Swings + Roundabouts Summer 2021

PLEASE SHARE THIS MAGAZINE! If you know anyone who would like to read the interesting and informative articles in Swings & Roundabouts, pass it on! ISSN 1179-688X (Print) • ISSN 1179-7517 (Online) PO Box 5649, Lambton Quay, Wellington 6145 SUMMER 2021 Leadership in Pasifika-led, multicultural ECE settings Gender-balanced Teaching Teams – Strength through diversity Working under COVID-19 restrictions

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Inside this issue... Editor Trudi Sutcliffe Editorial Enquiries publications@ecc.org.nz Advertising Enquiries Catherine Norton Waterford Press Ltd PO Box 37346, Christchurch, New Zealand. Phone: 03 983 5526 Email: catherine@waterfordpress.co.nz www.waterfordpress.co.nz Production Co-ordinator Luke Lynch Content Co-ordinator Patti Brown Graphic Designer Liki Udam Subscription Enquiries Early Childhood Council PO Box 5649, Lambton Quay, Wellington 6145 Phone: 0800 742 742 Email: admin@ecc.org.nz www.ecc.org.nz DISCLAIMER: A cancellation fee of 25% may be charged if the booking is cancelled after the sales cut off date. Your Media Consultant will be able to provide that information if you are not aware of it. Applications for advertising in Swings & Roundabouts will be considered from the following: 1) Early childhood centres and/or their associated management groups that are members of the Early Childhood Council. 2) Trade and service suppliers to the early childhood industry. 3) Government and not-for-profit organisations. Please note: Some industries may be restricted due to exclusive arrangements with the Early Childhood Council. Please note: We do not accept advertisements for staff vacancies. All advertising content is at the sole discretion of the editor. All advertising will be at the rates determined by Waterford Press Ltd. Swings & Roundabouts is produced by the Early Childhood Council and is sent free of charge to all independent early childhood centres in New Zealand. The information contained in Swings & Roundabouts is of a general nature only. Readers should not act on the basis of the information it contains without seeking advice for their own specific circumstances. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the view of the Early Childhood Council Incorporated. All content in this magazine is copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the editor. Swings & Roundabouts is published quarterly for the Early Childhood Council by Waterford Press Ltd. 7 FROM THE EDITOR 8 CEO’S MESSAGE 10 ECC UPDATE 12 TEACHER SUPPLY SHORTAGE 14 SO YOU KNOW 16 CENTRE PROFILE 18 LEADERSHIP IN PASIFIKA-LED, MULTICULTURAL ECE SETTINGS 24 GENDER–BALANCED TEACHING TEAMS 26 WORKING UNDER COVID19 30 VENTILATION IN YOUR CENTRE 34 PREDICTING THE UNPREDICTABLE 36 LAUGHING OUT LOUD 37 START UP VS BUSINESS ACQUISITION 38 RESOURCE REVIEWS 42 LAST LAUGH December 2021 { 5 }

Kia ora koutou katoa and season greetings to you all. There is a lot to read in what feels like a bumper issue! The ECC’s new CEO Simon Laube discusses the recent challenges the ECE sector are currently facing and the need for the ECC to future focus priorities to support members in his first CEO Message, on page 8. Sue Kurtovich, who many of you will know and have worked with in her role as the Interim ECC CEO along with her many years of working and supporting many in our sector shares her perspective on why we are and have been for a while, experiencing a teacher knowledge. Sue’s knowledge of our sector is second-to-none, and you can read more on page 12. Both of these editorials are important reads to both understand the challenges we face and the breadth of the work ahead. On page 18 Maria Cooper and Louise Gorst share their initial impressions and reflections on leadership in Pasifika-led, multicultural ECE settings from their recent research. This is an informative read, with much to take-away in your own practice and understanding within your leadership practice and working with the Pasifika children and families you serve. EC-Menz offers plenty of reasons why we need to advocate for more gender-balance within our early learning centres on page 24. And if you are a male ECE teacher or support gender diversity in ECE check out page 14 for some information on the EC-Menz National Summit 2022. For the last 1 ½ years we have been working under the shadow of Covid19, and it’s wearing many of us down. If you are struggling head to page 15 to find out where to go for support. And if you are an ECE member, are you utilising all the support that the ECC is offering members? To find out how the ECC are supporting centres, go to page 10. Alongside these support avenues three early learning centres have shared with you all how they are working under Covid19 restrictions – the challenges and the benefits, go to page 26 to read more. Thank you to these centres for sharing their stories. For some practical advice go to page 30 to read how you can improve the ventilation in your centre. Page 32, offers some food of thought on how change, whether we like or not is here, and how can we work with it and innovate to keep moving forwards! And if you are feeling Covid19 fatigue and need some light inspiration, go to page 36 to reflect on the role of humour within your daily teaching, and turn your frown, along with the tamariki you teach, upside down! Thank you so much to our many summer contributors, your support is always appreciated. If you’d like to contribute an article to Swings & Roundabouts, we’d love to hear from you, especially on the topic of how you are surviving this pandemic, alongside supporting your ECE whānau (from kaiako to tamariki to whānau). There are some inspirational stories within our ECE sector in how centres and kaiako are supporting whānau who are struggling either financially, spiritually or mentally. Have a safe and relaxing holiday break with your loved ones this Christmas. Ngā mihi Trudi Sutcliffe Editor Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi. The old net is cast aside, while the new net goes fishing. FROM THE Editor Specialising in the construction of ECE Centers Call us today for a free no obligation consultation 0800 439 439 pinkconstruction.co.nz December 2021 { 7 }

