Early childhood establishments in New Zealand tend to have different leadership models. Many of these are based around a hierarchical model, where there is possibly a centre manager, assistant centre manager, head teachers in each room, assistant head teachers, and the rest of the teachers down the line. “The services available are very diverse. They have a wide range of ownership and governance structures as well as different philosophies and operating models” (Ministry of Education, p. 8, 2017).

Our early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki states that learning dispositions have been identified as valuable to support lifelong learning. Resilience is a disposition that is mentioned in the curriculum. Evidence of learning and development is demonstrated when children show a “Capacity for self-regulation and resilience in the face of challenges” (Ministry of Education, p. 27, 2017). So, the question is, how do we as kaiako role model resilience? 

I recently viewed a ‘Te Whāriki Early Childhood Curriculum Introductory Workshop’ webinar to get a better understanding of the new document launched on 13 April 2017. I had been following a number of forum comments prior to the launch of the revised and updated curriculum, where there had been a few voices of dissent because the general opinion was that the consultation process was rushed. The webinar itself was dull in presentation which was of no help at all. 

EC-MENz is a New Zealand-based national network for men in early childhood education. Every year a summit is held in different parts of the country, a get-together for men in the profession to share and acknowledge the importance of gender balance and role modelling for children during their early years.

As an early childhood teacher I regard children’s play as an important aspect of their learning and development. Play is a broad subject area and can be defined under specific headings such as imaginative play, rough and tumble play, structured play, heuristic play, gun play, and more. Wood and Attfield (2005) suggest that, “play cannot be easily defined or categorized as it is always context dependent, and the contexts are varied”.

Imaginary play is a natural and essential aspect of early development as children play on their own or work together as a group. As a teacher I see imaginative play all around me on a daily basis and have to agree that it is an essential ingredient for early development as children make connecting links to the world around them through their play.