Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Failing to Consider Parents' Quality Perspectives

PRESS RELEASE

29 July 2004

Government Early Childhood Education Policy Failing to Consider Parents' Perspectives on Quality

Questions need to be asked about why Education Minister Trevor Mallard and policy-advising officials are failing to support parents to make informed choices about their child's early education, says education researcher Dr. Sarah Farquhar.

"The government is doing many good things including, trying to make early childhood education more affordable and available to families, earmarking new funding to meet the cost of getting more qualified teachers and improving teacher:child ratios, and professional development and curriculum materials".

"But what's missing is a concern for giving all parents access to information on the diversity of options and choices, and how to assess what works best for their child and family".

Mr Mallard notes "research shows intensive and regular participation in quality early childhood education delivers the strongest benefits for children". "But stronger than what?" questions Dr. Farquhar.

Dr. Farquhar believes for babies and young children parenting and parental involvement in children's learning is vitally important and should be given greater recognition. A review of the best evidence shows that some of the strongest impacts on children's outcomes result from partnerships between teachers and parents that align practices in the two settings and enable parents to actively support their child's learning.

When family and home background characteristics are taken into account the international research shows that early childhood education has advantages particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. However benefits of early childhood education for the child can be cancelled out if the early childhood service provides an approximate equivalence or lower quality than the home.

Dr. Farquhar argues that resources and support should be available to all parents to empower them to ask questions and monitor how well their service continues to meet their child's needs and their needs as parents, and is responsive to family values.

A video resource for parents called "Choices for Children: Childcare and Education" has been made by Dr. Farquhar. She says it is an attempt to reach parents to let them know that what makes quality in an early childhood centre is a lot wider than simply what the government says and requires of services.

"It tells parents that they can and should have a voice in saying what suits them, their child and family best. And at the same time policy makers and officials might learn a thing or two from the video about the importance of children's happiness and melding family values and culture with early childhood options".

The video features 14 early childhood services, including nanny and home-based services, kindergarten, Te Kohanga Reo, Pacific Island language centres, childcare, playcentre, and Montessori. Information and an order form is available at http://www.childforum.com Or write to Dr. Farquhar at PO Box 58-078, Porirua, Wellington.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION