EARLY EDUCATION FEDERATION
Annual Report 2015/2016
Planning and prioritising
Focus on “quality” in ECE
In 2014 during the review of the Federation’s strategic plan, the Council agreed to promote debate, throughout the sector, on the definition of quality in ECE, with the intention of moving the focus more toward quality and less toward participation. Delegates agreed to begin by investigating and establishing the current government’s definition of “quality”. Sandra Collings from the Education Review Office was invited to the June 2015 Council meeting to discuss the definition of quality. The need for a shift in focus was further highlighted in early August by the release of a report from ERO – “Infants and toddlers: competent and confident communicators and explorers.” This report identified room for improvements to be made in services that cater for infants and toddlers in the areas of curriculum, relationships, assessment, environment and self review.
The Federation then invited Karin Dalgleish (Acting Group Manager – ECE) to attend the September 2015 Council meeting. At this meeting delegates discussed the findings of the report on infants and toddlers with Karin and how the Ministry saw its role in improving quality.
Review of Federation’s purpose and strategic goals
At the September 2015 Council meeting, delegates agreed to review the Federation’s purpose and strategic goals. During November, a sub group carried out a survey of members views and reported the results to the December meeting. As a result a new purpose statement and a single strategic goal were agreed.
Purpose: “We are a unified advocate for children’s rights to quality early childhood education.”
Strategic Goal: “To provide a platform to debate issues of current interest and importance to the early childhood education sector.”
Focus for 2015/2016
In March, using the new purpose and strategic goal as a base, delegates discussed strategic actions for the year ahead.
It was agreed that the Federation would host a forum event in 2016 at which the sector would be invited to come together to debate a definition of quality, in the lead up to the 2017 Election.
Other issues identified as important to focus on for year included: Education Act Review, the MoE Te Whāriki refresh, and the Funding Review.
Education Act Update
The Federation wrote a submission on the Education Act Update in December 2015. The main issues addressed in the submission were: education goals and the process for setting national priorities, cohort entry to school proposal, Communities of Learning, governance collaboration, compulsory attendance for 5 year olds once they start school, planning for local education provision.
Te Whāriki refresh
Members followed the process of the development of a revised early childhood curriculum document this year with keen interest. They have shared reactions to the draft which was released by the Ministry in November. Further discussion on the content and the consultation process will be an important part of the December 2016 Council meeting.
Planning for forum event 2016 – Visioning the Future
A planning group was set up at the March Council meeting. This group met and developed a plan which they presented to the June meeting. It was agreed that the proposed outcome of the forum would be to have a consistent message to put to political parties and voters in the lead up to the 2017 Election. The Federation decided it would use the forum to promote a forward looking approach with a long term vision, within the sector. In August however, due to the tight timeframe and difficulties in finalising speakers and panellists, it was agreed that the forum would be postposed until mid 2017.
In March the Council agreed to update the website. The purpose was to improve the look of the website, clarify the purpose and goals of the Federation but also to update it so that information about current Federation events could be posted easily and to allow registrations via the website. Anyware Marketing was contracted to do the work. This was completed in August.
Federation’s Key ECE Policy Priorities
At the September 2016 meeting delegates agreed to develop a new set of Key ECE Policy Priorities. Work is currently underway on these. Once agreed, they will be distributed throughout the sector and to politicians, with the intention of meeting with politicians in early 2017, to discuss them.
Review of Constitution and Membership Policy
The Constitutional Objects were reviewed and other proposed changes were made to the Constitution and Membership Policy during the year. These will be put to the Annual General Meeting in December for approval. They are intended to bring the Constitution and policies in line with the new purpose and goals. Other amendments are intended to clarify the process for becoming a member and to define the responsbilities of membership.
The following organisations were members of the Federation during this year:
- Barnardos New Zealand
- Bethlehem Tertiary Institute
- Christian Early Childhood Education Association of Aotearoa
- Early Intervention Association of Aotearoa/NZ
- Federation of Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Schools in NZ
- Hospital Play Specialists Association of Aotearoa/NZ
- National Association of ECE Directors in Universities
- NZEI – Te Riu Roa
- NZ Home-based Early Childhood Education Association
- NZ Kindergartens – Te Putahi Kura Puhou o Aotearoa
- NZ Playcentre Federation
- Te Aho O Te Kura Pounamu/The Correspondence School
- Te Rito Maioha – Early Childhood New New Zealand
- Te Wānanga o Aotearoa
- The Open Polytechnic NZ
- World Organisation for Early Childhood Education OMEP Aotearoa/NZ
EC Leadership did not renew their membership for the 2015/2016 year.
