4 March 2014
Promotion of quality ECE needs to be backed by the right policies and funding – NZEI
NZEI Te Riu Roa has welcomed the Minister of Education's focus on promoting quality early childhood education in a new project aimed at parents, but says the Government must commit to the right policies and funding if all parents and youngsters are actually going to be able to attend high quality services.
NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says advertising aimed at getting parents enrolling their children in quality ECE was helpful, but the Government needs to follow through with the right funding and policies if parents are to have real choice about quality.
Instead, the Government has cut funding to 100% qualified teacher services, increased maximum ECE centre sizes from 50 to 150 children and failed to implement its 2008 pledge to reduce ratios for under-2s to 1:4.
"The research is very clear: it is quality ECE that makes a positive difference for kids, and quality is strongly correlated with qualified and registered teachers, good adult to child ratios, small group sizes, strong relationships between families and services, and warm and welcoming learning environments.”
"All children deserve the best start in life, not just those lucky enough to live in the right place or those able to afford it."
NZEI Te Riu Roa National Executive Early Childhood Education representative, Virginia Oakly, says the Government cuts to quality services have caused significant increased cost to parents and created financial pressures for services such as kindergartens and community-based services that have been committed to maintaining 100% qualified and registered teachers.