Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.
We join with you all in celebrating the reinstatement of the 100% funding rate. This is fantastic and thanks to you all for the ways you have contributed to this campaign, whether it was protest marches, petitions, talking and writing to politicians, educating parents and so many other ways. Well done all!!
Time To Celebrate!
This week, we received the momentous and overdue news that early childhood services will be funded for 100 per cent qualified teachers from January next year.
This follows a ten year campaign to get the funding restored that was cut in 2010, by the then National government. Thousands of our teachers, parents, supporters and communities have been involved in the campaign over the years.
NZEI Te Riu Roa ran a major campaign for the ECE sector at a time when many centres outside of kindergartens already employed or were moving towards 100 per cent qualified teachers. It included postcards, petitions, marches and rallies, and lobbying. Our kindergarten teachers were highly active in that campaign, and NZK also ran its own campaign on behalf of the kindergarten movement. The issue was rarely out of the news, from when it was announced in 2010 to when it was introduced in 2011, and after that as many centres increased fees and reduced staff to cope.
Thousands of teachers and NZEI activists and parents circulated a petition around the country.
Just to remember some of what happened over those years, in Tauranga, 2,000 people marched down the main street against the funding cuts. This was the lead item on the television news that Saturday. On the day the funding cuts took effect kindergarten teacher Kaylee Mills bungy jumped off the Auckland Harbour Bridge in an event known as ‘the big drop’ to highlight the issue.
Photo of the Tauranga march.
This poster was on the wall of almost every kindergarten at that time.
Here are some of the headlines from that period:
Budget 2010: Early childhood educators 'devastated'
Complaints soar as govt sacrifices quality ECE
Govt has cut millions off early childhood education
Teachers asked to take pay cut to fund sector
While kindergartens maintained qualified teacher numbers, cuts were made in all areas to cope with a 13 per cent drop in funding. Reserves were used up, capital works were on hold, extra support for families was limited, new innovations were deferred and professional development reduced.
After several years of scraping by Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens had a major restructuring exercise in 2015 which saw some of the full time roles in our kindergartens replaced by part time roles. Other kindergartens around the country made similar moves.
Leading up to the election in 2017, there was a big push to get Labour, New Zealand First and Green MPs to sign a pledge to restore the funding.
Newtown Kindergarten teachers with a pledge signed by the Minister of Education Chris Hipklins when he was opposition education spokesperson in 2017.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the post-Budget announcement on Monday afternoon.
“This initiative rewards centres offering the highest quality education by ensuring all of their required teachers are fully trained teachers," Hipkins said.
Kindergartens Aotearoa, which Whānau Manaaki belongs to, has been in the news this week responding to the announcement. Amanda Coulston spoke on behalf of the collective of eight Kindergarten Associations representing 365 kindergartens.
“This is about recognising all services that have managed to retain 100 per cent qualified teachers after the cuts that were made in 2010”, Amanda said.
“This is not just for kindergartens - it reinstates the benchmark of quality for all children.”
Teachers union NZEI, which has been campaigning on the issue since 2010, also welcomed the news.
"This is going to make a massive difference," kindergarten teacher and ECE representative Virginia Oakly said.
"In 2010, the reduction in funding for services in which all staff were qualified teachers was a crippling blow, especially coupled with a per-child funding freeze for most of the past decade.
With social distancing rules it's been hard to celebrate the win, but kindergartens did their best.
Here's the team at Wanganui East:
Some people are starting to ask what will change when we get the extra funding. Will we return to the full time teacher levels we had before? We just don't know yet, and the money doesn't come through until next year, but it's likely you will be consulted. The good news is we will have more flexibility to build on the good work we do everyday to support our children and families.
And We Danced!
The team at the Wellington office danced and danced when we heard the news. Check their moves and their bloopers here!
100% Funding - Thanks!
We are so excited to hear the government will be reinstating funding for 100% qualified teachers!
What better way to show our thanks than to send Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, a video saying thank you!
