Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.
Ahiahi mārie koutou
These past few weeks have been pretty full on with the release of new licensing criteria for minimising food-related choking risks and heightened concerns about Covid-19.
This can be an anxious time.
Further on in the Kōrero is more about the food criteria and our position. In this section I just want to go through a few things related to Covid-19.
Firstly, you are not alone, we are here to support you.
Secondly, as Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted said in the Ministry Bulletin on Friday:
I met with Ashley Bloomfield recently and it was an important reminder that to hold on to our Alert Level 1 status, we must all use the COVID-19 Tracer app, stay home if we’re sick, continue good hygiene practices including regular hand washing, and ensure we regularly clean surfaces with chlorine based products.
Things to do at this stage are:
- Ensure there are bottles of hand sanitiser available in your service
- Make multiple copies of the tracer app sign and put it around the rooms so parents and whānau can access them rather than just having one available (if you need a new copy, email Tania Braybrook and she’ll send your one through to you);
- Make signs encouraging people to wash their hands and use the contact tracer app
- Make sure your contact details are up to date and that your Head Teacher has a list of them – Head Teachers, ensure you have your support staff contacts too, not just teachers;
- Head Teachers, make sure your Senior Teacher has your up to date contacts (eg. if you got a new cellphone for Christmas and it has a new number, let your Senior Teacher know);
- Make sure all children’s contact details (including emergency contact details) are up to date and entered into Infocare
- Continue with your cleaning, as you do now. Remember bleach is a cheap and effective disinfectant.
As always, if you have questions, or need help, contact your Senior Teacher and they’ll direct your query onto the most appropriate person in the office. Or if you can’t get hold of them, contact me or Jane Braun. We are all here to support you and to support each other.
You are all doing a great job – keep it up people. You rock!
Food Policy Changes
Thanks to all those who have responded to our new draft food policy. Your feedback is really useful. We appreciate these changes are significant.
We also recognise that there is room for confusion. There are now strict rules for what we can provide, while the guidelines for parents are guidelines only. Some of your parents may disagree with some or all of these guidelines.
Our policy is to maintain our core values, which include enhancing the mana of the child. We want to continue to respect parent choices about food for their tamariki and for this reason we ask that you do not remove food from children that has been supplied by their parents.
We are required to let parents know about the Ministry of Health Guidelines and these were included in the statement sent out earlier this week. It will be useful for you to have a copy of these available. Here’s the link to these guidelines.
We also recognise that the guidelines have the potential to cause anxiety for parents about the safety of their child. Please reassure parents that supervision and first aid training are major aspects of our food and drink policy.
Please note any policy you have around food allergies continues as is.
You can continue to contact Jane Braun at the Whānau Manaaki Office if you have queries or feedback.
Senior Teacher Update
Kia ora koutou katoa,
Welcome back everyone, we are looking forward to a great year!
As you are aware in Term 4 of 2020 we decided to put all Professional Learning and Development (apart from Child Protection and First Aid) on hold whilst we were living in this world where a Covid-19 vaccine was in the development stage.
However, the Senior Teacher team have been working hard on projects such as the Te Manawa Review, and planning for PLD for this year.
Please have a read through all of the information below, and contact your ST or Sharon Coulton if you have any additional queries, questions or suggestions!
Professional Growth Cycle
The Teaching Council are looking to implement The Professional Growth Cycle In February 2021 (alongside the implementation of the Annual Certification Cycle).
As you know we are working on developing a professional growth cycle with a group of teachers, and we met just before Christmas to continue this mahi. We are continuing to work on the development of a HWM Professional Growth cycle - so watch this space!
In the meantime, you need to continue to develop an Appraisal Goal, as per our policy, but you are not required to gather evidence or keep an appraisal folder. Instead, undertake kōrero around your goal and keep records of this kōrero - focus on professional growth, not on collecting evidence!
The Teaching Council are also holding more live zoom webinars in the coming weeks as well as giving access to recorded webinars, you can access both here.
Te Manawa Review
The Senior Teaching team are in the final stage of the review of Te Manawa, and we will share more information about this going forward - again watch this space!
Social Competency Review
The Senior Teachers are in the final stages of completing this review. Thank you to those of you who sent through feedback, suggestions, and ideas – much appreciated! We will keep you informed going forward in Term 1 2021.
PLD Visual Calendar
We are excited to share with you the current, overall, PLD Calendar, which you can view here. Please understand that changes will happen, but we will keep you updated on those.
There have been some changes to the PR1 and PR2 groups and you would have received an email at the end of last year alerting you to that. These changes are also detailed at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
Any questions or suggestions regarding this - please contact Kaz on firstname.lastname@example.org
Term 1 2021 Whanau Contributions
Your families may be starting to ask about Term 1 requests for Whanau Contributions. Feel free to let them know that these will be emailed out next week. Hard copies will also be delivered to kindergartens for distribution through “child pockets”.
So that we have the most up to date information for our request letters can you please try and have all your children’s enrolment records in Infocare (and email contact information) up to date by the end of day on Monday 1 February.
Ministry of Education RS7 Reporting:
Just a reminder that the Association has to report “RS7” funding information about your kindergarten to the Ministry of Education for the current funding period (1 October 2020 – 31 January 2021) by Tuesday 9 February 2021.
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 all the weeks in this funding period (which ends tomorrow), the following is completed in Infocare by 4pm Monday 1 February:
- Sign in sheets marked in Infocare (actual attendance)
- Fee invoices are created and committed
- Staff timetables (“staff hour counts”) are completed
- Online sign off of your monthly roll return
- Any ratio, attendance or roll issues are communicated to the Association (please call Tania at the Porirua Office)
If you have staff away 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 February.
No changes to Infocare for the 1 October 2020 – 31 January 2021 funding period will be able to be made after 4pm, Monday 1 February 2021.
Study Assistance Grant
Are you studying this year to enhance your qualifications? Whānau Manaaki will consider supporting you with a contribution towards your fees.
Have a look at the policy here and if you think you’re eligible send in the application form and make sure you attach a receipt or proof of the fees, by 28 February 2021. We will let you know as soon as we can, after that date, if you’ve been successful.
If you have any questions you can email email@example.com or phone her on 021 857 826.
Learning Support Portfolio And Survey
Thanks to those kindergartens that have completed the survey that was sent out as a survey monkey by email just prior to Christmas. We have received 65 responses.
If you are one of the kindergartens that have not yet completed this survey there is still time to do so. You will have just received an email reminder to your kindergarten email address. You just need to click on the link in that email to complete the survey.
It would be great if this could be completed by the end of day on Monday, 1 February.
Local News and Events
Now that we are back into the swing of things for the year it would be great to get your local news stories and events to put into your pages on the left hand side.
If you have any items you would like to share with other kindergartens in your area please email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whānau Manaaki Kindergarten's Experience Receives International Publicity
Our Kindergarten Association's response to Covid -19 has featured in a prestigious international early childhood publication, in an article written by Emeritus Professor Helen May and our CEO Amanda Coulston.
The European Early Childhood Education Research Journal explains how our association provided community outreach support during the rahui or lockdown last year, and supported learning at home.
Helen May interviewed many staff of Whānau Manaaki including Whānau Ora and Etu Ao team members as well as teachers.
The article also captures the voice of families, as well as explaining how the role of kindergarten expanded in the lives of families.
Here’s a link to the article.
In the same journal, another article examines New Zealand children’s working theories about Covid-19, and how they are expressed in words and pictures. This article, by Waikato University researchers, captures the voices of Auckland Kindergarten tamariki. You can view that article here.
Previous Kōrero Editions
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