Nau mai ki te pānui tênei ko te Kōrero.
This is the final Kōrero for the year – and what a year it has been!
Thanks to Jan and Jenny and the wider comms team for their amazing work in getting the Kōrero out every week – it is such an important source of information and vehicle for keeping us connected with each other. The consistent and dependable weekly flow of information is no small achievement in this world of constant change.
Unuhia te rito o te harakeke, kei hea te komako? Māū e ui mai, he aha te mea pai? Māku e kī atu, 'He tangata, he tangata, he tangata'
Pull up the stem of the flax, where is the bellbird? If you ask, what is the greatest thing? I will tell you, 'people, people, people'
And so thank you - to you and your whānau and support networks that have enabled you to do the fantastic work that you do for this organisation, for the tamariki and their whānau and communities. We all need people and things around us to support us to do the things we do, and so it’s important to acknowledge them. And it’s also important to acknowledge you – take great satisfaction for the work you have done throughout this year. You have, and will continue to make a positive difference – whichever role you play in our organisation.
To those of you who are returning next year, have a beautiful break; and to those who are moving on the other adventures, we wish you only good fortune in whatever the future brings for you.
E kore e ngaro, he takere waka nui
We will never be lost, we are the hull of a great canoe
Latest Data on Covid Infections
Those of you who attended the Regional Staff meetings will be familiar with the information below. These are the latest statistics (15 November) showing infections of Covid-19 by age group, and how the projected infections for children are tracking. You will see that the numbers have increased. For tamariki aged 0 – 9 years:
- 11 November: 547 children were currently infected, and of those, 345 were Māori or Pacific
- 22 November: 1221 were currently infected, and of those, 877 were Māori or Pacific
- 30 November:1607 were currently infected, and of those,1180 were Māori or Pacific.
The latest figures: 1980 were currently infected, and of those 1490 are Māori or Pacific.
The actual numbers of children infected with Covid are in line with the projected numbers, based on modelling by the Ministry of Health, which is traditionally conservative, however, the projected numbers of children being admitted to hospital has decreased. Some good news aye?
It is fantastic that the proportion of people who can get vaccinated are getting vaccinated, today New Zealand hit another milestone of 90% of those who can get vaccinated are. This will help those who can’t get vaccinated – at the moment those include our youngest tamariki.
Covid 19 - A Few Reminders
Please email through your vaccine records if you haven’t already
Staff who have recently had their second vaccination should send in proof of vaccination to the Whānau Manaaki office as soon as possible.
The office is closing on Wednesday next week, and we need to have evidence of second vaccinations before 1 January 2022. The office will not reopen until 5 January, so we need your evidence now.
Unfortunately because our vaccinations are mandated, and we need to record the dates of both of your vaccinations, we cannot accept the Vaccine Pass as evidence. Please send through your My Covid Record to email@example.com.
Please keep sending in details of parent volunteers, but make sure they have the name of the child and the kindergarten. It’s best to use the form we supplied in the information packs about mandatory vaccines. Here’s a link to the form.
Please make sure that all your tamariki and staff contact details are up to date, heading into the break. We know from experience that it’s best to be prepared.
Scanning and signing
Please remind your visitors to scan the QR code and also to write their contact details on the bottom of the tamariki sign in sheet.
Senior teachers to contact during the first week back
Glenda, Andy and Katie will be available from 5 Jan if you have any issues that need senior teacher support. The following week, most senior teachers will be back at work.
Pays Over Christmas and New Year
The next pay, on Tuesday 28 December, is a Public Holiday, therefore your pay will be deposited into your account on the evening of Friday 24 December.
The Payroll Team won’t have long to process this pay, as the office will be closed from 22 December, so we need kindergartens to send in their returns a little early and ensure all leave has been applied for.
- On Friday 17 December send in Returns/Confirm Staff Sync Roster:
- Week of 13-17 Dec as usual
- On Monday 20 December send your prediction for:
- Week of 20-22 Dec; and
- if you have any changes to your prediction, on your last day 22 Dec, send in an amended Return/Staff Sync Confirmation by 9am.
If you have any questions please email Payroll and someone in the team will help you. Or you can email Karen.
Finance Update For End Of Year
It’s that time again when we are in sight of closing off Infocare for the end of month, and term, and year!
We’re asking that you complete your year-end infocare work by 3pm on your last day of opening for the year (Wednesday 22 December).
This means the following is required:
- Sign in sheets marked in Infocare (actual attendance)
- Fee invoices (for the week ending Friday 24 December) created and committed
- Staff timetables (“staff hour count”) for the week ending Friday 24 December completed
- Online sign off of your monthly roll return
- Any ratio, frequent absence, attendance or roll issues are communicated to the Association (please call Tania Braybrook)
If your support staff are unavailable to work on Wednesday can you please make arrangements for this work to be completed by the due date – this may mean that these tasks need to be completed by Teaching staff before the cut off.