At the time of writing, I’m just three weeks into my new role as Chief Executive Officer at the ECC. First impressions matter. You can learn a lot about the culture and values of an organisation by how people are welcomed. All the Executive Committee planned to come to Wellington on my first day, but with the Auckland COVID-19 lockdown restricting most of the group, they haven’t been anywhere other than their home or the supermarket for some time. I felt their plan to be there for my first day was a bold and embracing step - however, it was also daunting to think that the entire team would be around as I struggled to find where to put my bag, how to work the phone and log in to my computer. These are all little tasks we take for granted every day that become routine, but on your first day, everything is new and different. This may be why people often forget half of the things people tell them on their first day, and yes, you should make a mental note here to tweak your induction processes for future new staff! Sue Kurtovich was there on my first day. Members will know Sue very well from her long history with us, and the way she’s expertly managed breaking issues through Peter leaving in August and when I started in October. Sue has led countless webinars, taking Ministry of Education guidance and information and turning it into regular, reliable and digestible expert support for our busy members. We continue to see strong demand for Sue’s sessions and members can access sessions they missed on our website. I hope these sessions have really helped you make sense of the Health Orders and official guidance by putting them in plain language, while thinking through the implications for you and our members in an engaging way. There’s never been a better time to join the ECC. In these recent months, the ECC has ramped up efforts to meet the number one priority for our members today – responding to the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. And a crisis it surely is - naming things that challenge or threaten us is a subtle but effective way to start to control it. Language can be a powerful tool indeed. When I speak with our members, I’m finding people who feel stressed, strung out and just need to speak to someone to check they’ve understood the latest major change or development properly. Every single one of them has been passionate about early learning - I’ve enjoyed the conversations and found them motivating and inspirational. They’ve really helped my thinking about how we can best support you. We’re a diverse organisation with a firm commitment to quality early learning at our heart. This is just where we should be. But there’s considerable work ahead to make sure our sector’s regulation and funding settings actually support our members to deliver quality, and doesn’t hinder it - this is where I see the ECC providing highly effective support. In coming months we’ll develop an ECC policy work programme. This will be an ambitious undertaking, and will necessarily take a much broader view of the relatively fluid policy context. This is necessary so we can prioritise what to focus on - there are too many areas of change to be able to deal with all of them at once. Prioritising is another helpful way to control something that is inherently uncontrollable – you have to choose, and having a plan makes it a deliberate choice. No organisation can do it all at once, it’s important we focus our time and money properly. For many New Zealanders, early learning has been compartmentalised into one box – simply education and care as part of the MESSAGE CEO's December 2021 { 8 }

education system. But it’s not the case - our role in education is only one part of why early learning is important, there are wider objectives that we support. One example is that early learning is more valuable than ever to parents who the Government would like to re-enter the paid workforce. And during the pandemic it’s become very clear (hi Aucklanders!) that an over-abundance of family time together, for example, can create stress or a burden on our family units. We don’t yet know the extent of this impact in terms of measurable wellbeing outcomes for people in lockdown, but I know that many of you will be able to relate, because of what you felt when you could no longer send your tamariki to early learning or school. Limited places in early learning has been a recent sore point for the ECC. We remain focused on the regulation of bubbles in early learning in particular, because we think it’s reduced the capacity of early learning available, and no longer provides clear benefits to tamariki or the teachers and staff in centres. The Government increased the bubble size to 20 from the previous limit of 10 (in Level 3 only), which was not the ECC’s recommended approach. We acknowledge there are a range of views on this issue, including among our members, and we see our role as constructively leading this debate using our unique perspective on your behalf, to help achieve the best possible outcome. I’m proud to join and lead an organisation that meets a crisis head on - but equally we’ve got to stay vigilant and think ahead to next month’s and next year’s challenges. It’s about being ready and learning to do things better. Thanks for making me feel welcome – I’m looking forward to meeting more of our members in the weeks and months ahead as the pandemic allows more travel around the country. I am particularly excited to be welcoming in so many new members to the ECC. Ngā mihi Simon December 2021 { 9 }

