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ECE advocates say vaccination should not be required

Early childhood education advocates say vaccination should not be required to attend

15 March 2017

For immediate release.

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ) strongly believes children should be immunised as the weight of scientific evidence demonstrating the benefits of vaccination is overwhelming. However, the organisation does not recommend it should be a requirement to attend early childhood education (ECE) services.

‘We believe that children should be vaccinated,’ said Kathy Wolfe, Chief Executive of ECNZ. However, unlike moves in Australia, we don’t believe this should be a requirement for a child to enrol in ECE services in New Zealand. ECNZ respects the right of whānau to choose.’

Ms Wolfe added, ‘We are fortunate that immunisation rates are very high in New Zealand with near to 95% coverage, without resorting to enforcement. We believe information, education and social marketing are the keys to keeping this percentage high and improving on it. This then provides parents with the ability to make informed decisions.’

ECNZ also believe that making vaccinations compulsory would mean some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children would not attend ECE, and this would be a step backwards.

ENDS

About Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ) - formerly known as Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa/NZ Childcare Association (NZCA).

ECNZ is a national organisation that promotes high quality early childhood education (ECE) through initial teacher education, professional development, advocacy and membership services. ECNZ represents hundreds of early childhood education (ECE) services, providing education and care to thousands of infants, toddlers and young children. Established in 1963, ECNZ has a long history of improving standards of practice in New Zealand’s early childhood education sector. Registered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as a Private Tertiary Education (PTE) provider, ECNZ is today one of New Zealand’s largest providers of early childhood initial teacher education (ITE), with over 60 academic staff based at 11 sites throughout the country.

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