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

 

Bodega: Venue Closing At The End Of The Year, After 25 Years Of Music

"It is with considerable sadness that, for reasons beyond our control, we regret to announce the closure of Bodega’s doors at the end of this year, after 25 years of faithful and committed service to live music in Wellington." More>>

Memorabilia: Te Papa Buys Peter Snell Singlet

Te Papa has purchased the singlet worn by Peter Snell at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics at an auction this morning at Cordy’s auction house in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Women At The Centre

In the first chapter of her epic History of New Zealand Women, Barbara Brookes places a version of the Māori creation story alongside that of the Pākehā colonists, setting the scene for how each society saw women. The contrast is startling. More>>

In Auckland Art Gallery: A Tour Of Duty

I had already started my journey through the exhibited collections when an audio announcement about a guided tour to embark shortly from the foyer was made, I decided to join in. Why not? More>>

Art: ‘Holiday’ Wins IHC Art Awards

An intricate embroidered cushion by Wellington artist Jo-Anne Tapiki has won the 2016 IHC Art Awards and $5000. Jo-Anne started working from IHC’s Arts on High studio in Lower Hutt 18 months ago and this is the first time she has entered the competition. More>>

‘Quasi’: Christchurch Art Gallery Reveals Rooftop Sculpture

Christchurch-born and internationally renowned artist Ronnie van Hout has had a huge hand in Christchurch Art Gallery's latest outdoor installation. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news