It would be so awesome if our teams, teachers and whānau could send through a video saying, yelling or singing thank you! You could do this by yourself, amongst your team or include your children too, the more the merrier 😃
And don’t be afraid to get creative with it, you could say thank you in another language or record a short message to go alongside this, anything you like. If a video is too much, a photo will do the job just as well 😃
We’d love to share our appreciation and thanks as this is something we’ve been working hard towards for so long!
You can send your videos to Chanelle via wetransfer.com, one drive or you could send them to her personally at: https://www.facebook.com/chanelle.huiarutten (via message option).
6 Monthly Fire Evacuation Drills
Please note, that due to Covid Level 2 Restrictions, teams are not required to undertake their 6 monthly fire evacuation drills until we have received information from the Fire Service.
We have mailed out liquid crystal thermometers to each kindergarten, you most likely have received them by now. A liquid crystal thermometer is a type of thermometer that contains heat-sensitive (thermochromic) liquid crystals in a plastic strip that change colour (brightest) to indicate different temperatures. There will be 3 strips per kindergarten, and they need to be stuck on to hard surfaces in the internal play space. Things to note:
- They need to be placed about 1m above floor level.
- You should spread the placement of them around the kindergarten. For example, if your play space is a rectangle, place one either end plus one in the middle.
- If you are operate with one door open to the outdoor area which the majority of you will be, then it’s best to place a strip 3+ metres from the opening, but not directly opposite the open door.
Please understand the strip temperature gauges are a temperature indicator only. If you are concerned about the temperature in your facility, email email@example.com
Term Break in July
The scheduled Term Break, close-down, in July will take place.
ALL services will be closed from Monday 6 July to Friday 10 July. This will be PD leave for all teachers, as planned.
Part-year kindergartens will then be closed from Monday 13 July to Friday 17 July. This will be Annual Leave for all staff in those kindergartens.
You can see the calendars that were sent out last year, showing how the year’s dates work for our different groups of employees, by clicking on the links below:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone her on 021 857826 if you have any questions.
Head Teacher Release Time
There have been a couple of questions about whether there’s the ability to take extra Head Teacher Professional Time/Release Day this term, if people didn’t take theirs last term.
While we can somewhat understand the reason for asking, we can’t agree to it under the current circumstances.
Our policy is that these days will be taken per term, and won’t generally be carried over. Also the purpose of these days is to release you from “normal child contact duties”. During the rāhui, to put it simply, all teachers were released from child contact duties especially in the early part and we anticipated/expected that you would have been able to use that time to progress the work you would have used a Head Teacher Release Day for.
We know it’s been said before, but these were unprecedented, extraordinary times, where nothing was normal. Huge amounts of flexibility and understanding from everyone has been needed to keep things going and we very much appreciate your professionalism over this time. While we have been able to make some adjustments to take account of things, for some we have had to say “it is what it is” and just move forward from here.
If you find you are not able to complete some key tasks or pieces of work this term, please do talk to your Senior Teacher and we’ll work out what support we may be able to provide.
Ministry of Education RS7 Reporting:
Just a reminder that the Association has to report “RS7” information about your kindergarten to the Ministry of Education for the current funding period (1 February – 31 May 2020) in by Monday 8 June 2020.
All of the information we require is generated from your enrolment and staff timetable information in Infocare, so we need your help to ensure that all of this is complete and accurate.
As with normal month end requirements can you please ensure that, for the all weeks in this funding period (which ends Friday 29 May), the following is completed in Infocare on Friday 28 May:
- Sign in sheets marked in Infocare (actual attendance)
- Fee invoices are created and committed (this will be done by Head Office)
- Staff timetables (“staff hour count”) are completed
- Frequent absence review competed (this will be done by Head Office)
- Any ratio, attendance or roll issues should communicated to Tania Braybrook at the Wellington Office
If your administrator is unavailable to work on Friday can you please ensure arrangements are in place so that this deadline is met – this may mean that these tasks need to be completed by Teaching staff before the cut off.
We will be reviewing your Infocare RS7 data so you may receive reminder emails or queries on Tuesday 2 June. Note that no changes to Infocare for the 1 February – 31 May 2020 funding period will be able to be made after Monday 1 June.