ECC Update Welcome The Early Childhood Council (ECC) welcomes the following early learning centres who recently joined the ECC: ● ● He Puna Marama Trust (Mokopuna Early Childhood Education and Care Centre, Mokopuna Ki Whau Valley, Mokopuna o Moerewa, Mokopuna Ki Clendon, Mokopuna Ki Roscommon, Whangārei) ● ● Atawhai Childcare Centre, Rotorua ● ● Horizons Montessori Preschool, Auckland ● ● Twinkle Twinkle , Mt Maunganui ● ● Small Steps Early Learning Centre, Matamata ● ● Kerikeri Preschool, Kerikeri ● ● Brilliant Minds Early Childhood Centre, Auckland ● ● Farm Friends Early Childhood Centre, Auckland ● ● Wairarapa Montessori Preschool, Masterton ● ● Endeavours Kindergarten, Hamilton ● ● Te Kōhanga Reo O Ngā Kuaka, Hamilton ● ● Happy Days Childcare, Upper Hutt ● ● Canterbury Educare Group (Papanui Preschool, Prestons Preschool), Christchurch ● ● Valleys Little & Junior Treasures, Whangārei ● ● Little Tamariki Montessori Preschool, Kaikōura ● ● Kidz Park Albany Child Care Centre, Auckland ● ● Future Stars Early Learning Centre, Auckland ● ● Little Wings Early Childhood Education & Care Centre, Auckland ● ● Peninsula Early Learning, Wellington ● ● Hatch Early Learning Centre, Christchurch ● ● Superkidz Early Learning Centre, Auckland ● ● Te Puna Manawa o Whakaue, Rotorua ● ● Enriching Otara Early Learning Centre, Auckland ● ● Happy Kiddy Castle Early Learning Centre, Auckland ● ● Judder Limited (Templeton Nursery and Preschool, Estuary Road Preschool), Christchurch ● ● Plum Tree Preschool, Auckland ● ● Hatch Early Learning Centre, Christchurch ● ● Small Pukeko’s Early Learning Centre, Kaiwaka ● ● Little Magpies Childcare Centre, Napier ● ● The Cottage Kindergarten, Auckland ● ● The Learning Barn, Timaru ● ● Kids Connect, Auckland ● ● Burnham Country Montessori, Christchurch ● ● Li'l Pumpkins Early Learning Ltd, Hamilton ● ● YMCA Taranaki Inc, New Plymouth ● ● Rotorua Community Creche & Kindergarten, Rotorua ● ● The Childrens Corner Howick, Auckland ● ● Selwyn House Preschool, Christchurch ● ● East Taieri Preschool, Mosgiel ● ● Bloomfields Preschool, Amberley ● ● Babies & Buddies ECE, Auckland ● ● Littletoetoes Early Learning Centre, Auckland ● ● Little Troopers Early Learning Centre, Rotorua ● ● Playtopia Educare, Rotorua ● ● Daisy Cottage Montessori, Mount Maunganui ● ● Hillpark Preschool, Pokeno ● ● Young Learners Early Childhood Education, Auckland COVID-19 resources The ECC continues to support members throughout the pandemic through a variety of resources including: ● ● A series of webinars supporting ECC members with key information and taking members questions. ● ● Regular emails to ECC members sharing up-to-date information including FAQs, templates to support and guide communication with your whānau and kaiako, and much more. ● ● A link to a private Facebook group for ECC members to share information in a private and exclusive discussion group. ● ● Revenue decline calculator - to help you determine your revenue band. ECC members can access this information on the Covid19 page, https://www.ecc.org. nz/covid19 (access for ECC members only) Regional Network Webinar Series The ECC offers a FREE regular series of regional network webinars for ECC members in your area. Topics discussed in previous Network Webinars include: ● ● Funding available to help Centres ● ● Teacher Shortages ● ● Pay Equity and Pay Parity ● ● Alert level changes ● ● Vaccinations … and much much more!! This is a chance for members to hear the latest updates from the ECC CEO and Exec, share what's on their mind and ask questions about the ECE Sector. To find out more, keep an eye in out in emails from the ECC's or head to the the ECC’s Calendar of Events, to book in to the next network webinar series in your area (ECC members only), https://www.ecc.org.nz/events/ December 2021 { 10 }

E-learning Informative | Affordable | Convenient www.ecc.org.nz/e-learningvideos For topic details and to purchase a recordingGOHERE:  30 – 40minute recordings  Desktop, tablet &mobile friendly  Awide range of topics available  For teachers andmanagers Health & Safety in ECE Compliance EROReview Learning Stories & the Principles of Assessment Transition &Continuity of Learning Early Literacy in ECE andmore...

