ECAC minutes March 2019

The Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) met on 6 March 2019, 9am to 2pm at Mātauranga House, Wellington.


ECAC members

  • Nicola Woollaston, Hospital Play Specialists Association of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Peter Reynolds, Early Childhood Council
  • Susan Foster-Cohen, Early Intervention Association Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Keith Newton, Barnardos New Zealand
  • Sandie Burn, NZEI Te Riu Roa
  • Raewyn Overton-Stuart, Home Early Learning Organisation
  • Virgina Simmonds, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu
  • Melody Stuckey, Christian Early Childhood Education Association of Aotearoa
  • Hellen Puhipuhi, Pasifika Advisory Group
  • Arapera Royal-Tangaere, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
  • Angus Hartley, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust
  • Jill Bond, New Zealand Kindergartens Inc
  • Penelope Janes, New Zealand Homebased Early Childhood Education Association
  • Calmar Ulberg, Early Childhood Leadership
  • Charmaine Thomson, NZEI Te Riu Roa
  • Sean McKinley, New Zealand Playcentre Federation
  • Juvena Jalal, The Federation of Rudolf Steiner Schools
  • Cathy Wilson, Montessori Aotearoa NZ
  • Sandra Collins, Education Review Office
  • Jayne Franklin, Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand

Ministry of Education

  • Suze Strowger, Associate Deputy Secretary, Sector Enablement and Support
  • Nancy Bell, Group Manager (acting), Early Childhood Resourcing and Operations (Chair)
  • Damian Edwards, Associate Deputy Secretary, Education System Policy
  • Siobhan Murray, Senior Manager, ECE Policy, Education System Policy
  • Amy Hunter, Senior Adviser, ECE Regulations and Planning (Secretariat)


  • Katrina Casey, Deputy Secretary, Sector Enablement and Support, Ministry of Education
  • Marianne Kayes, Hospital Play Specialists Association of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Kathy Wolfe, Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand
  • Jenny Hayes, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu
  • Susan Phua, New Zealand Homebased Early Childhood Education Association

Welcome, karakia and introductions

Nancy Bell, Ministry of Education

  • Nancy welcomed the group and Hellen Puhipuhi opened the meeting with a waiata and karakia.
  • Welcome to new members Jill Bond (NZ Kindergartens Inc), Angus Hartley (Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust), Penelope Janes (New Zealand Homebased Early Childhood Education Association), Calmar Ulberg (Early Childhood Leadership) and Virginia Simmonds (Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu).
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

Apologies, minutes, actions and subgroup reports

Katrina Casey, Ministry of Education

Apologies, minutes, actions and subgroup reports have been circulated by email.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
 Not applicable    

Education Review Office update

Sandra Collins, Manager, Education Review Office

From 1 March 2019 ERO are removing return times from their reviews and moving to a new way of determining their annual schedule for reviews in schools and early learning services.

  • For early learning services ERO will continue to use the current judgements (Not well placed, Requires further development, Well placed and Very well placed) until the new methodology for Education Reviews has been developed.

ERO has started introducing Assurance Reviews as part of the wider Quality Framework. Assurance Reviews sit within ERO’s accountability function.

  • The Assurance Reviews assess if a service has taken reasonable steps to meet regulatory requirements. ERO is trialling this approach in a sample of centre-based services (not including kōhanga reo, hospital-based or home-based services) between March – June 2019.
  • ERO’s Assurance Review trial may include services:
    • having a first ERO review
    • previously identified as ‘not well placed’
    • that have moved from a provisional to a full licence
    • that have had a change of management licence assessment.
  • As part of the Assurance Review process, ERO makes one of the following judgements. At the time of the review, ERO:
    • found the service was taking reasonable steps to meet regulatory standards; or
    • identified non-compliance with regulatory standards that must be addressed; or
    • identified significant areas of non-compliance with regulatory standards that are an unacceptable risk to children.
  • ERO will seek feedback from the services included in the trial, then evaluate and refine their approach for full implementation from Term 3 2019 onwards.

Early learning draft indicators (as part of the broader Quality Framework) are expected to be ready for consultation and trialling in April 2019. Feedback from the Academic Expert Panel has been positive.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline

Share the draft 20 evaluation indicators with ECAC

Sandra Collins April 2019

OLLi Process evaluation overview

Dr Sarah Appleton-Dyer, Synergia

Oral Language and Literacy initiative (OLLi) is one of the Ministry's three investing for social wellbeing initiatives approved and funded from Budget 2017. OLLi aims to enhance the knowledge, practices and confidence of kaiako need to successfully support children’s oral language and early literacy development.

