Next steps for early childhood education welcomed

Press Release – New Zealand Kindergartens

New Zealand Kindergartens looks forward to engaging in the next phase of consultation on the future direction of early childhood education. “We welcome the focus on young children and their families” said Clare Wells, Chief Executive New Zealand …14 October 2011

Next steps for early childhood education welcomed

New Zealand Kindergartens looks forward to engaging in the next phase of consultation on the future direction of early childhood education. “We welcome the focus on young children and their families” said Clare Wells, Chief Executive New Zealand Kindergartens (NZK). “Ensuring the needs and aspirations of all children and their families are at the heart of government policy is central to New Zealand’s well-being.”

The Minister of Education announced the establishment of sector advisory groups to work with the Government on policy areas identified by the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Taskforce.

“We welcome the emphasis on high quality services and the opportunity to contribute our expertise and ideas on how that can happen” said Clare Wells. “The Minister’s confirmation that ‘universal access to 20 hours ECE’ will continue to feature as part of any new funding system is pleasing. We will need to make sure the rate is set at a level that ensures families can continue to access high quality ECE services” said Clare Wells.

“The government will need to consider the impact on families of introducing a new funding system hard on the heels of funding cuts in the last two years. “Some services have already increased costs to parents and there will likely be many more in future.” said Clare Wells.

“As the advisory groups undertake their work, NZ Kindergartens will be looking to see:

– the needs of children and families drive policy development rather than business imperatives
– high quality provision is recognised and supported which includes the employment of qualified and registered teachers
– the ECE curriculum framework is maintained, enhanced and well-supported
– any new funding system remains affordable and increases the opportunities for families to participate
– the sector is fully engaged in the development process.” said Clare Wells.

“New Zealand is regarded internationally as a world leader in early childhood education. Our interest is in making sure this next phase of policy development enhances that reputation” said Clare Wells.

ENDS

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