Payments Processing over the Christmas Break
Due to staff absences at the Association over the holiday break there will be limited payment runs being made over this time. The last supplier payment run for the year will be made on 20 December and payment of invoices will occur as follows over the coming weeks:
Invoices received at the Association by Friday 10 Dec Paid on Monday 13 December
Invoices received at the Association by Friday 17 Dec Paid on Monday 20 December
Invoices received at the Association by Friday 7 Jan Paid on Monday 10 January
Invoices received at the Association by Friday 14 Jan Paid on Monday 17 January
Please ensure that regular suppliers to your kindergartens are made aware of these payment timeframes. Also, we’d encourage you to get all your December invoices emailed in prior to 17 December so we can arrange prompt payment for you.
During the coming weeks all requests for urgent payments should continue to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and marked as URGENT in the subject line.
Please ensure that there is little or no cash held at your kindergarten over the Christmas break. If you could aim to bank all cash receipts before Friday 17 December this will allow our Finance Team to contact you with any queries they have before the end of the term. Can you also update Infocare with details of all deposits made.
Fee Invoicing and Statements
The timetable for fortnightly fee statements being issued to families over the coming weeks is as follows:
Statements for fees up to Friday 10 December Distributed Friday 17 December
Statements for fees up to Friday 24 December Distributed Friday 14 January
Statements for fees up to Friday 7 January Distributed Friday 14 January
Statements for fees up to Friday 21 January Distributed Friday 28 January
Head Teachers will need to ensure that their support staff complete all invoicing for the last week of Term 4 on the last day of term.
Kindergarten Finance Reports
Your November Kindergarten reports will be emailed to you next week and your December Kindergarten reports will be emailed to you by Wednesday 19 January 2022. As always your kindergarten accounts should be passed on to your Treasurers and Committees as appropriate.
Infocare Lock Dates for 2022
Details of Infocare Lock Dates for 2022 will be circulated in the new year.
Senior Teacher Update
Kia ora koutou katoa,
Merry Christmas to our Teaching Teams
From all of us here in the Senior Teacher team, we truly thank each and every team for everything you have done this year for tamariki, whānau, your communities and each other. Take care and have a safe and happy Christmas/New Years break with family and friends.
New Ways of Working
This has begun to take shape, with the Senior Teacher team this term, transitioning to their new teams. Next year continues to see how we work together taking shape, and in early February we will meet with Clare Wells to continue our mahi around this. We are excited about the clusters and look forward to working with you all. Senior Teacher Allocations and Function Roles
Annual Review Upate
Thank you to all those teams who attended our last RSM and participated in the discussion around our new AR document.
Early in term 1, 2022 your Senior Teacher will be in touch with you to discuss dates for their visit and how they will work with you to plan for the year ahead.
Professional Growth Cycle Mutanga
Just a reminder that as part of the PGC all teachers need to have participated in a final evaluative /mutanga professional conversation prior to the end of the year. Your head teacher, or for HTs your senior teacher, will complete the attestation form confirming that you have participated in the PGC and that you are meeting the standards / Nga Paerea.
Once the attestations for the whole of your team have been completed please scan them and forward to your senior who will electronically file them.
What’s happening with PLD for 2022
In the Kōrero you will continue to see our ‘usual’ offerings of PLD such as Regional Meetings, Head Teacher Meetings, First Aid, Child Protection, Leaderful Practice, Kapa Haka and Induction and Mentoring.
The Senior Teacher team will continue to look at how PLD will be delivered in a COVID environment as well as in our new ways of working in clusters. We will keep you updated.
Where to find what’s on offer
There are two ways to find this out.
- This visual spreadsheet for 2022 as it looks so far
- In the Kōrero, scroll to the bottom and you will find the PLD tab which you can click through to what PLD is scheduled. To return to the Kōrero just press the back arrow at the top left of the screen.
How to enrol
Remember to enrol in PLD through Tūhonohono or alternatively contact Karen Craig.
Setting up a filing system in the TEAMs App
We know that many of you have, or are planning to, review how you are saving your documents and information now that you are using TEAMs. In the Teachers Toolbox plan: “Changes to the way Kindergarten IT works” there is a suggested folder structure so that you can organise your kindergarten’s files on the TEAMs app. You can view that here. We will also upload a video showing how to do this in the same plan over the next few days
Profiling Our Senior Teachers
Jane Horrax has worked in a variety of early childhood settings for the past 30 years, which gives her insight into different ways of organising teaching teams. She brings this experience to her current role as a senior teacher working with teams to create models that support work life balance.
