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Early Education Federation Launch – July 5th

4 July 2005

Early Education Federation Launch – July 5th

A new organisation representing 17 national bodies involved in early childhood education is being launched by the Minister of Education in Wellington next week. [July 5]

The Early Education Federation includes organisations that previously made up the Federated Early Childhood Education Organisations, and represent kindergartens, playcentres, community early childhood centres, home-based providers, special education, hospital early childhood education services, and providers of teacher education, as well as employers and unions for early childhood teachers.

The organisations represented provide education to around 113,000 children and offer early childhood teaching and post-graduate qualifications to more than 3,000 students.

The Federation plans to give a higher profile to early childhood education issues.

Spokesperson Jane Couch says while a strength of the New Zealand early childhood sector is its diversity, it is important for those in the sector to work together to have a strong political voice for young children’s education.

“Everybody knows education is important, but early childhood education is the most important of all, because it lays the groundwork for all future learning.’

“New Zealand is a world leader in early childhood education in many respects, but not many people outside the sector know just how well we are doing. We need to continue the work and continue to speak out for a quality early childhood service that is accessible to all.”

The Early Education Federation is committed to the strategic plan for early childhood education – Nga Huarahi Arataki: Pathways to the Future which has three goals – quality, accessibility and collaborative relationships within the sector.

“These goals are not just words – the plan gives those working in early childhood something to unite around and work towards” says Ms Couch.

Almost every organisation involved in education supports the strategic plan. Implementing the plan involves moving to a fully qualified registered workforce by 2012, working to better adult to child ratios and smaller group size, changing services to make them more responsive to community needs, and providing services that suit people from all cultures, and in areas where services are inadequate to meet demand.

The Early Education Federation plans to be an effective lobby group and will advise the media on suitable contacts to comment on different aspects of early childhood education, children’s development and children’s issues.

Speakers at the launch include the Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard, and Linda Mitchell, a senior researcher from the New Zealand Council of Educational Research who has undertaken significant work in the early childhood area. The event will also mark the launch of the Federation’s website.

Member organisations of the Federation are listed below.

Barnardos New Zealand Bethlehem Institute Christian Early Childhood Education Association of Aotearoa Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics in NZ Montessori Association of NZ Nanny Education Organisation of New Zealand National Association of ECE Directors - Colleges of Education/Universities CCS NZEI Te Riu Roa NZ Federation of Free Kindergartens NZ Home-based Early Childhood Education Association NZ Hospital Play Specialists Association NZ Kindergartens NZ Playcentre Federation The Correspondence School - Te Kura ä Tuhi Early Childhood Service Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa/New Zealand Childcare Association World Organisation for Early Childhood Education OMEP Aotearoa NZ

ENDS

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