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Ministry of Education swallows ECD

Ministry of Education swallows ECD

³The Early Childhood Sector has been taken completely by surprise by the Minister's announcement to merge the Early Childhood Development agency into the Ministry of Education says Sue Thorne, Chief Executive Officer of the Early Childhood Council, which is NZ's largest early childhood organisation representing both community owned and privately owned education and care centres nationwide.²

"There has been no consultation by the Minister with sector representatives, either through his own early childhood advisory committee or through early childhood organisations. This shows a complete contempt for the sector. "

"Building of a single bloated bureaucracy which is the inspection and enforcement agency, the funding administrator, the provider of advice and support to centres, and the researcher and policy advisor to government can only lead to confusion, conflict and poor decisions.²

³I suspect when the Minister talks of wanting a consistent approach he really means he wants to reduce the number of opportunities for disagreement with his policies", says Mrs Thorne.

"Reducing the number of agencies to one compliant Ministry will enable the Minister to "control" the sector from Wellington, rather than allowing the sector to continue to develop within local communities and be truly responsive to the needs of those communities who use ece services. Failure to consult with the sector on this, reinforces this perspective."

"Through this merger an important independent stream of advice on ece policy provided to the Minister by ECD will be lost. Because of the secrecy surrounding this move, it is not difficult to believe that this may be one of the benefits to the Minister.²

³The ECE sector will look more and more to NGO's like the Early Childhood Council for competent, informed, efficient advice and support and to keep the bureaucrats and politicians accountable. "

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