New Ministry Requirements for daily / weekly attendance records
Thank you for continuing to fill out daily attendance records for your children. We know it is an extra task at this time, and we appreciate your efforts. The Ministry has now indicated that you can replace your daily records with weekly records. The new dates for submitting this information are:
Daily records until Friday 22 May
Please continue completing daily attendance records for your children via SurveyMonkey until Friday 22 May.
Weekly records from Monday 25 May
Starting Monday 25 May daily records will be replaced with weekly attendance records in Infocare. This means you will need to mark your weekly sign in sheets for every Friday. This information will then be automatically sent to the Ministry from Infocare. Your first week of attendance under this new process needs to be input on Friday 28 May. This weekly data collection is likely continue to be required until the end of Alert Level 1.
If you have any questions about any of the above please call Tania Braybrook at the Wellington Office.
Samoan Language Week
The theme for Samoa Language week is "Prepare yourself a gift for your travels".
This phrase urges us to prepare for everything we may need as we go on life’s journey and reminds us that it is not just preparing for ourselves but also for our family and friends who travel with us. The phrase also highlights the need to respect and share the gifts of our life’s journey.
As Pacific Peoples, when we prepare for travel, we take everything we have learnt from our families with us, allowing us to share our ōso (gifts), alofa (love) and tatalo (prayers) with everyone we meet along the way. And with these gifts we build, nurture and strengthen our relationships, with both aiga (family) and uo (friends).
Celebrate Samoa Language week on Sunday, 24 May 2020 - Saturday, 30 May 2020.
Help promote Samoa Language Week in your church, workplace, school, ECE or your community. Here are links to some useful resources:
Matariki Kindergarten - Laying Of Mauri Stone
On Wednesday morning a number of our staff gathered at the new Matariki Kindergarten building in Upper Hutt for a ceremony to lay a mauri stone at the entrance of the building.
After a short ceremony they gathered to share some kai.
Burying a mauri stone is a mark of respect to Papa, the earth mother and bestows a blessing on the site and buildings.
The new Matariki Kindergarten will open during Term 3.
This week’s announcement of funding for qualified teachers in early childhood services is a reminder of the role that politics plays in our sector.
This year is election year, and we need to encourage people to get involved in democracy, to get on the electoral roll, and to vote.
The Electoral Commission is encouraging everyone to enrol, and is using social media.
There are also lots of jobs going in connection with the election, and the electoral commission is keen to employ people that reflect New Zealand’s diverse communities, including young people.
Some of the wider families in your kindergarten communities may well be suited to these roles and may need work at this time. Please alert them.
A parent at Island Bay Kindergarten is a Psychologist who specialises in disaster/pandemic psychology and recovery. He has sent the team at Island Bay an email with a link to his recent item on RNZ. He is very happy, along with the Island Bay team, to share that email below.
Kia ora Whanau,
I hope all is well with you. I thought you might like these resources I have developed for the transition to Level 2 (for adults, parents and children), and also an interview on Nine to Noon yesterday that I did, where I specifically speak about the role of teachers and schools.
Hope this is helpful - please feel free to share on.
This Week On Facebook
Handy Facebook Pages
Powered by NZEI Te Riu Roa, ECE Voice is a space where early childhood teachers and their communities can unite and campaign for fair pay and better conditions in the early childhood sector.
To Give Away
Karori Kindergarten have had a clean out of their garage (as you do during level 3!) and found some stuff that they would like to give away. Happy to see them gone with no costs!
- BBQ, very used condition
- Big shelf 220cm*76cm
- Filing boxes, HEAPS to go
- Children's play bed, very used condition 125cm*62cm
- Tepee sort of thing. Good condition. Would be nice for centres with infants? 120cm*90cm
- Easel frame, 4 to go, 60cm*75cm
- Display shelf 120cm*52cm
Berhampore Kindergarten have four new stretcher beds they would like to offer for a koha.
Please contact Jared or Minka if you are interested.
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