8 July 2021

Clarification to the update regarding Group Supervision

Following on from the latest Bulletin, here is some further information about the recent update to the Funding Handbook and changes to Group Supervision Requirements for Standard Funding. If you have any further questions, please contact your Regional Office.

Why was this change brought into place?

This change is the first step in Playcentre Aotearoa working with MoE to co-design our funding model. Previously the full Group Supervision Requirements for Standard Funding were in the Funding Handbook, making them enforceable by MoE. Playcentre was the only service type to have these qualifications listed in the handbook. The edit to the handbook removes the oversight and control of group supervision from the MoE and gives it back to Playcentre. It will also mean that many centres currently on provisional licenses or running unfunded sessions will now be able to resume fully licensed and funded sessions while we support them to continue to engage in Playcentre Education.

While this change brings a huge relief to many of our Playcentre whānau, we know it does not relieve the pressure from all of our centres. We will continue to work with the MoE to co-design our funding model and make running licensed sessions easier for all Playcentres.

What is the change?

Previously the Funding Handbook stated:

‘For each session, all Playcentres must:

  • Ensure that at least one person takes the role of person responsible and holds a recognised qualification(external link), and
  • ensure that the group of adults supervising children collectively meet one of the qualification options for group supervision specified in this chapter, and
  • use a supervision plan approved by Playcentre Aotearoa, and
  • have no more than 30 children attending, and
  • have a maximum adult:child ratio of 1:5, and
  • ensure that all children under 2 and a half years of age are accompanied by a parent or caregiver.’

This highlighted section in red has been removed and the Group Supervision Requirements for Standard Funding are no longer published in the handbook. All other conditions remain the same, including those for Quality Funding.

What is a Person Responsible?

The Early Childhood Regulations define Person Responsible in a licensed centre as: ‘1 or more persons nominated for the purpose by the service provider; being persons who are directly involved in, and primarily responsible for, the day-to-day education and care, comfort, and health and safety of the children.’

In a Playcentre context, the person responsible works alongside a group of kaiako to provide the care and education for tamariki on site. While this person may bring a greater depth of knowledge and experience of ECE than other kaiako, the group collective shares the responsibility for ensuring that the needs of tamariki are met and sessions are run effectively.

Who can be a Person Responsible?

The full list of recognised qualifications for Person Responsible can be found in the Education Gazette notice published 19 February 2020. For qualifications issued by Playcentre (Course 3,4,5,6 or the Level 4 NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care), these are verified internally. Where a member or employee has an external qualification, they need to send a copy of their qualification, proof of ID and any change of name documents through to your region’s funding email for verification prior to being added to the Supervision Plan.

Upper North Island – [email protected]

Central North Island – [email protected]

Lower North Island – [email protected]

Upper South Island – [email protected]

Lower South Island – [email protected]

Do we still need a supervision plan?

Yes. As per the Funding Handbook, all centres must use a supervision plan approved by Playcentre Aotearoa. This ensures that you are working to Group Supervision requirements, ratios are correct, and first aid is sufficient to cover all of your sessions.

Please follow your regional processes to submit your term 3 plan. Expect to see updated forms and processes coming out in time for term 4.

Do we still need to have other qualifications holders on session with the person responsible?

Yes, currently to meet Group Supervision Requirements centres should continue to have other qualifications on session. This ensures we are holding to our constitution and philosophy of emergent leadership and cooperative practices, as well as ensuring that our tamariki experience quality sessions. Playcentre Aotearoa still has work to do around revising the criteria of what “Group Supervision” will look like moving forward. The national team will build criteria in consultation with both Governance and Operations as this has impacts for all aspects of our organisation.

Where a centre is unable to meet the current Group Supervision requirements, their Supervision Plan can be provisionally approved. Staff will then work alongside the centre to implement an action plan and timeline to increase engagement in Playcentre Education and work towards meeting Playcentre Group Supervision Requirements.

Should people still enrol in the PIA/PEA?

Yes! The value that Playcentre Education brings to our sessions spans so much more than just funding. Kaiako learn about children’s development and learning, positive guidance strategies, ideas for play and so much more. It also opens up wider opportunities for their lifelong learning journey in terms of personal development and career pathways. You can read more about the benefits of Playcentre Education here. As a centre it is also important to plan for how you will continue to provide quality sessions for tamariki into the future. 

We kindly ask that all students complete the modules they have already started even if the funding handbook change means that this may not be needed for licensing.  Our future TEC funding is reliant on high module completions, and completing what you have started will ensure that future whānau have access to a funded Playcentre Education programme.

 Please click here to read a parent’s view on the value of education.

What are the minimum number of adults we have to have on session for it to go ahead?

To ensure the safety of both adults and tamariki on session, we must have at least two adults on site during licensed hours. Supervision Plans would require at least two regularly rostered adults for every session. Please contact the Regional Office for guidance and approval if you are unable to meet the Education levels approved in your Supervision Plan, as we need to be sure that the session still meets all other funding and licensing criteria.

If we only have 1-2 children on site, should we run the session or cancel?

As long as you have at least two adults on site, including a First Aider and a Person Responsible, then you can claim funding for the children present as well as any absences.

When should we apply for discretionary funding? Only when our person responsible is away?

If your centre is unable to meet the education levels in your approved supervision plan, then please contact the Regional Office following the usual discretionary process in your region. Staff will then determine if approval needs to be given by MoE, or if internal approval is sufficient, and process these. 

Can we cancel/change our employment needs?

It may be that there is no need to change existing staffing in a centre, however where a centre thinks they may need to consider this, please contact your RSL in the first instance, who will guide your centre through the process. Together we will look at the centre’s long-term ability to meet licensing requirements and work with the centre to find the best outcome.