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Performance is key for success of ECE sector

1 August 2005

Performance, not ownership, of centres is key for success of ECE sector, new report finds

Abolishing early childhood subsidies based on centre ownership – including abolishing the ‘20 free hours’ policy – and replacing them with performance standards will bring better and fairer outcomes for children, a new report has found.

The report from independent researchers, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, recommends:

Public subsidies and other assistance should be made available to all early childhood education providers who meet objective performance standards and the ‘20 free hours’ policy abolished.

All standards differentiated by the ownership status of a centre should be replaced with standards that are independent of ownership.

Sponsored by the Early Childhood Council, Putting Children First investigates a range of ways to get better outcomes for children in early childhood education centres.

Early Childhood Council chief executive Sue Thorne said it was very heartening to see recommendations – from an independent source – that, if used as policy, would give parents more choice and improve centres’ quality.

“Parents at our 800plus-member centres have been telling us for months that they want freedom over which centres they choose for their children, and for centres to be encouraged to perform so parents have good choices to make. This research is a clear vindication of their views.

“Parents know what is best for their children and now they have solid, independent research to back up their gut instincts for their families’ wellbeing,” Mrs Thorne said.

Putting Children First is available from


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