New emergency planning guide for early childhood education 21 December 2011 All early childhood education (ECE) services will soon have new guidance on how to plan for emergencies Statement from the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management All early childhood education (ECE) services will soon have new guidance on how to plan for emergencies. The Ministries of Civil Defence and Education today published Early Childhood Education Services Emergency Planning Guidance. Both Ministries have provided advice to ECE services about planning for emergencies for many years. But after the Christchurch earthquakes ECE services from all over the country asked for help in upgrading their emergency plans. The Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management, John Hamilton, said the guidance published today is a response to those requests, and will help provide some consistency in emergency planning by ECE services. “We have tried to be as practical as possible,” Mr Hamilton said. “ECE services come in many forms and sizes and we have aimed to provide guidance that will be useful for all. I would encourage them to work with their local councils’ emergency management offices and Ministry of Education offices to tailor the guidance to their individual needs.” The guidance sets out five steps to writing and putting in place an emergency plan, and includes checklists, forms and other information that ECE services can adapt to include in their plans. Case studies are included to give real examples of emergency plans and, in the case of the University of Canterbury Early Childhood Learning Centre, how they were applied during a disaster. Early Childhood Education Services Emergency Planning Guidance is available from the Ministry of Civil Defence website.