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Updated early childhood curriculum welcomed by advocates

Updated early childhood curriculum welcomed by advocates

12 April 2017

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ) today welcomed the updated Te Whāriki, New Zealand’s early childhood education (ECE) curriculum, just released by the Ministry of Education.

‘Ahead of the 2014 election we began lobbying government to revisit and strengthen Te Whāriki so that every child experiences a rich curriculum,’ said Kathy Wolfe. Government heard this call and, overall we’re pleased with the new document.’

Updating what has become a taonga was always going to be a huge challenge. It was essential that the Ministry took up this challenge, along with the ECE sector. Te Whāriki was first published over 20 years ago, and while it was highly regarded both nationally and globally, it needed to be updated to reflect the world our children live in today and how they learn.

Ms Wolfe said that the submission ECNZ provided on behalf of members, staff and its Council has been responded to in the final document.

‘We feel that we’ve been heard, and this is encouraging. We’d like to commend the Ministry on getting the updated Te Whāriki to a good place for the sector, and most importantly for children.’

‘We’re heartened to see the commitment to biculturalism reflected front and centre. Also, the organisation is encouraged that $4m has been earmarked for professional development for the sector.’

‘We thank the Ministry for their commitment to investing in professional development for teachers,’ said Ms Wolfe. ‘As with any curriculum, its true success is determined by the people charged with delivering its contents and those receiving the professional development. These are the teachers that work with over 200,000 tamariki every day. The challenge now is that kaiako pick up the baton and provide high quality consistent delivery of Te Whāriki in their centre.’

‘I would like to extend our thanks to Sir Tamati Reedy, Lady Tilly Reedy and the writing team for their work. I also thank our former Chief Executive Nancy Bell (now Director Early Learning with the Ministry) for leading this critical project.’

Ms Wolfe said that while today was a day to celebrate it was important to note that having a 100% qualified workforce to deliver the refreshed Te Whāriki was another key aspect to ensuring high quality ECE provision. Ms Wolfe calls on all political parties to reflect this in their ECE policies in the lead up to the September election.


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