MoE Update – 1 September 2021

Information supplied from Ministry of Education on 1 September 2021.  

1 September 2021
Early Learning Bulletin 1 September 2021

Message from the Secretary for Education

Ngā mihi o te ahiahi

Alongside your queries, I’ve received some truly humbling emails from you over the last couple of weeks expressing gratitude to Ministry staff. Thank you for your kind words, they are so valued.

I want to acknowledge those of you in Auckland and Northland who remain in Alert Level 4. You’re doing a tremendous job. Please know you have our full support.

To those of you in the remainder of New Zealand, I am aware that the move today into Alert Level 3 has required considerable planning and effort. We will continue to support you as you navigate the alert level change and provide regular guidance.

Kia ū, all the best

Recently updated advice for Early Learning Services:

In today’s bulletin:

  • Alert Level 3 funding change for quality-funded home-based services
  • Clarification – using the text tool Mataara for attendance data
  • First Aid qualifications
  • Education Gazette: a digital edition

Alert Level 3 funding change for quality-funded home-based services

From 1 January 2021, quality-funded home-based services have needed to maintain a certain percentage of qualified educators on their licence. Generally, educators can only count towards this percentage if they are ‘active’, that is, providing education and care in a given week.

However, while a region is under Alert Level 3 all educators on the licence with children enrolled to attend will be considered ‘active’ for the purposes of calculating the percentage qualification requirements, whether the children attend or not.

This change is to support the public health measures at Alert Level 3 that encourage children to continue to stay at home in their family bubble if possible, and to help these home-based services to remain eligible for quality funding.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact [email protected]

Clarification – using the text tool Mataara for attendance data

For those of you south of the Auckland boundary, who are the emergency contact person for your service or multiple services, you will receive a further text message on Thursday, 2 September asking you to provide the number of children that attended your service(s) on Wednesday, 1 September. The number this message will come from is 8707.

For clarity:

  • If you are the emergency contact for one centre, please provide the actual attendance for that site
  • If you are the emergency contact for multiple sites, please provide the total number of children attending in all the centres you are responsible for.
  • Please reply with a single number using digits (not a range) and no words

No other information or context is required in the text. We have your emergency contact details recorded against the centres you are responsible for.

A reminder that emergency contacts should be someone who would normally be onsite during the service’s operating hours.

Home-based services and playcentres do not need to reply.
Mataara emergency contact tool

First Aid qualifications

The Secretary for Education has been given powers to act to mitigate some practical effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on situations where there may be difficulties complying with regulatory requirements because of the restrictions in place over this time.

In recognition of the difficulty in accessing first aid refresher training courses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary has exercised this power to allow a recently expired first aid certificate to be considered current/valid for the purposes of first aid requirements in the licensing criteria (HS25 for centre-based services and kōhanga reo; HS 22 for home-based services). 

This extended recognition applies to first aid certificates that expired on or after 1 August 2021 and is in force for 3 months (1 December 2021). 

Service providers do not need to contact the Ministry for approval to access this exemption, however they must attest in writing to the current first aid knowledge of these staff and retain this documentation. 

For home-based services there is already leeway of 4 months for new educators to gain a first aid qualification if access to first aid training is limited due to circumstances beyond the service provider’s control. The service provider must also ensure that staff have knowledge of first aid and keep a record of the actions taken by the service provider.

Education Gazette: a digital edition

Due to Alert Level 4 restrictions, we were regrettably unable to print and distribute Issue 11 of Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero this week as planned. 

However, you can access the digital version of Issue 11 here, which includes the latest articles, videos and podcasts, as well as links to vacancies and notices.

Issue 11 takes you on a journey through partnerships, events and activities that are enhancing learning in early learning services, schools and kura, particularly around sport, hauora, and diversity and inclusion. 

If you’re looking for content relating to remote learning and wellbeing, the Gazette has published a lot over the past 18 months. These have been highlighted in Issue 11.