OLLi focuses on three levels of support:

  • Universal (Tier 1) - working with early learning services and their kaiako to design and evaluate a curriculum that promotes oral language as part of literacy learning and development.
  • Targeted (Tier 2) – delivering the Hanen ABC and Beyond programme to two kaiako in each early learning service. The kaiako then actively focus on developing language and literacy skills in children.
  • Specialist (Tier 3) – speech language therapists working with skilled kaiako to provide tailored support for a few children who require more specific help with language development.

Dr Sarah Appleton-Dyer from Synergia presented on the process evaluation for the OLLi initiative. Overall, the findings show the implementation has gone well so far with lessons learned identified for further improvements. The findings also support the OLLi initiative is ready for the formal outcomes evaluation.

Colmar Brunton is carrying out the formal outcomes evaluation. The evaluation includes observations and assessments of children’s oral language and pre-literacy at early learning services. Kaiako self-assessments and Early Learning Information (ELI) enrolment and attendance data form the other components of the evaluation.

ECAC members stated they want more engagement with OLLi through the OLLi advisory group, noting the group last met in June 2018.

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Send presentation out to ECAC members Secretariat ASAP
To ensure ongoing engagement for ECAC members Paul Scholey As work progresses

Ministry of Education strategic work programmes

Nancy Bell, Damian Edwards and Siobhan Murray, Ministry of Education

He taonga te tamaiti Every child a taonga, draft strategic plan for early learning - Nancy Bell:

The consultation for the draft early learning strategic plan closes on 15 March 2019. To date, 44 consultation hui have been held and attended by around 2000 people across the country. ECAC members were encouraged to provide feedback before the consultation closes.

Feedback is being evaluated by Martin Jenkins, a summary of the feedback will be discussed with the sector reference group in April 2019.

Review of Home-based Early Childhood Education - Damian Edwards and Siobhan Murray:

On 20 February 2019 Minister Hipkins announced main changes following the consultation:

Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Provide sector messaging on the qualifications and timeframe relating to the Home-based Review Siobhan Murray ASAP

Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education

The Minister referred to several strategic work programmes and invited questions. Discussion points included:

  • Draft Early Learning Strategic Plan.
  • Home-based Review.
  • Tomorrow’s Schools Review.
  • Early learning teacher supply and Education Workforce Strategy.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
No action items    

Education Workforce Strategy update

John McKeefry and Nigel Philpott, Ministry of Education

The Education Workforce Strategy (the workforce strategy) is being developed in partnership with the education sector, through a series of facilitated workshops and hui. The strategy will be developed in two streams; one for Māori medium and the other for English medium.

  • A comprehensive Education Workforce Strategy Cabinet paper including early learning, primary and secondary schooling, learning support and Māori medium is due to Cabinet by July 2019. Implementation planning is due to start from September 2019.
  • For early learning, the workforce strategy work programme will connect in with the Home-based Review, draft Early Learning Strategic Plan and the Learning Support Action Plan.
  • The next phase for the workforce strategy will be designing roles closest to the learner, the support roles required and the roles in Executive or administrative functions. Update reports on progress have been requested for ECAC going forward.
  • Data from Statistics NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) household survey is being used to build a picture of the teacher workforce in the early learning sector. Data limitations however include the inability to identify home-based educators due to their status as independent contractors.
  • The workforce data picture for the early learning sector will be finalised in April 2019.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Send the vision document to ECAC members Secretariat ASAP
Provide ongoing updates on the ECE specific workforce strategy

John McKeefry and Nigel Philpott

June 2019

Other items and wrap up

Nancy Bell, Ministry of Education

  • Nancy invited ECAC members to make requests for the next meeting agenda.
  • Hellen Puhipuhi closed the meeting with a karakia.
  • Next ECAC meeting is scheduled for 5 June 2019.
Action itemsResponsibilityDeadline
Information on the ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) to be sent to ECAC Secretariat ASAP
Where possible, provide a brief Terms of Reference summary at the top of each subgroup and reference group reports and minutes Secretariat Going forward
Provide a list of ECAC members and the subgroups they represent Secretariat ASAP

Meeting closed 2:00pm

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback