MoE update 9 March 2021

Early Learning Bulletin 9 March 2021

Message from the Secretary for Education

Kia ora koutou

I trust that services in Tāmaki Makaurau (and those affected on “the border”) are seeing their tamariki returning and that you can all engage and enjoy kanohi ki te kanohi learning and teaching again.  Thank you all for your work to manage the wellbeing of the young people in your care and to maintain learning and teaching despite uncertainty and disruption.

Inevitably there is quite a bit in this Bulletin as we had held “stuff” back in the last couple of weeks. It is all important, but in particular I want to call out “Talking together, Te Koreroreo oral language tool”.  This resource supports the development of oral language which, as you know, affects behaviour, well-being, and helps prepare tamariki for reading.

The next regular Bulletin is 23 March. We’ll only be in touch before that if we need to be.

Ngā mihi
Iona

In today’s bulletin:

Need to know

  • COVID-19 vaccination programme
  • Playgroup Operational Funding round is open and available through ERS
  • Financial Reporting requirements for the year ending in 2020
  • RS7 Return update
  • Electronic funding notices 
  • Funding and COVID-19 alert levels – Friendly Reminder
  • Financial Reporting due 30 June 2021
Heads up
  • Talking together, Te kōrerorero oral language tool – hard copy resources 
  • Survey on the stocktake of early learning resources
  • Access to family violence services
Need to know

COVID-19 vaccination programme

As you will be aware, COVID-19 vaccinations have begun for border and managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) workers and their households, as part of the Government’s sequenced vaccination plan.

To help New Zealand’s COVID-19 Immunisation Programme succeed, we recommend early learning services support their employees who are identified as members of such a household to be vaccinated. Ideally, staff would book vaccination appointments outside normal work hours where possible. Where that is not possible, services are encouraged to allow adequate paid time off work for staff to get vaccinated during work hours.

While more than 9000 of our most at-risk border and frontline workers have received their first dose of the vaccine, the programme is still in its infancy and vaccines will become available in stages. Therefore, the large majority of New Zealanders won’t be able to be vaccinated until the second half of this year. 

The next group offered the opportunity to be vaccinated will be 50,000 family and household contacts of the border workforces in our main centres and after that, non-border frontline health workers.

Further information regarding the vaccination plan can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

COVID-19: Getting a vaccine | Ministry of Health NZ

Scams and misinformation
With the Government’s vaccine programme now underway, it’s important that New Zealanders receive accurate information from credible sources.

Unfortunately, both misinformation and disinformation are being spread and CERT NZ is working closely with other government agencies to try to stop these scams in their tracks.   

Key things everyone should know are:   

  • The vaccine is free and at no point will you ever be asked to pay for securing your place in the “queue”   
  • Any communications about the vaccine will come from the Ministry of Health or other trusted sources    
  • If you receive any emails out of the blue asking for financial and personal details, it is likely to be a scam   
  • The best way you can help stop these scams affecting New Zealanders is to report them to CERT NZ.

The best sources for information for New Zealanders are:

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser has also brought together a list of annotated links to trusted information about COVID-19 vaccines.

We will be working with sector representatives over the coming months to ensure the education sector is kept fully informed about vaccine developments.

Playgroup Operational Funding round is open and available through ERS

Playgroups are now able to apply for Operational Funding for the January to June 2021 period using the Education Resourcing System (ERS). Playgroups will be able to track the progress of their funding request and access their payment advice notices online. 

Read more on how to apply for Playgroup Operational Funding on our website.

Playgroup funding handbook

RS7 Return update

On 1 March the Ministry paid the latest instalment of ECE operational funding to licenced early learning services that submitted their RS7 Return on or before 9 February.

Services that submitted their RS7 Return after 9 February, but before 5 March, will receive funding on Monday 22 March.

If you need to amend your data or if you have submitted late, there is further information on our website.

Electronic funding notices 

We advised you in the bulletin that was published on 23 February 2021, that from 1 March 2021 you would be able to access your funding notices electronically through the Secure Data Portal. 

50% of service providers were provisioned with access in time for the 1 March 2021 funding round. 

Thank you to all those who have completed the Education Sector Logon (ESL) form and have been set up with access to the Secure Data Portal.  We have developed a Secure Data Portal access guide which contains the link to the Secure Data Portal as well as instructions on how to access the Secure Data Portal.

SDP access guide [PDF, 277KB]

As part of the goal for the Ministry of Education to become paperless, we are now aiming for all services to have access to the Secure Data Portal and their electronic funding notices in time for the 1 July 2021 funding round. We will not post paper copies of funding notices from this date. 

