – is to work with the Driver and whānau to support children in and out of the van, taking them to and from their kindergarten or Home-based Educator, around the Porirua area. It is a 5-day a week job, for 32.5 hours a week.
For a position description and application pack, please firstname.lastname@example.org call Andrea on 04 2321 652.
Applications close Friday, 15 February, at 12 noon.
He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua As A Tiriti-Based Organisation
Tomorrow (Friday) staff are being emailed a draft Position Paper titled: He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua as a Te Tiriti o Waitangi-based Organisation A Position Paper.
The draft paper discusses the proposed position of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association (HWM) in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the key values that underpin the organisation. It also discusses how Te Tiriti and these key values may be operationalised by HWM over the coming years.
In November and December last year, the HWM facilitated meetings - one with our Māori Staff members, and one with staff who are passionate about sustainable development. From those meetings, thoughts and ideas were shared which contributed to the writing of this draft paper and which will also provide the basis for our future actions and initiatives.
Staff are asked to read the draft paper and to feed back using a short Survey Monkey questionnaire – the link will be included in tomorrow’s email.
We welcome your feedback – exciting times ahead!
Improving Our Induction
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens is holding regular induction days each term to welcome new staff to our association. The idea is to introduce staff to the Whānau Manaaki family so that everyone feels part of the association as well as belonging to their particular kindergarten team.
We also want to increase awareness of the work of Whānau Manaaki, and make sure that people know where to go if they need help or support in any area.
The first induction day will be on February 14, and will be for all new staff employed since the beginning of term four 2018. It will include support staff, kindergarten based students, student volunteers, teachers and head teachers.
You will be contacted if you are required to attend an induction day.
Keeping Rolls Full
A great deal of research finds that ‘word of mouth’ is more effective than other types of marketing, and this is worth remembering when trying to maintain full rolls in our kindergartens.
Of course many of our families already recommend us to their friends, but it makes sense to ask existing families to talk to friends and family about kindergarten. In the words of best selling American author Jonah Berger “people don’t listen to advertisers, they listen to their peers.”
Some families may not know whether your kindergarten has spaces available right now, or that we lose money if our rolls are down. They also may not know that we take children from two, and that we offer 20 hours free for all children over two, while many other services charge.
Here are some ideas that may be useful for keeping rolls full:
- Ask each family if they know anyone who may be interested in kindergarten. (You can divide up the families among the teachers to make sure you have this conversation with everyone)
- Make it clear on your facebook page that you have spaces available right now. Use an eyecatching and attractive photo as part of the post. Ask your followers to share the post on their newsfeed.
- Make sure neighbouring kindergartens know if you have spaces available. That way, if their rolls are full they can refer families. Some families may like to enrol in a different kindergarten than their closest one, as an interim measure.
- Use relationships with schools to advertise your kindergarten. You can leave leaflets at the school office and you can ask for a mention in the school’s newsletter. Remember that sometimes, teachers and school staff may not be aware of recent changes in kindergarten that make things more flexible for families. Things that may be worth stressing are that we take children from two, siblings (and cousins, and friends) can usually attend together, days can usually be arranged to suit, children can come for up to five days. Schools also may not know that we offer 20 hours free for all children.
- Use playgroups in your community to advertise kindergarten. Playgroups are usually not-for-profit and community-based so have a natural affiliation with kindergarten.
- Health services are another good place to advertise, doctors surgeries etc. Best Start (Kidicorp) sponsors Plunket, so if you encounter any difficulties with advertising at your local Plunket clinics, let the office know and we can work with Plunket to overcome this.
- Community centres and libraries are also good places to place flyers. If you have a relationship with a librarian, make sure they know if you have places available.
- Talk to real estate agents because they often advertise homes as close to kindergartens etc. They will often be keen to include brochures from kindergarten in their material.
- If you need help, contact Chanelle at the Whānau Manaaki office.
- If you have any other ideas, share them with us.
Responding To The MOE Draft Strategic Plan: He taonga te tamaiti – Every child a taonga
The senior teachers and senior management of Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens have considered the strategic plan and developed some points for teams discussing the 50-page plan, which is linked to the government’s child wellbeing strategy.
