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

 


Govt’s ECE record: quantity up, quality down

09 June, 2014

Verdict on Government’s early childhood education record: quantity up, quality down

Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds told the council’s annual conference this weekend (06 June to 08 June 2014) that the Government was succeeding in increasing the quantity of early childhood education, but failing to maintain quality.

While Government spending on early childhood education had risen substantially in recent years, the bulk of new Government spending had gone on the 20 Hours scheme, and to increasing both numbers attending and the number of hours they attended.

Centres, however, were receiving less money per child hour after inflation was taken into account. Many specific funding programmes had been cut. And the result was ‘centres all over New Zealand under substantial financial pressure’.

Many had been forced to replace qualified staff with the unqualified. Many have been forced backwards on teacher-child ratios. Most had cut professional development for teachers. And many had eliminated it.

A March (2014) survey of centres had found ‘the effects of government revenue cuts’ to be most significant of the ‘limiting factors’ that centres were facing, Mr Reynolds said.

While the Government was succeeding in getting early childhood education to greater numbers of Maori, Pasifika and low-income children, some of their ‘ECE Participation Programme’ projects were ‘$2 shop trinkets - cheap and unlikely to work in the long run’.

While every dollar invested in quality early childhood education made it more likely ‘all children, but especially at-risk children, will do well in school, get qualifications, and hold down a job’, if it wasn’t quality it wouldn’t work, Mr Reynolds said.

‘To be specific, I am talking about “supported play groups”, and something called the “flexible and responsive home-based initiative”, neither of which are teacher led in any sense we (the education and care centres) would recognize.’

Mr Reynolds said it was hard to believe that while most middle class children needed qualified teachers, at-risk children could ‘make up all that lost ground’ with unqualified teachers.

Low quality care should not be acceptable anywhere in the early childhood sector, he said. ‘And certainly not for our most at-risk of children – the ones for whom a quality early childhood education could mean the difference between a job and jail.’

The Early Childhood Council’s annual conference was held in Auckland this weekend (Friday 06 to Sunday 08 June).

It was attended by 500 delegates and about 100 speakers, presenters and exhibitors.

The Early Childhood Council is the largest representative body of licensed early childhood centres in New Zealand. Its membership includes more than half of all education and care centres.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news