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


Relief for Families

3 December 2004

Relief for Families

The Minister of Education's announcement that he intends to avert the closure of nearly 400 early childhood centres by rushing through a regulatory amendment is welcomed with relief by the Early Childhood Council.

"Extending the time period for provisional licences from the current 3 months to 12 months will give breathing space to centres in hard to staff areas such as Auckland, smaller provincial towns and rural areas" said Mrs Thorne, Chief Executive Officer of the Early Childhood Council.

"The Minister is making a sensible but temporary patch-up to an ill-advised policy that has perversely driven down quality" said Mrs Thorne.

Over the past four years centres have been progressively replacing their senior, experienced staff who hold the previously accepted qualifications with graduates with the new qualifications introduced by Trevor Mallard.

Despite their best efforts, they have not been able to employ enough staff with the new qualification in time to meet the 1 January 2005 deadline, with an estimated shortage of around 1200 teachers.

The Early Childhood Council has been telling the Minister, the Ministry of Education, and the media for the past two years that the early childhood sector is in the grip of a staffing crisis of monumental proportions. It has been frustrating that Trevor Mallard has taken so long to accept the extent of that crisis.

Here we are four weeks out from the introduction of the new qualifications regime and finally the Minister announces he is giving centres a reprieve.

"The Minister's announcement has last minute panic written all over it" said Mrs Thorne.

The stress that has been placed on the 400 centre managers, their staff and the 20,000 families who rely on their services for the care and education of their children could easily have been avoided had the Minister followed the advice of the sector when it first became obvious his deadlines were unrealistic and unachievable.

The Early Childhood Council represents the managers and owners of over 800 community owned and privately owned services throughout New Zealand.


© 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>>


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>>