Most ideas in the draft plan are good, but it is a matter of prioritising the most important, and what should happen first. Team discussion is a good background for completing the online survey.
Here’s a link to the summary document and here’s a link to the online survey. Responses are needed by March 15.
Goal one – raising quality for children
This is arguably the most important goal and this is where teams may like to concentrate the discussion. The main point in this goal is moving to a full qualified workforce. This is the single most effective way of raising quality, and we need to stress that in our feedback.
While obviously we support better ratios there is a danger that improving ratios before increasing qualified teacher numbers could mean worse quality for children – more people but a lower proportion of qualified staff, with practices that don’t support children’s wellbeing. So it is important, given the workforce improvements needed for qualified teachers, that we prioritise qualifications over ratios.
Other ideas under this goal, environments, group sizes and limiting expansion of poor quality services also have impacts on improving quality for children.
Goal two – empowering children by providing the resources for them to thrive
We strongly support wrap-around services and flexible models to respond to communities.
Goal three - investing in the workforce
Again, 100 per cent qualified teachers is the goal here. Improving pay and conditions can help with retention across the sector, helping the government to strengthen regulations around qualified teacher numbers. In recent years the proportion of qualified teachers has actually been going down, with fewer studying and more leaving the sector.
A Māori and Pasifika teacher strategy, and leadership strategy, is also needed. The senior teaching team recommends strategies similar to those available in schools, such as scholarships, sabbaticals and specific Māori and Pasifika career pathways.
Goal four – planned provision
We support network provision of not-for-profit only services and an organisation or hub to support community services, as standalone community services have proved financially vulnerable.
Goal five – the early learning system continue to innovate, learn and improve
The early learning system continues to innovate and improve. We agree with centres of innovation, we support local research, and we recognise that support and leadership and release time is necessary to effectively engage in collaborations.
ECE Teacher Shortage
Te Rito Maioha/Early Childhood New Zealand used strong language this week to call on the government to address the early childhood teacher shortage.
The number of people studying for early childhood teaching qualifications has dropped by 40 per cent since 2010, and the proportion of early childhood teachers who are qualified has actually dropped, despite an increasing number of children in services and for longer periods.
Te Rito Maioha, an initial teacher education provider, estimates that New Zealand is about 300 teachers short.
The organisation accuses the Ministry of making inaccurate claims that there is insufficient data and wants decisive action.
NZEI Te Riu Roa says the government needs to act urgently, on behalf of children and families.
Te Reo Māori and Sign Language PLD offered by UCOL Universal College of Learning Te Pae Mātauranga Ki Te Ao
UCOL Universal College of Learning Te Pae Mātauranga Ki Te Ao are offering ten week courses in Te Reo Māori for beginners and intermediate, and an Introduction to Sign Language, and Conversational Sign Language Courses.
The Te Reo Māori and Sign Language courses are open entry and are free to participate in if you are an NZ resident. All they need for you to enrol is proof of identity (birth certificate or passport).
Click here for further information.
The first OMEP event for 2019 will be held on Monday 18 February 2019at Te Rito Maioha 191A Thorndon Quay, Thorndon.
Carmen Dalli will be leading a session on:
He Taonga te Tamaiti: Every Child a Taonga. Strategic Plan for Early Learning 2019-2029. Draft for Consultation.
The presentation will commence at 6.15pm - 7.30pm. Come any time from 5.30pm onwards and enjoy some shared kai :)
This Week On Facebook
The children at Silverstream Kindergarten have been having a lot of fun finding different ways to cool off on these hot summer days.
Johnsonville Full Day Kindergarten had a surplus of veges in their garden. The children loved preparing the veges and then roasting them in the oven for all to share.
At Advenutre Kindergarten the tamariki and kaiako worked collaboratively to decide where to plant the chrysanthemums. Through discussion they decided to create a chrysanthemum fence by the school fence as well as next to the little sandpit. Kaiako provided supportive scaffolding of learning regarding the process of how to plant the lovely chrysanthemums.
Handy Facebook Pages
Who isn’t up for a laugh?
How to dad is a NZ made video blog. He’s funny and he provides a dialogue that speaks to Dads – many online parenting platforms are essentially pointed straight at mum!
Check it out here!
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