It’s been my pleasure and privilege to serve the ECC in the latter months of this year, first as interim CEO, and now as Advisor. After a hiatus of 13 years, these have certainly been interesting times to come back into a policy role and reconnect with the ECC Board, national office team and our members. No sooner did I take on the temporary CEO role, than COVID-19 (in the form of the highly transmissible Delta variant) reared its ugly head, compounding the already huge issues facing ECE centres. This includes the underfunding of the Government’s pay parity promise, the cumbersome process of herding 600 employers into a MEPA for pay equity negotiations and a regulatory review that’s just starting to gather steam. Underlying all of this is the ongoing teacher shortage, a seemingly impossible nut to crack. It’s getting worse and makes the other issues much harder to manage for providers. To help us understand and negotiate this period, it might be useful to start at the very beginning. Where the teacher shortage started In thinking about when the shortage began, you need to go back several decades. In the 1990’s, the education and care sector began transitioning to a single ECE teaching qualification as the one qualification that would be acceptable in an ECE setting. The previous system allowed for a range of qualifications and experience – traditionally, staff in the education and care part of the ECE sector had come from many different previous careers in places like Plunket, Playcentre, Karitane Nursing and so on, as well as teaching roles. Qualifications and experience were combined to allow staff to accumulate a number of ‘points’ and those with sufficient points were able to fill the role we know as person responsible. Rather than being grand-parented into their positions, ‘points’ staff were given a certain period of time to upgrade their qualifications. However, many weren’t in a position to do so, meaning people previously qualified under the old system were lost to the sector, along with their experience. The regulated role of Person Responsible was further expanded in the 2000’s, with the introduction of the 50% required staff qualification regulation. This regulation dates back to the introduction regulatory review that resulted in the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 – which remain in force today, with only a few minor amendments since then. As the years went by, the ‘stick’ approach of regulation to increase the number of qualified teachers was augmented with the ‘carrot’ approach of creating funding incentives for centres with a higher percentage of qualified teachers working with children. The ‘funding bands’ as we know them were introduced in 2005, creating a financial incentive for centres to employ a higher percentage of qualified staff for the first time. Of course, those who were around at the time know that this well intentioned incentive only put further pressure on the scare resource of qualified teachers. It was around this time that the shortage of teachers gave us the ‘warm body policy’ phrase, or employing someone with a qualification and a pulse, regardless of anything else, simply in order to be able meet regulatory requirements and to maintain funding bands. The dire shortage was briefly alleviated when the decision was made to allow primary teachers into the pool that ECE centres could draw from for the higher funding rates. At that time, there was a surplus of primary trained teachers, so there was immediate relief. The sector went from over 500 advertisements in the NZ Gazette for ECE teachers to under 100, literally overnight. However this respite was only temporary, with demand soon exceeding supply again as primary teachers returned to primary teaching when openings became available, and the ever growing demand for more teachers went unmet once again. In January 2021, the primary teacher policy was further extended to the regulatory role of person responsible, but the pool of available primary teachers was already well and truly dry, and this extension provided limited relief. Further temporary bandaids have been applied through the increase in discretionary hours for funding purposes. And most recently, unvaccinated teachers leaving the workforce dealt our sector another hit on the supply side. The demand / supply imbalance The decision to move to a single teaching qualification was not a wrong one. But to do so without establishing how to increase the supply of ECE qualified teachers first was very wrong. At every step of the way, through regulation or funding incentives, government policy decisions have increased demand for ECE teachers, without addressing supply. All of this heaps pressure on the sector, with services least able to attract teachers Teacher supply shortage is the 90’s flashback no-one asked for By Sue Kurtovich December 2021 { 12 }

being the ones getting further left behind. Perversely, these are the very services who need to attract the best teachers to care for and educate our most vulnerable that find themselves shut out of a tight labour market. There are only two sources of ECE (and primary) qualified teachers - the domestic supply and the international supply. For the domestic supply, our sector relies solely on the number of teachers each training provider produces. At individual employer and representative association levels, there’s little or no discussion or planning with providers about what that supply needs to look like. Each training provider makes their own decisions about what programmes they run, the mode of delivery on offer, the actual course content and how many students they will train. There can be different perspectives and needs between training providers and employers, but in the case of ECE, employers have little to no say. International supply is limited by the onerous process of getting qualifications assessed by NZQA, jumping through the various immigration hoops, and the MIQ lottery in recent times. The pay challenge But putting aside both the domestic and international supply issues, the most obvious reason we don’t have enough teachers in ECE is we’re unable to pay them what they deserve. In times of near full employment, we’re competing in a tight labour market with many other professions that can pay more – we only have to look at our close cousins in the school sector to know that a primary qualified teacher working in a primary school will get a far bigger pay cheque than if they choose early learning. I‘ve yet to find an employer in the ECE sector that doesn’t want to pay their staff more. It’s very clear from our history that when government funding increases for our sector, teacher’s pay increases. Employers know their best asset is their teachers. This is writ large in every early childhood service’s budget, which without fail shows staffing costs is their biggest line item. The last major speech to ECC members as CEO in 2008 was entitled ‘Teachers Matter in Early Childhood Education,’ focusing on the biggest challenge I saw facing the sector – you guessed it, teacher supply. Where we are now Disappointingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, here we are 13 years later with a lack of suitably qualified applicants for ECE teaching positions still the number one issue facing the sector. Of course I don’t need to repeat my message from 2008 that teachers matter – we all know that the most important ingredient in the recipe for quality early childhood education is the quality of the adult-child interactions. In that speech I called for an urgent and co-ordinated response from centres, representative bodies, politicians, officials and training establishments to address the teacher supply issue. The chronic ECE teacher shortage has been with us since the 1990’s, has only got worse and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. To solve it, funding must meet the market when it comes to salary expectations, to attract the talented and passionate people we need to the ECE teaching profession. About the author Sue Kurtovich is a specialist in early childhood centre management and administration. Sue was a centre owner/operator for 15 years and the former President (2 years) and then CEO of the Early Childhood Council Inc. from 1996 – 2008. Sue also stepped into the role of interim CEO of the ECC for the period August – October 2021. Sue has extensive knowledge of the ECE regulatory environment, and a strong policy and advocacy background including an indepth understanding of the challenges centres face. For over three decades Sue has supported centre owners, managers and boards with practical, realworld advice through the design and delivery of professional learning and development programmes for early childhood education centre owners, managers and teachers. Specialised business insurance for over 1500 childcare centres Get your insurance sorted 0800 765 429 childproof.co.nz December 2021 { 13 }