It’s a new role, and so far Jane has worked with around seven kindergartens, mainly creating job share situations so that teachers can work part-time without working every day.
“It supports all sorts of teachers – those returning from parental leave, those nearing retirement or supporting elderly parents.” support that.
Jane says new models work well when there are two teachers from the same team who want to job share, or when a vacancy allows the creation of a new setup. The most popular arrangement involves teachers working two or three days a week, with overlap for a team meeting.
This is part of the association’s ongoing review of models and ways of working to support teachers, and to maintain high quality ECE. Any teams who think this way of working could be good for them should get in touch with Jane next year.
Le Fale – an exciting new initiative for Whānau Manaaki
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens has signed a contract to provide financial capability training, home ownership support and to promote employment and training for the Porirua East community. It is part of the Government’s multi-billion dollar housing Regeneration Project.
The project is known as Le Fale - which means the house/home and represents a place of familiarity that is welcoming and safe.
The project involves community partners including Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira.
This work builds on our existing community services programme including Whānau Ora programme and links with existing relationships in the community. From next year, Le Fale will operate out of a hub in Cannon’s Creek.
Fala Tavita, Tali Mareko, Kasey Burns and Presley Ah Hoi are working on the programme as navigators to support and empower people to achieve their goals. They have been running financial capability workshops with sixteen families.
The workshop programme is half-way through, and next year, the navigators will work with families on an individual basis to work through what home ownership model may be possible for them.
So far, the programme has been about explaining how home ownership works and what products are available such as Kiwi Build, Progressive Home Ownership, Papa Kainga, and various grants that are available and how to qualify.
A lot of the work involves changing peoples’ habits of thinking, so that instead of thinking home ownership is outside their reach, they look at how it could work for them.
The navigators are also working with two groups looking towards employment. The programme considers barriers to employment, skills training, CVs, drivers’ licenses, and potential work within the building and other trades.
A group are looking to work for Fulton Hogan on drain laying and wastewater work. Another group of mothers is looking at what work opportunities could fit with family obligations and what training they may want to pursue.
Tali says the work is worthwhile, and while the navigators are learning themselves, it’s really positive to be involved in, changing peoples’ lives and helping build communities.
Fala, Kasey, Presley and Tali, Navigators for Le Fale
Reminder from NZEI re ECE and Kōhanga Reo hauora survey
The first Early Childhood Education and Kōhanga Reo Hauora Health and Wellbeing Survey is now underway. We appreciate this is an additional ask, at a busy, uncertain time, however it’s an important study to gather data to demonstrate the environment we’re working in. Results will illustrate the urgency of our work to win better conditions, and the need for greater investment in the sector. We encourage all members who have received an email invitation to participate. If you don't have the email, please contact email@example.com
The survey closes on 3 January.
Wendy Retires After Long Career
Wendy Whiteman is retiring at the end of this year after nearly 40 years of teaching, including 18 years at Discovery Kindergarten in Whitby.
Living in the Whitby community, Wendy sees former kindergarten children regularly as they grow up and has been able to welcome a second generation of children to kindergarten.
Wendy trained in the 1970s, and after breaks for family and travel, she has spent her whole career in kindergarten. She has taught at Newtown, Churton Park, Paparārangi, Johnsonville and Paremata.
Wendy has seen a lot of changes in her career. One of the best things has been improved ratios, from two teachers to 40 children when she started out.
The change away from two session a day was also significant, although Wendy says the shared lunchtimes did allow teachers to connect.
Wendy is looking forward to having more time for family, including her eight grandchildren as well as craftwork in her retirement. But she won’t be lost to kindergarten straight away - she’s planning on relieving.
Wendy is having a farewell morning tea next week.
Frances Robinson Retires
Frances began her teaching at Raumati Beach Kindergarten and taught at Plimmerton and Tawa Central before taking up a new position as a rural itinerant teacher in the Wairarapa.
Later, she moved to the Hutt and taught at Epuni and Maungaraki kindergartens.
After moving to Whanganui, Frances relieved for a while before settling at Gonville Kindergarten.
“I will miss it dearly – the children, the teachers, the brilliant team, the lovely families – the children are just great.”
“I’ve loved all my teaching years – you’ve got to be passionate to be effective.”
Frances will be busy in retirement, as she runs a long-term accommodation complex in St John’s Hill with a huge garden. She also plans on travelling - around New Zealand, in her motorhome and she’s hoping to make a couple of overseas trips.
Appointments and Resignations
Congratulations to the following on their recent appointments:
.8 Teacher - Fixed Term
.4 Teacher - Fixed Term
Teacher - Fixed Term
.8 Teacher - Fixed Term
We wish all the best to the following who have resigned:
Senior Head Teacher
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