he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga
Issue 86

20 July 2023
he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga

Issue 86
20 July 2023

Kia ora koutou

I hope you were able to take the opportunity over Matariki to reflect, recharge and connect with friends and whānau.

As we head into the new lunar year, I want to acknowledge the importance of the mahi you do to teach and take care of our youngest tamariki.

Ngā mihi maioha


2023 annual ECE census update

Thank you to services who have completed their ECE census for the week of 13 to 19 June (the month of June for playgroups).

We are aware of technical issues affecting some services and are investigating these. Extensions have been granted for affected services.

Playgroups, casual and hospital-based services that are not connected to ELI have been emailed a link to complete their census return via an online survey. If you have not received this link, contact us at ece.statistics@education.govt.nz. Please ensure your June attendance data has been confirmed.

We will continue to contact services who have data quality issues with their submission. If you receive an email from us, complete the steps as soon as possible.

Your ECE census information is important to us. We use this information to monitor and forecast ECE expenditure and design new policies.

If you have any questions, email ece.statistics@education.govt.nz.

More information on the census is available on our website:

ECE census – Ministry of Education

Work underway on new 20 Hours ECE funding conditions

Budget 2023 introduced changes to 20 Hours ECE by providing an additional $885 million over four years to extend the subsidy to two-year-olds and $301 million to increase the subsidy rate by 4.6%.

This additional funding was accompanied by new funding conditions, which will require services that are opted into 20 Hours ECE to: 

  • set any fees by the hour for two to five-year-old children (as opposed to daily or weekly) – and show 20 Hours ECE hours as $0 per hour.
  • publicly promulgate their fees 
  • provide us with fee schedule data. 

These changes take effect from 1 March 2024.

We are currently finalising the required changes to the Funding Handbook, which we expect to complete by the end of July. The Funding Handbook changes cannot be formally published until they come into effect (1 March 2024), but we will make them available on our website for people to view in advance as soon as they are ready.

We have been discussing these matters with the Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) and have agreed to convene a sector technical advisory group to help prepare a guidance document on the 20 Hours ECE changes. This work should begin in August.

Centrally funded workforce wellbeing package extended

Temporary wellbeing support services to support the education sector through the COVID-19 pandemic have been extended. These include Gold Star and Employment Assistance Programme (EAP) counselling support.  

Gold Star, an interactive online tool that can be accessed any time, will continue until June 2024.

EAP counselling support has been extended until December 2023.

Please ensure your staff are aware both supports are available to all staff at early learning centres (including Kōhanga Reo), kindergartens, playcentres and home-based services. More information can be found at:

Workforce wellbeing package – Te Mahau

Digital early learning child protection resource

In 2021, alongside Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand and Safeguarding Children, we developed a free digital child protection resource specifically for the early learning sector.

The resource will help build awareness and confidence in:

  • recognising, responding to and reporting suspected child abuse and neglect
  • working with whānau and tamariki in a culturally responsive way
  • implementing policies to embed a culture of child protection.

If you haven’t already, we encourage staff working in the early learning sector to access this tool to help build confidence in being able to support the wellbeing of tamariki.

Accessing the resource

The resource can be accessed using your education sector login. Once you have logged in, go to browse training, select modules, then select ECE teaching resources.  

Education learning management system login – Ministry of Education

If you do not have an existing login you can contact our training services team at Training.Services@education.govt.nz to set one up. To do this you will need to provide them with the following information:

  • Your first and last name
  • The name of the organisation you work for
  • Your email address (noting that this must be an individual email address, not a generic email used by multiple staff).

Annual plans and National Education and Learning Priorities

We have recently updated the guidance pages on our website and the annual plan template to include the National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP), which are available here:

Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services – Ministry of Education

Licensing criteria for home-based ECE services – Ministry of Education

Licensing criteria for hospital-based ECE services – Ministry of Education

Early Reading Together®: Applications now open

Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi is a strengths-based series of workshops for parents and whānau to support their children’s reading at home. Families taking part in Reading Together® will also receive sets of books to read with their children and practice the strategies they learned from the workshops.

Interested in offering Early Reading Together® in 2023/24?

Applications for funding are now open. Early learning services will have 10 weeks to deliver the programme if their application is successful. 

Email reading.together@education.govt.nz to find out more and apply.

Stopping the spread of winter illness

Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand has provided information to help prevent the spread of illnesses within our communities.

To protect your staff and the tamariki in your care from the spread of respiratory infections this winter, it is important that you follow infection prevention measures and that you support your staff and the people who enter your facilities to do the same. 

The measures can be found at this link:

Infection prevention and control guidance for education sector managers [PDF, 165 KB]

Sign up for ENGAGE

Early learning services are invited to express their interest to participate in ENGAGE, an evidence-based programme that supports children to develop their self-regulation skills through play.

ENGAGE is delivered by a team of trained facilitators and includes:

  • interactive training workshops for teachers to customise ENGAGE for each learning environment and support self-regulation and classroom behaviour
  • access to ENGAGE games and resources
  • classroom coaching visits and ongoing support from ENGAGE facilitators
  • ongoing professional development and train-the-trainer opportunities and networking with other early learning services delivering ENGAGE.

Methodist Mission Southern has been funded to deliver ENGAGE over the next four years (ending 30 June 2027). For the first year, it will be delivered in the following regions:

  • Auckland
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū
  • Otago/Southland.

By the second year, Methodist Mission Southern aims to be delivering ENGAGE in every region.

Email enquiries@engageplay.co.nz for more information or to register. Or sign up through a survey at:

Registration for ENGAGE – Surveymonkey