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

 

Ideologically Bigoted Policies Driving a Wedge

17 July 2005

Ideologically Bigoted Policies Driving a Wedge

Address to the New Zealand Childcare Association Conference 15 July 2005 Toni Christie, Principal of Childspace Early Learning Centres

Tena Koutou Katoa

He tino hari kua tututaki tatou.

Me mahi tahi tatou mo te oranga o te tamariki.

My name is Toni Christie and I am the Principal of Childspace early learning centres and the Director of Childspace Early Childhood Institute.

Thank you for the invitation today to share my vision for the future of early childhood in New Zealand.

The difficult thing about describing my vision for early childhood is keeping the description to five minutes!

Any of you who know me will know I like discussion and debate and can become quite passionate when discussing my favourite topic – early childhood.

I am also reminded of a quote I read recently which I thought particularly relevant as this is a political forum in an election year. “Keep your words soft and tender in case you have to eat them later”.

First of all I wish to give us all, and those who have come before us a bouquet… recently I was in Montreal for the world forum on early care and education and I am proud to say that New Zealand is a little country that is leading the world when it comes to early childhood education and care.

New Zealand was among the best funded countries out of the eighty nations represented at the forum. Our levels of government funding are well ahead of our traditional economical models such as Australia, the United States and the UK.

Not only do we receive far greater government funding for early childhood in New Zealand, but we are also well advanced in our policy work, regulations, diversity, innovation, curriculum, research, and environments.

Another thing I am always proud of when I attend world forums is our emphasis on preserving the language and culture of our indigenous people.

Globally, I have not seen a better model than New Zealand and we have much to share with the rest of the world in this regard.

So, to all of us, and all who have come before us, WELL DONE! We are world leaders…

Now to our future…

I envisage a highly motivated, highly intelligent, and highly paid profession which is responsive to the needs of its clients – children and families.

It is so often said that diversity is our strength in early childhood.

Do we really believe this?

Do politicians believe this?

Because if they do I wonder why they create policy which rewards one sector type over another?

Diversity should be a strength. We are fortunate in Early Childhood that we have not yet been forced into the “one size fits all” approach to education evident in our compulsory sector.

Every family is unique just as every child is unique. Let THEM choose which service best suits the unique needs of their child and family.

If twenty hours free cannot be a reality for all children then by all means direct this funding to the CHILDREN who need it.

But you can’t tell me there is anything equitable about a wealthy family receiving this benefit just because they happen to attend a community based centre or a poor family missing out because there is no community based provision in their area.

No, this policy was based purely and simply on ideology and has been widely criticised by parts of our sector, treasury, ministry of social development and most recently in the OECD report.

Early childhood should be about meeting the needs of children and families NOT vested interest groups.

Ideologically bigoted policies that drive a wedge between different groups within our sector and remove a family’s right to choice should be rejected by the whole sector so that we might truly have strength in our diversity.

Any political party which forms a coalition government should recognise that we all have a role to play; Private and community, home-based and centre-based, parent – led and teacher – led, all day and part day.

Once the parties realise that one service type is not superior to another and that each service plays a vital role in the health and well being of our youngest children, THEN they can ensure funding seeks to support diversity, improve quality, increase participation and promote choices for families.

Kia kaha and good luck to all the politicians here. I acknowledge the incredible amount of effort and enthusiasm you all bring to your roles.

To the early childhood people in the room. I acknowledge your effort and enthusiasm also. Be very proud, we are world leaders and have much to share – with each other as well as our global colleagues. United we stand, divided we fail our tamariki, No reira, Kia ora

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis Review: From Free Press to Fancy Dress - Spielberg's The Post

Stephen Spielberg's The Post is an opportune newsroom drama in which a corrupt Republican president wages war against the "liberal media," as its plucky proprietor risks economic and legal ruin to bring the Pentagon Papers to public light. Its true protagonist is publisher Katharine Graham, a stringently diplomatic businesswoman, reluctantly compelled to take an overtly political stance in the interests of democracy and freedom of the press. More>>



Howard Davis Review: The Black Dog of Empire - Joe Wright's Darkest Hour'

On the eve of England's contorted efforts to negotiate its ignominious retreat from Europe and the chaotic spectacle of the Tory party ratifying its undignified departure from a union originally designed to prevent another World War, there has been a renewed appetite for movies about 1940. More>>



Howard Davis Review: Anger Begets Anger - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

For fans of what Ricky Gervais termed "number movies" (Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean's 11, Se7en), Martin McDonagh's latest offering will be a welcome addition to the roster. The Irish playwright turned screenwriter and director has produced another quirky and darkly comic tragedy that evolves around the futility of anger and grief, retribution and revenge. More>>

Howard Davis: Sexting in George Dawe's Genevieve - Part I

Te Papa's permanent collection includes an enormous oil painting by the English artist George Dawe called Genevieve (from by a poem by S.T. Coleridge entitled 'Love') that was prominently featured in the 2013 exhibition Angels & Aristocrats. Compare the massive immensity of the bard's gorgeously gilded harp with the stubby metallic handle of the Dark Knight's falchion, both suggestively positioned at crotch-level. Dawe's enormous canvas invokes a whole history of blushing that pivots around a direct connection to sexual arousal. More>>

ALSO:

Ethnomusicology: Malian ‘Desert Blues’ Revolutionaries To Storm WOMAD

Malian band Tinariwen (playing WOMAD NZ in March 2018) are a true musical revolutionaries in every sense. Active since 1982, these nomadic Tuareg or ‘Kel Tamashek’ (speakers of Tamashek) electric guitar legends revolutionised a traditional style to give birth to a new genre often called ‘desert blues’. They also have a history rooted deeply in revolution and fighting for the rights of their nomadic Tamashek speaking culture and people. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017

Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland