Tiny Nation News – September 2020

Kia ora koutou katoa

Welcome to spring and to some warmer days ahead! As the days lengthen and the weather allows for more outdoor play and adventure, we are loving seeing our tiny learners grow more in confidence as they explore the world around them.

One of the biggest benefits of home-based early learning and care is the opportunity for our tamariki to authentically connect with their local communities and environments. At Tiny Nation, we support our educators to take their care children on a variety of different outings and events in their community, with a focus on providing a rich and diverse community programme for our children. This supports their holistic development, grows their social skills and fosters a sense of belonging to ensure that they know they have a place in their community.

It is through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things that children have opportunities to try out their ideas, problem solve and learn more about the world around them. Never is this more evident than when watching a child explore a new environment or situation with wonder and curiosity.

We’ve been fortunate under the current Level 2 restrictions to still be able to offer a range of community programmes and events in each region, including getting up close and personal with the rescue helicopter, enjoying a walk around a tractor museum and farmyard, a visit to an equestrian centre, adventures and picnics in nature and, most recently, visits to local maraes.

Every month we organise exclusive events and outings for our Tiny Nation community, alongside the weekly community programme events that run for educators and tamariki to enjoy as a part of their regular programme. It is this sense of community that forms a big part of our Tiny Nation values of authenticity, belonging and communication. When our tiny learners are supported through their relationship with their educators to experience new people, places and things, they are able to construct new knowledge and grow in confidence, while also increasing their participation in and contribution to their world.

We are looking forward to a whole lot of new spring and summer adventures with our tiny learners to connect with papatūānuku and their local communities.

Some say it takes a village to raise a child. We say it takes a Tiny Nation community!

“Mātua rautia a tātou taonga! Taua ana mai.”

“We must be united in caring for our children.”

Ngā mihi, nui
Erin Maloney and the Tiny Nation Team

Erin Maloney Tiny Nation
Erin Maloney – Founding Director, Tiny Nation

Facebook Live: Interview Series

Every month we go live on Facebook with an interview with one of the best and brightest minds in the early childhood education industry. We do this to share our Kaupapa with our community and to provide accessible learning and professional development for Tiny Nation educators, families and friends.

Last month’s interview with Helen Armstrong was one not to be missed! If you didn’t have the chance to watch this live, you can still view the recorded version of this on our Facebook page by clicking here.

Helen is a nationally renowned Early Childhood Consultant who is an infant and toddler specialist. With relationships at the heart of her approach, she is guided by the work of Dr Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach. It is her passion to inspire and empower caregivers and educators of young children with these principles and practices.

If you want to stay up to date with our upcoming Facebook Live sessions and hear about who we are partnering with in the early childhood education industry, like or follow us on Facebook to find out more.

Our Tiny Nation is Growing!

We are excited to share that our Tiny Nation has expanded into another two new regions in New Zealand!

  • Otago, Central Otago, Southland &
  • Wellington

We are the newest licensed home-based early learning and care provider in each of these regions and we’re looking forward to supporting all educators and families as we grow.

We’re a passionate bunch and we’re all for building a community of like-minded educators who can champion our Tiny Nation point of difference. So, we’re on the scout for professional and trained educators in these regions to partner with us to grow tomorrow’s big thinkers through the joy of play. If you’re a trained educator, nanny or teacher who is interested in joining forces with us to deliver high-quality care for our tiny learners, connect with us – we’d love to hear from you.

If you want to find out more about the work we are doing in these regions, or about spaces available for educators and families, you can contact us on 0800 TINY NATION or at info@tinynation.co.nz.

Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week

Next week (14-20 September) marks Māori Language Week 2020.

We’re looking forward to celebrating this with
our Tiny Nation community and challenging ourselves more to speak, sing and celebrate
te reo.

There are some great resources available online that share more about Te wiki o te reo Māori and include events happening in your region, ideas for how you can celebrate te reo and a little bit of the history behind Māori Language Week.

You can find out more here.

Please join us in our kōrero (speaking) of te reo next week and in celebrating and revitalising te reo Māori.

Tiny Nation’s Visit to Koupātiki Marae

This week, our tiny learners, educators and local team in Hawke’s Bay went for our first visit to Koupātiki Marae in Clive.

We were welcomed onto the marae with a powerful and emotional pōwhiri, a ceremony used to welcome visitors. Our chidren were in awe hearing te reo Māori spoken so fluently as a part of the whaikōrero (speeches) during our time there. They also loved exploring the wharenui and the poupou (carved figures) around the walls, hearing all about how the carvings and panels of the marae connect to Māori stories and legends.

We concluded our pōwhiri with a yummy hākari (feast) while the tangata whenua (local hosts) entertained our tiny learners with a local story called ‘Tuna and Patiki’ about the importance of caring for our waterways, how the marae got its name and the Ngaruroro awa (river) behind it, that serves as its ‘lifestream’. 

We have now connected to the whānau of Koupātiki Marae and this was the first of many visits we will make to learn more about the marae setting, the wharenui and the history of the tangata whenua.

Big thanks to Maria Robin, Tiny Nation’s very own Te Reo and Tikanga Māori Consultant, for supporting us on this journey to connect with our local maraes, guiding us in our preparations and with our future plans to continue to foster our awareness and appreciation of the special cultural heritage of our country.

Nutrition for our Tiny Learners

A few months ago, we were lucky enough to host Ben Warren, one of New Zealand’s leading holistic health and wellbeing experts, for a Facebook Live interview.

Ben had some great tips for supporting nutrition for our children from an early age and encouraging healthy eating habits. He was quick to let us know that it can take time for our tiny learners to adjust to packet-free lunchboxes and new foods. Child behaviour specialists advise that it can take up to 30 times of seeing a new food before a child will try it. Then, it can take numerous times of trying the food before they decide if they like it or not (so as it turns out, fussy eaters are really common!)

Here are some of Ben’s tips as to what to include in our older children’s lunchboxes:

Find out more about Ben’s top healthy eating tips for kids by reading his blog here.

Policy, Form and Procedures Review

We have almost completed our first full review of all policies, forms and procedures. We want to make sure these are ‘fit for purpose’, meaningful and practical.

If you are a Tiny Nation educator or family, it’s still not too late to give us your feedback! Please let us know how well the forms, policies and procedures are working for you in practice. To share feedback, just let your visiting teacher know or email info@tinynation.co.nz.

What’s Coming Up: The Tiny Nation Home Learning Focus and Community Programme

Resource Packs
Making our own poi and rākau sticks
September educator resource pack

Fijian Language Week
October educator resource pack

Outings and Events
Marae and museum visits for children and educators in all regions 

Tiny Nation Educator Induction Webinar 
22 September

Visit to the Fire Station for children and educators in all regions

Helen Armstrong: Educator Professional Learning and Development event
Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 October

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