Issue no. 23 | 22 February 2017
Message from the Secretary for Education

Message from the Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted

Kia ora koutou
Welcome to the first edition of the He Pānui Kōhungahunga – the Early Learning Bulletin for 2017. I hope you have all had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday period spent with friends and loved ones.
This year one of my key priorities is to support more effective collaboration at all levels of the education system, in order to strengthen and create learning pathways that meet each child’s needs from 0-18 years and beyond.
I am encouraged by the high numbers of children that are now benefitting from their schools and early childhood education services me ngā kōhanga reo (early learning services) being part of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, and I look forward to continuing to see these numbers grow. A major benefit for children and young people in Kāhui Ako will be that the community as a whole becomes responsible for equitable learner outcomes.
In the next few weeks I will begin travelling around the country to meet with regional Ministry staff, and hopefully a great number of you, to talk about raising achievement and supporting the early learning sector.
Best wishes for the year ahead.
Ngā mihi

Message from the Deputy Secretary, Sector Enablement and Support

Message from the Deputy Secretary, Sector Enablement and Support, Katrina Casey

Katrina CaseyKia ora koutou
I hope that each of you had a relaxing holiday season.
As this is the first issue of He Pānui Kōhungahunga – the Early Learning Bulletin for 2017, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on one of the highlights of last year, the increasing number of ECE services me ngā kōhanga reo (early learning services) in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.
At the end of last year, 95 early learning services held formal membership within 24 Kāhui Ako across the country. As we all know, early learning services are an essential part of the 0-18 education pathway, and we will support services as they move to build relationships with Kāhui Ako this year. To help us achieve this we have had valuable input from the Early Childhood Advisory Committee, which is informing our planning for how we can best support early learning services’ participation in Kāhui Ako.
There are great examples of Kāhui Ako and early learning services working together to build strong pathways for learners. You can find out more about Kāhui Ako in a new section which has been added to the Bulletin. Keep an eye on this section for Kāhui Ako information, support and updates.
This month the section highlights an article in the Education Gazette about Piritahi Kāhui Ako in Marlborough – one of the first Kāhui Ako to have a formal early learning member. Your regional office can support you to start discussions with other early learning services, schools and kura about being involved in a Kāhui Ako.
The Bulletin also includes information on the Teacher Led Innovation Fund (TLIF), which is now open to qualified ECE teachers me ngā kōhanga reo kaiako. TLIF provides a new opportunity for those working in Kāhui Ako to collaboratively develop project proposals.
As a final note, as you are working hard to make a difference and striving to achieve for children in early learning services, you may wish to share your journey by putting your name forward for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards 2017, which close on Friday 17 March. You can find more information in this Bulletin about how to enter.
Ngā mihi nui
Katrina Casey

Regulatory Updates

Te Whāriki update

The Ministry of Education commissioned an update of Te Whāriki following the recommendation from the Advisory Group on Early Learning (AGEL) that an update would support a stronger implementation of the curriculum. The Ministry worked with a group of sector experts, including practitioners and academics, to write a draft for people for wide consultation. Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback.
Read more about the Te Whāriki update on


Application of 1:50 Person Responsible for Home-based ECE services Updated

In the December issue of He Pānui Kōhungahunga – the Early Learning Bulletin, we clarified that regulation 44(1)(d)(ii) of the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 applies to all home-based early childhood education (ECE) services.

Every licensed home-based service must have one person responsible for every 50 children attending (1:50). At any time a service has 51-80 children attending, there must be two persons responsible.
Find out more on our website.

Guidance available for applying regulation 44A to adult-child ratios

Regulation 44A states that “Spare capacity for children under 2 can in certain cases be set off against the number of children 2 or over in determination of adult-child ratios”. Occasionally we get queries from services about how to apply regulation 44A. We have some helpful guidance on our education website, with example scenarios.


Early learning services and the new food safety law

Does your early learning centre serve food? If so, you may need to register under the new Food Act by 31 March 2017.
The Food Act 2014 is a new law which aims to improve food safety, including in schools and early childhood centres. It applies to childcare centres that sell food or provide food as part of a paid service. There are different rules for different businesses, depending on what they do. More information is available on

General Information Updates

Updated police vetting request form

The NZ Police have updated their vetting request and consent form and there is a new guide to completing the form that is available. Find more information about this on our website.