YOU SO 3 new ERO resources The Education Review Office (ERO) has recently published three new Early Childhood Education sector resources, designed to further support services and parents. These complete the suite of Ngā Ara Whai Hua resources that support evaluation for improvement in early childhood services. ● ● What Matters Most – This guide helps parents and whānau understand what matters most for their child and their learning in an early childhood service and what to expect from an early childhood service including what questions they might ask about the quality of the service. ● ● Ngā Aronga Whai Hua - This document supports early childhood services to engage in internal evaluation and ERO’s external evaluation using Te Ara Poutama – Indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most. It builds on Effective Internal Evaluation for Improvement (2016) and replaces most of the content in He Pou Tātaki: How ERO reviews early childhood services (2013). ● ● Piki Ake, Kake Ake - A guide to support services to plan for quality improvement planning based on the findings from internal and external evaluation, and includes some examples. All English-medium services should have received a mailout pack containing the 3 new resources. All above resources and more information is available on the ERO website, https:// ero.govt.nz/how-ero-reviews/how-eroreviews-early-childhood-services EC-Menz National Summit 2022 March 5 -6 Pentagon ECC, Tamahere, Waikato. Calling all educators who support gender diversity in our teaching teams! EC-Menz is your nationwide organisation celebrating the many roles of good men in early childhood education. We recognise the fluid and non-binary nature of gender, and celebrate all educators in this exciting and dynamic profession. Join us for our 2022 National Summit hosted by the Pentagon ECC in Tamahere to meet others in the field, share your own story, and be inspired. Top quality professional development at this inspiring event will include an exploration of Māori approaches to ECE from a Tainui iwi perspective, fostering resilience in our kaiako, and a hands-on puppetry workshop. Camping available on site, evening jams and happy hour, bring your instruments! For more please check out ecmenz.org or email national Vice-President Robin Christie on robin@ childspace.nz Upcoming Governing Teaching Council elections 2022 Elections for seven members of the Teaching Council’s governing Board will be held in February 2022, with the election process getting underway later this year when candidate nominations open. During the election, seven governing Board members are chosen by the profession for a threeyear term commencing 1 July 2022. Following the election, the Minister will make six appointments to the remaining seats. Elected ECC members include: ● ● An ECE teacher elected to the Teaching Council by ECE teachers; ● ● An ECE service leader elected to the Teaching Council by ECE leaders. Key dates will fall close to the end of term 4 2021 and early in term 1 2022 – make sure you vote! Keep a look out for more information in your Teaching Council e-newsletter, Matatū. December 2021 { 14 }

Covid19 Resources to support wellbeing As kaiako and leaders we also need to remember to be kind not just to others, but to ourselves. Advice found on the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand include connecting to others, finding ways to take notice, to move our body, to give to others, connect to nature and learn different ways to relax. To find out more about supporting one’s own wellbeing, go here, https://mentalhealth.org. nz/getting-through-together/wellbeing-tips. The Ministry of Health’s website has information, resources, tools and free apps to support your mental wellbeing, as well as information about organisations that can help if you need extra support, www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-mental-wellbeing. Māori health models: The Māori philosophy towards health is based on a wellness or holistic health model. For many Māori the major deficiency in modern health services is taha wairua (spiritual dimension). Access further information about three Māori health models here, https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/populations/ maori-health/maori-health-models and further information on Te Whare Tapawha, https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/healthyliving/t/te-whare-tapa-wh%C4%81-and-wellbeing/. Sparklers at Home and in the school is an online toolkit packed full of fun activities that support the wellbeing of primary and intermediate students, but there is plenty here for both whānau and kaiako to also for younger tamariki, https://sparklers.org.nz/. Whakatau Mai: The Wellbeing Sessions are free, online, community events you can join in real-time. Visit the website to register for sessions to support your wellbeing and connect with other likeminded people, https://www.wellbeingsessions.nz/. Do not be afraid to seek support. There are helpline services available right now that offer support, information and help for you, your family, whānau and friends. For support with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Mental Health Foundation has a full list of services available, https://mentalhealth.org.nz/helplines. Helping tamariki understand facemasks The Hospital Play Specialists Association offers great guidelines and advice for teachers and whanau to help explain facemasks and their use to young children, https://www.hospitalplay.org.nz/ covid-19.html Scroll down the page to ‘Explaining Masks’ and ‘Creative Play for decreasing anxiety about masks’. KNOW FEELING OVERWHELMED? Take 5 breaths...then name the following: 5 things that you can SEE in the room 4 things that you can FEEL/TOUCH right now 3 things that you can HEAR 2 things that you can SMELL now 1 thing that you can TASTE A perfect exercise for both adults and children alike! December 2021 { 15 }

