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Moving forward in early childhood education


Attention: education reporters
18 November 2008

Moving forward in early childhood education

New Zealand Kindergartens welcomes the incoming Minister of Education Anne Tolley and her Associate Ministers Dr Pita Sharples and Heather Roy.

“We look forward to working with the new team to improve early childhood education and ensure all children and their families can access high quality services.” says Clare Wells, NZ Kindergartens chief executive.

The strategic plan Nga Huarahi Arataki developed by representatives of early childhood education organisations over an eighteen month period from 2000, is on track to be fully implemented by 2012.

“A considerable investment has been made in early childhood education, which we expect will continue. Improved quality and increased participation rates, plus better collaboration within the sector and government agencies, and with parents, are the hallmarks of the strategic plan.” says Clare Wells.

“We are keen to work with the new government on initiatives to increase teacher supply to ensure the target of all qualified teachers in centre-based services by 2012 is met and it is good to know the incoming government wants to work with the sector to increase participation rates. We look forward to contributing to that process.” says Clare Wells.

We are starting to see the benefits of the ‘20 hours free’ policy improving access and reducing costs for parents. “The aim was to do both – and that’s happened. Extending the opportunity to more parents, which is the intention of the government, is a good move.” said Clare Wells.

Over 190,000 children participate in early childhood education in centre or home based services, and in parent or teacher–led services. Research shows high quality care and education in the early years has lasting benefits for children and society through the school years and beyond.


New Zealand Kindergartens represents 29 kindergarten associations around the country, responsible for 415 kindergartens catering for around 35,000 children and families.

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