Emergency planning

Now is a good time to review your emergency planning to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to deal with fires, earthquakes and other emergencies.
We recommend you review the emergency health and safety licensing criteria (HS4-8 for centre-based services, HS4-7 for home-based services and HS2-HS4 for playgroups). Find out what this includes and other recommendations on our website.

RS7 return update for October 2016 to January 2017 funding period

Services that submitted their RS7 returns by 8 February will receive funding overnight on Wednesday 1 March 2017. 

Services that submit an RS7 return after 8 February, but before 6 March 2017, will receive funding overnight on Monday 20 March 2017. Read more, including information about resubmissions, on

Equity Funding Results

Due to a number of issues including obtaining information from Statistics NZ after the November 2016 earthquakes, there has been a delay in finalising the equity funding results for  services which opened between 1 January and 30 June 2016. 

We are hoping to have these results as soon as possible and eligible services will be advised and paid once the results are received and processed.

Final reminder for 2017 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards Updated

Only one month left to enter the 2017 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards. 

Share your story of achievement in your early education service, group, partnership or Community of Learning. 

Need help with your entry or ready to complete your entry? Go to

Entries close at 4pm, Friday 17 March 2017.

Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF) eligibility extended to early learning sector

The Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF) supports teams of teachers to collaboratively develop innovative practices that improve learning outcomes.

ECE qualified teachers and kōhanga reo kaiako holding Tohu Whakapakari can now apply directly to the TLIF for their inquiry project. 

To find out more information about TLIF, including critical dates, go to

ELI System

New ELI Homepage coming soon Updated

The project of updating and moving the ELI Homepage to the new central Ministry of Education website will be completed and live on 28 February 2017. The new ELI Homepage now consists of updated information that is set out to ensure access is easy for all users. Access to ELI Web and ELI Reports is available through the Homepage by clicking on the Application Logon Links button which can be found at the top of the page next to the rocket icon. This will take you to the ELI Web and ELI Reports applications which remain unchanged.

Read more about this on the ELI Homepage.


Playgroup funding round for April 2017

All PG3 Playgroup Funding forms must be returned by 28 February 2017 to your regional Ministry of Education office. Payment to playgroups will be made on 20 April 2017. 

It is important that the Ministry has the most current details for your playgroup. If your playgroup’s funding contact person, postal address or bank account details have changed, please notify your local ECE Playgroup Advisor as soon as possible. Incorrect playgroup details may result in delayed funding.

Calling for Playgroup story ideas

Do you have a story that you would like to share with other playgroups? The Ministry welcomes contributions from the early learning sector for He Pānui Kōhungahunga – The Early Learning Bulletin. To find out more about how to submit an article, contact us at


Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

What are Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako?

A Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako is a group of early childhood education services me ngā kōhanga reo (early learning services), schools, kura, and post-secondary, working together to help students achieve their full potential. 

There are now 180 Kāhui Ako spread throughout the country, involving 95 early learning services, find out more on

A common purpose: Piritahi Kāhui Ako?

The Marlborough region was an early adopter of the Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako initiative. Piritahi Kāhui Ako is one of the first to formally include early learning services. Two years on, members of Piritahi Kāhui Ako share their experiences. Find out more about this Kāhui Ako in the New Zealand Education Gazette Tukutuku Kōrero.


Our Community: Stories and Successes

Calling all story ideas

Do you have a story you want to share with other early childhood education services or schools? Get in touch with the team at the Education Gazette Tukutuku Kōrero. We aim to inspire teaching and learning, as well as celebrate success and innovation. Email your story ideas to:

Contribute to He Pānui Kōhungahunga - The Early Learning Bulletin

The Ministry welcomes contributions from the Early Learning sector for He Pānui Kōhungahunga – the Early Learning Bulletin. To find out more about how to submit content, contact us at


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Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards »
October 2016 - March 2017
Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF) »
13 April 2017
Anaphylaxis Awareness Week »
May 6 - 13 2017
World Forum on Early Care and Education »
May 9 - 12 2017

Education Websites

ECE sector organisation contact details »