Council members were elected for the year at the Annual General Meeting on the 3rd of September 2015. Delegates who attended meetings as representatives of the Federation member organisations during the year were:
- BTI – Phillip Ozanne
- CECEAA – Thelma Chapman
- EIAANZ – Maureen Corby, Trish Benge and Susan Foster-Cohen
- FRSWSNZ – Karen Affleck
- HPSANZ – Marianne Kayes
- NA of ECED – Sue Cherrington
- NZEI/TRR – Charmaine Thomson, Fiona McKay, Sally Wooller and Jo Young
- NZHECEA – Heather Fuimaono
- NZK – Amy Beliveau, Clare Wells and Jacinta Blank
- NZPF – Viv Butcher, Alaine Tamati–Aubrey and Susan Bailey
- TAoTKP/TCS – Ros West and Annie Malir
- TRM/ECNZ – Sophie Hamiltion and Arapera Witehira
- TWOA – Tracey Mansell, Cindy Wills, Carol Palmer, Ani Tuheke and Patti Howarth
- The Open Polytechnic – Liz Everiss, Ana Pickering and Sonja Rosewarne
- OMEP A/NZ – Deborah Wansbrough and Jayne Franklin
Council Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.
At the Annual General Meeting in September 2015 Thelma Chapman was elected as the Chairperson and Amy Beliveau was elected as the Deputy Chairperson for the 2016 year. Any however resigned at the end of 2015 and Ana Pickering was elected to replace her at the December Council meeting. Ana resigned as a delegate early in 2016 and a replacement was not found.
Four meetings of the Council were held during the year, one in September, and in December 2015, one in March and in June 2016 to coincide with the Ministry’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) meetings.
Guests at meetings over the year included:
Karin Dalgleish – Ministry of Education – Acting Group Manager – ECE
Sarah Te One – Chairperson – Action for Youth and Children Aotearoa (AYCA)
Kaeli Bunt – GentlePC – re website plan
ACYA shadow report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Sarah Te One, Chairperson of Action for Youth and Children Aotearoa (AYCA) attended the December Council meeting as a guest speaker. Sarah spoke about the report ACYA was developing to present to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “The State of the Nation: connecting children to the seat of power”. Sarah wanted to canvass views of Federation members for a series of supplementary papers to go alongside the report.
Karin Dalgleish – Ministry of Education – Acting Group Manager – ECE
The Federation invited Karin Dalgleish to attend the September 2015 Council meeting. Karin updated delegates on recent restructuring within the Ministry of Education and discussed the Ministry’s current thinking and planning for improving quality in the sector with delegates.
Other issues discussed at Council meetings
Delegates shared information and views about a number of issues at Council meetings and via email throughout the year:
- Education Act Update – content and consultation process
- New safety checking requirements
- The new Food Act
- Tick for Kids campaign
- Children’s Action Plan Directorate – core competencies for children’s workforce.
- Communities of Learning
- MoE Funding Review progress
- Education Legislation Bill
- NZEI/MoE Joint Initiative
- MoE Special Education Review
- Te Whāriki Refresh
- ERO’s new Strategic Direction
- OECD Early Learning Assessment Project
- MoE Early Learning Taskforce
- Education Council of Aotearoa/NZ – Strategic plan “Our Path to the Future”.
- MoE Digital Technology Reference Group
- New Ministry for Vulnerable Children/Oranga Tamariki
- Support for Te Wananga o Aotearoa delegates re establishing Māori representation at ECAC
- ERO Publication “The Early Learning Years”
The Secretary continued to send out regular memos and emails reporting on outcomes of meetings, notifying members of upcoming meetings and issues for discussion between meetings.
During the strategic planning session in December 2015, delegates discussed the Federation’s role as a conduit or clearing house for information and news. The sharing of news, events, research, ideas and links etc. was seen as a valuable role for the Federation.
A new approach to disseminating and sharing information was trialled this year. From March 2016 the Secretary collected and collated information and news items into a regular News Update. These Updates were then been posted on the Federation website.