East Taieri Preschool is located in East Taieri, Mosgiel, Dunedin and is licensed for 35 children for tamariki aged from two to six years old. The preschool is opened from 8am to 3pm daily. Their community reaches up into the Middlemarch Hills, stretches out across the Taieri Plains and creeps in toward the city of Dunedin. The preschool opened in 1976. What is special about your centre? We are a community-based preschool with rich connections to our wider community. We value learning that happens intentionally and spontaneously. Our children are encouraged to connect with resources both manmade and natural and value the rich resource which our natural world provides. We run an outdoor bush curriculum weekly for our 4-year-old children, who regardless of the weather have the powerful opportunity to extend and develop their skills, knowledge, and mana within the many experiences which the natural bush provides. It enhances their independence, selfhelp skills, imagination, leadership, and free thinking. Our practice and philosophy is guided by the key values of: Whanaungatanga, Rangatiratanga, Wairuatanga, Kaitiakitanga, Manaakitanga, Kotahitanga and Tohungatanga. Respectful and reciprocal relationships allow kaiako, tamariki and whānau to connect people, places and things. We share experiences and learning together through the concept of Ako each valuing the part each other plays in our learning community. What is the biggest challenge facing ECE centres now? An even playing field – regardless of your setting. Professional and dedicated teachers are the best resource within education in the early years. Without great teachers who feel valued and respected for the important job they do, even the newest, biggest, best resourced centres miss the important heartbeat a motivated, caring, professional teacher brings to every ECE setting. What’s the best part about leading a centre? Being part of the connection between tamariki, kaiako, whānau and our wider community who together support, encourage, and empower tamariki to believe in themselves as valuable people, able to contribute to their wider world. What makes a successful quality ECE centre? Dedicated, professional teachers who put the learning and development of children at the heart of every day. What do you most love most about your job? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata – tis the people, the people, the people. Centre Profile: East Taieri Preschool December 2021 { 16 }

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In an earlier issue of Swings+Roundabouts (Cooper et al., 2021), we wrote about ‘“Initiating” a return to wisdom’ to introduce our research project (in progress), which explores collective notions of educational leadership with teachers and leaders in Pasifika-led, multicultural early childhood education (ECE) centres in New Zealand (NZ). Instigated by the first author and co-designed with Pasifika Early Learning (PEL) (AoKids), our project was set up to generate knowledge on the topic of Pasifika Indigenous leadership in education, one that is hardly reflected in the literature, and yet, so important to the self-determining futures of Pasifika communities and their children’s success in Pasifika and mainstream ECE and beyond. The research question guiding the study is: How might relevant Pasifika Indigenous knowledge be used to frame and guide collective meanings and enactment of leadership in ECE services serving Pasifika children and communities in Aotearoa NZ? Before moving on, we briefly position ourselves to make explicit the perspectives we brought to the project and to this article. Maria is Samoan-European and has ancestral ties to her mother’s village in Lufilufi, Upolu, Samoa and her father’s family town of Dovalovo, Slovakia. Louise is of NZ-European descent whose Grandparents migrated to NZ from England and Ireland. We both teach/research on ECE and educational leadership at the University of Auckland, and embrace opportunities to explore ideas from diverse viewpoints. Our approach and participants Prioritising respectful relationships in the project was important to us from the beginning. After several months of navigating the uncertainty of COVID and respecting the time and space PEL centres needed to prioritise what mattered to them, we were finally able to come together for an online research talanoa (open conversation) with PEL directors, centre leaders and head teachers. This ‘coming together’ enabled us to establish connections by reducing the distance between us as the researchers and potential participants (Vaioleti, 2006). We were also able to explain the project in real-time and to answer any questions that arose. At that point, we had already been researching with one of their teaching teams in Wellington but were keen to research with more. In total, we secured 15 participants from across five PEL centres in Auckland and Wellington. These willing participants included three directors, two senior leaders, seven qualified teachers — six with a designated leader role, two kaiako (unqualified adults), and one mama with a long-standing history with the organisation. Although we had planned to include centre families in the project, the COVID situation proved too strong a headwind for us to fight against, so we had to modify our initial plan. To acknowledge the unique identity of each Pasifika nation (Seiuli, 2016) reflected in our participant group, we clarify their cultural identity as follows: 13 of the 15 participants identify as Samoan — either Samoan-born or NZ-born, one kaiako is of Niuean heritage (NZ-born), and another kaiako is from England. “Journeying” a return to wisdom: initial impressions and reflections on leadership in Pasifika-led, multicultural ECE settings Maria Cooper, Louise Gorst, with Pasifika Early Learning (AoKids) December 2021 { 18 }

