he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga
Update – 18 August 2022

18 August 2022
he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga
Update – 18 August 2022

18 August 2022

Tēnā koutou i tēnei ahiahi,

Severe weather has returned and we know this will make it difficult for many of you.

The West Coast, Nelson-Tasman and Buller regions have been hit particularly hard, including slips, road closures and flooding, while some homes have had to be evacuated.

Heavy rain warnings are in place for Northland | Te Tai Tokerau, Tāmaki Makaurau and Great Barrier Island.

It may be impossible, or unsafe to attend early learning services in some cases.

As always, safety is the priority, so please take care of yourself and the community.

Don’t hesitate to contact your regional Te Mahau office for help.

Ngā manaakitanga,


Applications open for Early Reading Together®

Early learning services, puna reo, kōhanga reo and playgroups can apply for funding to deliver Early Reading Together®.

Early Reading Together® is a strengths-based, literacy intervention that supports parents and whānau to learn strategies to positively support their children’s reading at home. It runs over three workshops (1 hour 15 minutes in length).

The programme has the same strong basis in research evidence as Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi and provides a solid foundation for literacy development for pre-schoolers and five-year-olds.

Reading Together® and Early Reading Together® – Te Kete Ipurangi

How to apply

To start the process, request an application form by emailing reading.together@education.govt.nz.

Applications are open until 31 March 2023. Applicants will have 10 weeks to deliver the programme if their application is successful.

For more information, visit the Early Reading Together® website:

Early Reading Together ® programme – The Biddulph Group

Network management priorities announced

As previously advised, from 1 February 2023 anyone wanting to operate a new licensed early childhood service will need to apply for network management approval from the Minister of Education before applying for a licence.

The network management process is intended to ensure high-quality, diverse and sustainable early learning provision that meets the needs of communities across Aotearoa New Zealand. It is part of the Government’s wider Early Learning Action Plan.

Early Learning Action Plan released – Ministry of Education

The Government has also said it would signal the areas it wants to prioritise for network approval and, following public consultation, those priorities have now been announced.

We consulted on the first ten priorities, which all received high support from the sector. As a result of the valuable feedback we got, the Government added the further priority of ‘wrap around services’.

Meeting a ‘priority’ is not a pre-requisite for receiving network approval. Other factors, such as meeting forecast demand or specific community or parent need, are also considered.

For example, a service opening up in an underserved community could still gain network approval despite not meeting a priority. However, if two similar services apply for network approval in the same area, the one that more closely meets the Government priorities is more likely to be approved.




Māori bilingual and immersion services (that are not excluded from the requirement to seek network management approval*)  

Services where te reo Māori is used at least 51% of the time as a medium of instruction.  

Hapū/iwi-owned services  

Services that are majority owned by hapū or iwi.  

Services with a distinct Māori identity and culture  

Services that have a distinct Māori identity and use Māori cultural practices and values that inform the service provision.  

Pacific bilingual and immersion services  

Services where a Pacific language is used at least 51% of the time as a medium of instruction.  

Pacific language and/or cultural services  

Services that have distinct Pacific identities, cultural practices, languages, and values that inform the service provision.  

Language immersion services (non-English/Māori/Pacific)  

Services where a language other than English, Māori or a Pacific language is used at least 51% of the time as a medium of instruction.  

Services well-equipped for learning support needs  

Services with a particular focus on providing services and support to children with a range of learning support needs.  

Services well-equipped for migrants and former refugees  

Services that are well-equipped for supporting children and communities with migrant and/or refugee backgrounds.  

Services planned to operate on a new school site  

Services that are planned to operate on a newly built school site in growth areas or adjacent to growth areas.  

Organisations funded by Targeted Assistance for Participation (TAP)  

A transitional priority that covers any organisation that already has funding approved through TAP prior to network management commencing on 1 February 2023 as set out in the bill.  

Wrap around services

Early childhood services which are set up to facilitate access to other social services, including health and family support alongside early childhood education.  

* Kohanga reo and other Māori immersion services are excluded from needing to apply for network management.

