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

 


Spotlight on ECE Participation for the Most Disadvantaged

Spotlight on ECE Participation for the Most Disadvantaged Children

Thursday 19 June, 2014
Press Release: ChildForum

Wellington – A report released today by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) supports concerns held by many in the early childhood sector that Government policy puts too much emphasis on simply getting under-5s into care without ensuring that issues fundamental to providing quality education are addressed.

However, putting a baby or young child who is living in poverty into care during the day, even when it is of the highest quality, may not be the only or the best solution to alleviate child poverty, says Dr Sarah Farquhar, chief executive of the early childhood national network, ChildForum.

“Children’s basic needs are for love and security, food, shelter, warmth, and good health and at the end of the day attendance at an early childhood facility will only benefit the child in so far as it makes a difference to the home environment and parents’ ability to meet their children’s needs,” Dr Farquhar says.

Child Poverty Action Group said in its report that “it is essential that the push to increase participation in early childhood services is matched by a focus on high quality, culturally responsive services.

“Disadvantaged children are the most vulnerable to potential harm so it's vital that policies to increase participation are matched with a focus on making sure all children have access to high quality, culturally responsive services."

Dr Farquhar says other options for policy consideration could include for example, giving parents a financial choice to be full-time parents or utilise a formal facility, greater support for mothers to continue breastfeeding to mitigate the health risks to children of being in large-group care, and closing the large gaps in funding rates that favour full-day over part-day services and private ECE services over centres provided by community groups and parents such as Playcentres.

Dr Farquhar says that CPAG has highlighted some of the key issues existing in early childhood education, including the affordability of ECE for low-income families, discrimination against the children of beneficiary parents by the Government in making childcare effectively compulsory only for this group, and regulations that do not set high enough standards for employing staff that are qualified and registered teachers, limiting group size, and ensuring optimal staffing ratios for toddlers and babies.

A survey of 360 people released by ChildForum last month revealed a strong desire by those working in the sector for the Government to take immediate action on:

• Improving the current ratio of one teacher for every five under-2s, to 1:4

• Restoring funding for services employing 100% registered teachers

• Limiting the number of children in groups/classes within a service’s licence

• A review of community-based ECE services with discussion as to how these services could be better supported

• Lifting the minimum requirement for the percentage of qualified teachers in teacher-led services from 50% to 80%

Also there is concern that the teaching qualifications of those providing ECE as home-based educators are not recognised.

Dr Farquhar says counting only the qualifications of coordinators who oversee the work of home-based educators has led to a misperception that all home-based educators are unqualified and therefore all are providing care inferior to that provided within centre-based settings.

For information on the May 2014 ECE survey results go to: http://www.childforum.com/news-early-childhood-education-latest/1199-ece-sector-confidence-policy-survey-2014.html

About ChildForum: ChildForum is NZ’s early childhood national network supporting more than 4,000 early childhood services across the sector, including owners, managers, educators and parents with research, information, guidance and resources. ECE tertiary providers, researchers, health professionals, and child advocates along with many others also engage with the ECE Network. For more information see ChildForum’s website at http://www.childforum.com

ENDS …


© 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