Talanoa and data analysis Individual interviews with the Auckland participants (9) took place in person at their centre or home, in a cafe in South Auckland, or online via ZOOM. The interviews with the Wellington participants (6) took place online via ZOOM. The interviews were carried out during the work day (e.g., non-contact time) or outside of working hours, to suit each person. Our aim in offering flexibility regarding format, time and place was to enable each participant to feel comfortable during their interview. The open sharing that we experienced during the process seemed to suggest they did. To ensure our participants experienced conversations that were aligned with Pasifika Indigenous values (Seiuli, 2016), the interviews reflected open talk or talanoaga, inspired by Vaioleti’s (2006) method of talanoa, where tala means to talk and noa means of any kind and ordinary, with minimal structure in place. While we did base our open conversations around a series of questions, we remained flexible and reiterated to participants they could share what they wished to, during this time. Hence, the duration of interviews varied from 30 minutes to over 2 hours. Using a dual Western-Pasifika approach to reflect our positionality and the multicultural nature of Pasifika-led PEL centres, we conducted talanoa with participants in English, with appropriate use of Pasifika terms for opening and closing. Participants were also invited to respond in the language they were most comfortable with. The main languages used by participants were English and Samoan. All talanoa were transcribed by us with additional suppport from a Samoan translator-transcriber for deeper meaning of the Samoan excerpts, from her perspective. The transcripts were then sent to participants for their edits and verification. Once the interview transcripts were ready for analysis, we read through all of them individually to begin a first layer of thematic coding based on “meanings of leadership” (Braun & Clarke, 2006). We approached this process differently; Louise coded the transcripts manually and Maria coded them using a research data management system (NVivo 12). We felt assured with the reliability of this process when the initial themes we came up with individually, which are shared in this article, were in alignment. We plan to follow this first layer of analysis with a more rigorous thematic analysis to identify key findings of the project overall. Ethical considerations of informed consent, voluntary participation, social and cultural sensitivity, and confidentiality continue to be upheld throughout the project. While the PEL organisation has chosen to be named, pseudonyms replace the real names of each participant for confidentiality. Leadership from a Pasifika lens: initial impressions and reflections We now share our initial impressions and reflections of two themes identified early on that reflect participants’ shared meanings of leadership from a Pasifika lens. These themes are: leadership based on mafutaga (relationships) and teu le va (nurturing the relational space), and leadership as tautua (service). Leadership based on mafutaga and teu le va Many participants emphasised the centrality of mafutaga (relationships) and the va (the relational space between people and all living things) to their leadership. These notions were most apparent in their descriptions of looking after colleagues, aknowledging the strengths of their work, working alongside them, and respecting December 2021 { 19 }

and caring for them. For example, Olaga (teacher/leader) referred to the va by describing her leadership as being based on “strong” relationships with colleagues in order to know how and when to approach them: We've built that strong relationship where we do actually understand one another and we understand, when it's a good time to approach that person, when it's a good time not to approach that person. This idea of knowing how and when to approach peers was reiterated by Nuanua (teacher/leader), who spoke about her leadership and the respectful way she engages with certain Pasifika parents, including knowing when to not “overstep the mark”: [With] our Pasifika families here … we talk and laugh, but there's always a respectful way, I can never overstep the mark. If I see a faife'au [church minister] or a faletua [church minister’s wife] coming to drop off a grandchild, we talk and we laugh, but the way I speak to them and the way they speak, there's always a line … a respectful way. This connection between leadership and the va also arose during our talanoa with Lupe, one of the directors. Lupe spoke about two values that underpin her mafutaga (relationships) with staff. For her, prioritising the values of fa’aaloalo (respect) and deep listening (fa’alogo) had enabled her to develop her understanding of others in order to “connect” relationally with them: Fa'aaloalo (respect) and also just being, listening to them, to hear their journey, their story to understand where they come from, because if I don't understand their background or what their journey is, I won't be able to connect. These and other comments from participants highlighted a shared value of mafutaga and the va as underpinning their enactment of leadership in ECE. The concept of va describes sacred relations or the space between those-in-relationship. More broadly, it offers guidance for social engagement. Variations of the va are commonly found in Pacific Island countries including Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, and NZ (Thaman, 2008). The Samoan concept of the va, or the social and spiritual relations between individuals, can help us to understand how Samoans relate to and with one another (Tuagalu, 2008). Wendt (1996) describes the va as such: Va is the space between, the betweenness, not empty space, not space that separates but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together in the Unity-that-is-All, the space that is context, giving meaning to things. The meanings change as the relationships/the contexts change. (n.p) Wendt’s (1996) words highlight that the concept of va is important, yet complex. Similarly, Anae (2013) suggests that respecting the va requires negotiation, understanding, and work. This complexity was evident in some of our participants’ comments, which revealed there is more to relationships than just interactions, and that in ECE, relationships with Pasifika and other colleagues, parents, and children should never be taken for granted. Another aspect of the va that our participants referred to was looking after the va or teu le va. For example, Lagi (senior leader) explained that leadership for her is “all about le va” and involves an “acknowledgement of past and present, seen and unseen, and before and after.” She added that if the va is trampled on, or broken in the relationship, then fixing this could be done by going back to traditional ways. One starting point for this was to ask for forgiveness from those in the relationship: “fa'amolemole fa'amāgalo mai a'u (please forgive me)”, a cultural practice that Lagi realised she hardly hears in the workplace today. The idea of teu le va places the way relationships are looked after at the centre of everything (Anae, 2013). Teu le va also suggests a focus on relationships that invoke a commitment to and compassion for the other; interactions that are reciprocal and mutually empowering. Wendt (1996) explains that teu le va or looking after the space is critically important in communal cultures, such as Samoa, who value group and unity more than individualistic behaviours. From this collective view, individuals are seen in terms of the group. The need to teu le va was apparent in participants’ comments about their mafutaga (relationships) with others, such as when Olaga spoke about knowing when it is a “good time” to approach peers, when Nuanua referred to not overstepping “the mark” with some parents, and when Lupe reiterated the need to respect and listen to staff in order to understand and connect. Upholding a commitment to teu le va is important to Samoan and other Pasifika peoples (Anae, 2013). Doing so is believed to promote harmony and peace within the relationships (Seiuli, 2016). It also reveals what guides Samoan peoples’ ways of being with one another, highlighting that culture is fundamental to and informs the way they live, interact, and make sense of their work (Anae, 2013). Anae warns, however, that to not look after relationships with others, as participant Lagi highlighted, is to put those relationships at risk of not evolving, thereby countering the aim for relationships with Pasifika to lead to transformative change. Altogether, these ideas foreground mafutaga and teu le va (or their equivalent for other Pasifika communities) as important considerations for leadership in Pasifika-led settings. Leadership as tautua (service) The importance of serving others before you can become a leader was another strong theme in the study. When asked about leadership, many participants responded with the cultural proverb “O le ala i le pule o le tautua” (the pathway to leadership is through service). This was not surprising as this proverb is widely understood by Samoan peoples as an important life value and guidance regarding the value of service within families (Fa’aea & Enari, 2021). In our study, serving one’s family, the centre, community, church and God, were expressed as relational and spiritual duties of the Samoan self. Masina (teacher/leader) expressed her understanding of tautua as a prerequisite to becoming a leader: You have to serve before you can become a leader, so, o le ala i le pule o le tautua so tautua first then you'll become a leader. That is my motto and I believe that's what my dad always said to me, […], he always acknowledged and encouraged me, ia sau fai fe'au ma auauna e tāua le auauna [come and do the chores and serve, it's important to serve]. Masina’s belief of leadership as serving others beyond herself had stemmed from her upbringing and the nurturing guidance from her father. Masina had also embraced her father’s teachings to form a strong underpinning of her current leadership December 2021 { 20 }

