Press Release – Early Childhood Council
A new ERO reporting system, announced on Monday and touted as making it easier for parents to compare early childhood services, may in fact make it more difficult. This is the view of the CEO of the largest representative body of licensed early …New ERO system will make it harder for parents to compare early childhood services
8 May 2013
A new ERO reporting system, announced on Monday and touted as making it easier for parents to compare early childhood services, may in fact make it more difficult.
This is the view of the CEO of the largest representative body of licensed early childhood centres in New Zealand.
The Early Childhood Council’s Peter Reynolds said today (08 May) that ERO was creating a system in which centre-based early childhood education services would be assessed in a new way, but home-based services would continue to be assessed in the old.
The result would be a two-tiered system in which it would be more difficult for parents to compare the quality of a centre-based service with a homed-based service.
Mr Reynolds said home-based services were much more lightly-regulated than centre-based, and the new system could make it harder for parents to see the results of this.
Centre-based services were, for example, required to have between 50 and 80% qualified teachers with a minimum of a three-year tertiary qualification, while many home-based services functioned with no qualified staff in daily contact with children.
More worryingly, au-pairs were arriving in increasing numbers from overseas with no early childhood education qualifications, no knowledge of the New Zealand education system, and receiving almost immediately Government early childhood education funding to teach children in homes.
‘If the point of the new ERO system is to make quality more transparent for families, why exempt those parts of the early childhood education sector in which quality is most in question? Mr Reynolds said.
‘If the point is to make quality more transparent for families, why have two systems?
The Early Childhood Council has more than 1000 member centres, about 30% of which are community-owned and 70% commercially owned. Its membership includes providers of both centre-based and home-based early childhood education.