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Better support for learning

Better support for learning

“The Education Review Office (ERO) should be looking at how well the needs of children attending an early childhood education (ECE) service are being met alongside those children in school,” said Clare Wells, Chief Executive New Zealand Kindergartens (NZK). ERO announced it would be reviewing how schools’ work with children with disabilities and challenging behaviour in 2018.

“It was over 5 years ago that ERO looked at how well ECE services work with children who need additional support for their learning” Clare Wells said. “Managing challenging behaviour is a growing issue for services. Many children with complex and challenging needs attend ECE before attending school so it makes sense to start there and review across the system.”

“However, a review will only tell what we already know” said Clare Wells. “We know access to specialist services varies across the regions, there are long waiting times for referral and poor resourcing has compounded an already difficult situation for children, their families and teachers.”

The Ministry of Education’s new ‘service delivery model’ will be rolled-out in 2018. It aims to provide better support for children and young people needing additional support for their learning. “The aim is a good one, but its success relies on better resourcing. Simply changing the model without additional resourcing isn’t going to work.”

“To maximise the benefit, it is time for the government to require all staff in ECE centres to be fully qualified and registered teachers, be well supported by experts and have access to effective professional development.”

"It is critical that the resources are tagged to providing quality services for young children who need learning support, along with expert advice and support for parents and whānau and the ECE services children attend. These are the conditions within which all young children will thrive and experience success as learners," Clare Wells said.

ENDS

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