practice in ECE. Tautua was often mentioned alongside the notion of alofa (love). For example, La (senior leader) described her leadership as service and as “having that heart”. She also explained how she had learned to serve others by observing family members lead within her family and how her Grandfather had led his village. Similarly, Penina (teacher/ leader) spoke of her father’s role as a high chief and his value of serving others with “his heart”: Even though my dad holds a high chief title, to my dad, o le na o le title a [it's just a title], but his loto [soul] is to serve his people with his heart. However, enacting tautua (service) and alofa (love) was not always easy to maintain. Lagi (senior leader) pointed out how duty to serve one’s family and community can be so strong, that it can lead to giving up one’s job in order to fulfil tautua responsibilities. Enacting tautua is an important tenet of being Samoan, within Samoa and outside of Samoa in diaspora communities (Fa’aea & Enari, 2021). The main premise of tautua is multilevelled and involves serving your family (‘aiga), your matai (titled chief of the family), your village (nu’u), your church (lotu) and God (Atua), your community and country (atunu’u), irrespective of where you were born or raised (Fa’aea & Enari, 2021; Tominiko, 2020). Hence, tautua takes many forms. Tautua to the family can be in the form of food provision, supporting them financially, providing good decisions or even bringing people together (Sio, 2020). These obligations of tautua fa’a Samoa (service the Samoan way) have remained the same despite culture evolving over time (Filisi, 2018), but how they are enacted has been adapted to suit living away from the homeland (Tominiko, 2020). As evident in Lagi’s (senior leader) comment earlier, enacting tautua is not always easy, especially as it requires an investment over one’s entire life (Faaea & Enari, 2021). The notion of tautua seemed to be embodied in many participants’ ways of being, highlighting it was an unquestioned expectation of being Samoan in NZ and back in Samoa. This embodiment suggests that tautua is learned and experienced from childhood to adulthood through ongoing participation in family and community life. Fa’aea and Enari (2021) outline three spheres of tautua as a life cycle, which they contend can help Samoans to reflect on how they live their lives. In the tautua ia tautua (serve to serve) stage, children learn about and how to tautua by observing, listening to, and participating in family events, church gatherings and village life with expectations of loyalty, love and respect. In the tautua i le pule (serve to lead) stage, one’s tautua is put to the test by serving the family at community events, including through speaking opportunities (tautua upu – service through oratory). In the third stage, pule ia tautua (lead to serve), elders serve the family by sharing their knowledge with the children and grandchildren to pass on their legacy, and teach important types of tautua and ways to bring honour and respect to the family. Knowing how tautua is learned and experienced over the lifespan December 2021 { 21 }