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

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news