Hei Raukura Mō te Mokopuna draft and Literacy and Communications & Maths action plans launched

Last week we launched the draft action plan for ‘Hei Raukura Mō te Mokopuna’ and the ‘Literacy & Communication and Maths’ action plans. These plans outline the actions needed to better support the teaching and learning for kaiako and tamariki over the next few years.

Realising the vision of each strategy is dependent on collaboration with you and other sector experts.

We will also be working with you to ensure that the actions support and align with other work already underway to support you and our tamariki in kōhanga reo and early learning.  

We’ll be implementing these changes over time and supporting you throughout the process. 

Find out more and read the action plans here: 

Hei Raukura Mō te Mokopuna draft action plan – Kauwhata Reo 

Literacy & Communication and Maths Action Plans – Ministry of Education 

If you have queries on the action plans, contact:

Hei Raukura Mō te Mokopuna: Whakahou.marautanga@education.govt.nz.

Literacy & Communications and Maths strategy: Literacy.communication.maths@education.govt.nz.

Changes to the funding settings

Given the ongoing challenges the sector is facing, we have introduced quality rate funding protections and extended the Playgroups Notional Roll scheme.

Protection of funding bands for quality rate services and kōhanga reo

Quality-funding protections have been extended for home-based services, ngā kōhanga reo and playcentres. Services that were on the quality rate on 1 June 2022 will remain on the quality rate for the June to September 2022 period.

From 1 October 2022, a new funding period will begin and the usual rules will apply.

Playgroup notional roll funding

We are extending the Playgroups Notional Roll scheme to help playgroups manage low attendance while we are under the Orange traffic light setting.

For the 1 July to 31 December funding period, if your roll has declined you can use the average number of children attending from the previous period when claiming funding.

Playgroups can access this provision up until 31 December, even in the event of a switch to Green traffic light setting prior to 31 December.

You can contact your local Te Mahau office to discuss your playgroup’s funding:

Local Te Mahau offices – Ministry of Education

Clarification: Funding band protection

A service’s funding band protection will be assessed using the final funding band used during the July 2022 funding round.

This means a service whose funding band was protected during the July 2022 funding round will be no lower than their July 2022 protected funding band.

Funding round examples:

March 2022

July 2022

November 2022

Certificated SHC%: 85%

Certificated SHC%: 75%

Certificated SHC%: 72%

Funding band: 80–99%

Protected funding band: 80–99%

Protected funding band: 80–99%

Further information

For further information on these and other funding settings go to our website:

Funding settings under the new traffic light system – Te Mahau

Provision of RAT kits

Just a reminder that for the majority of early learning services, once you have exhausted your Ministry supply of rapid antigen test (RAT) kits you will need to advise symptomatic staff and parents of children enrolled in your service to get a kit from a community collection point.

You cannot order bulk supplies of RAT kits for your early learning service from these collection points.

Further information about rapid antigen tests is available on our website:

Rapid antigen tests – Te Mahau

Returning to an early learning service following illness

Some of the wording provided in the winter wellness guidance we provided in our 4 August bulletin didn’t differentiate clearly between respiratory illness and stomach bugs.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that the guidance for returning to early learning service/education facilities following vomiting or diarrhoea has not changed. If a child is free of those symptoms for 48 hours, they can attend again.

We have updated the winter wellness guidance for parents, caregivers and whānau to reflect the following points:

  • If a child has been unwell with a respiratory illness other than COVID-19, they can return to their early learning service 24 hours after they have significantly improved and are behaving/eating normally.
  • Following vomiting or diarrhoea, a child should be symptom free for 48 hours before they can return.
  • If they still have a runny nose or dry cough without any other symptoms such as a fever, vomiting or diarrhoea, then they are unlikely to be infectious and can be considered well enough to attend their early learning service.
  • In general, a doctor’s certificate or clearance should not have to be provided for a child to go back to their early learning service after being unwell.

To read our winter wellness advice go to:

Winter wellness guide for tamariki [DOCX, 27KB]


Earlier versions of He Pānui Kōhungahunga:

View all previous issues of He Pānui Kōhungahunga here