For those services who are not yet set up we will send out reminder emails to your funding contact about what they need to do to gain access to the Secure Data Portal. To ensure that we can get your service set up in time, please make sure that your funding contact details are up to date by contacting your local office if there has been a change.

If you haven’t heard from us, feel free to complete an ESL39 and send the completed form back to us at [email protected].

ESL39 form [PDF, 177KB]
 
For further information about the Secure Data Portal and accessing electronic funding notices you can contact us at [email protected]

Funding and COVID-19 alert levels – Friendly Reminder

Funding arrangements at Alert Level 3 – Auckland Region
From Sunday 28 February to Sunday 7 March 2021, services (including home-based services) can use the EC12 exemption for permanently enrolled children who have been absent. Funding cannot be claimed for children who are no longer enrolled.

You do not need to complete an EC12 form for children, but you will need to follow the process outlined in your Student Management System (SMS) to apply this exemption.

Remember that at Alert Level 3, you may also use the Emergency Closure (EC) code in your SMS to retain funding for any day you are not able to open. You do not need to apply to the Ministry for approval for these emergency closures.

Funding arrangements at Alert Level 2 – Auckland Region
From Sunday 7 March to the end of Alert Level 2 (date unknown at this stage) services in the Auckland Region, (including home-based services) can use the EC12 exemption for permanently enrolled children who do not attend the service.  Funding cannot be claimed for children who are no longer enrolled.

You do not need to complete an EC12 form for all children, but you will need to follow the process outlined in your Student Management System (SMS) to apply this exemption. 

Funding arrangements at Alert Level 2 – Rest of New Zealand
From Sunday 28 February to Sunday 7 March 2021 services, (including home-based services) can use the EC12 exemption for permanently enrolled children who do not attend the service. Funding cannot be claimed for children who are no longer enrolled.

You do not need to complete an EC12 form for all children, but you will need to follow the process outlined in your Student Management System (SMS) to apply this exemption. 

Funding arrangements at Alert Level 1 – effective from 0600 hours on Sunday 7 March 2021 return to normal. 

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at [email protected] for further advice or support.

Financial Reporting due 30 June 2021

Licensed early learning services that have received income of over $80,000 (including GST) from the Ministry of Education during the financial year ending 2020 and that have operated for a full financial year, need to submit audited financial statements along with a copy of the Declaration Form to: 

Resourcing Division, 
Ministry of Education, 
PO Box 1666, 
Wellington 6140 

or 

email [email protected] by 30 June 2021. 

A reminder of the financial reporting requirements are outlined here on our website.

Financial reporting requirements for licenced early childhood educations services [PDF, 100KB]

Heads up

Talking together, Te kōrerorero oral language tool – hard copy resources 

New hard copy resources are available to give kaiako another way to engage with content in the online oral language tool Talking together, Te kōrerorero. Distribution of resource packs to early learning services began on 1 March, including a book, intentional teaching practice conversation cards and a self-assessment tool. 

You may have already received the new resources, or your pack should be arriving soon. Copies of Talking together, Te kōrerorero resources can also be ordered from Down the Back of the Chair or downloaded from Te Whāriki Online, the Ministry’s portal for kaiako working in the early learning curriculum.

Down the Back of the Chair website
Talking together | Te kōrerorero – Te Whāriki Online website

Survey on the stocktake of early learning resources

CORE Education Tātai aho Rau is currently undertaking a stocktake of existing and relevant early childhood education (ECE) wellbeing associated curriculum content and resources that the ECE sector refers to and uses in their work with tamariki.

Strictly thinking about curriculum content and resources, we are seeking your responses to help us identify:

  • Wellbeing associated resources you use in your work with tamariki
  • Any gaps (non-existent, outdate, and/or under-resourced) in the available curriculum content and resources – what curriculum content and resources are needed by the sector now, and in the long term in order to effectively support children’s wellbeing?

Findings from this survey will be used to feed into advice for future resources development in the Wellbeing space.

To participate in the survey, please see the link below.

Early Years Wellbeing Stocktake Survey (surveymonkey.com)

Survey will close on the 12th of March 2021.

Access to family violence services

The Family Services Directory lists information about family support organisations and the services/programmes they offer to support New Zealand families. It can be searched by area and topic and may be useful if you are looking for support with family violence issues. 
 
If you want local family violence or sexual violence services, or are seeking advice about what action to take, you can call any of the helplines below. They will provide information for helpers and referrals to local services and can also give options for what you can do as a helper. Calls can be anonymous. 

  • Are You OK family violence helpline – 0800456450 
  • Safe to Talk sexual harm helpline – 0800044334, text 4334, email [email protected]  

Anyone can call Police family harm managers or Oranga Tamariki phonelines to get advice about a situation, even if they suspect but are unsure, and they don’t have to give personal details or make a report of concern.