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Early childhood strategic planning working group

23 August 2000


Early childhood strategic planning working group

Education Minister Trevor Mallard tonight announced details of the Early Childhood Education Strategic Planning working group.

Speaking at an early childhood meeting in Palmerston North, Trevor Mallard said the working group, which will meet for the first time next week, would work on a plan to introduce coherency to the early childhood education sector.

"The number of children in early childhood education has grown. That's largely due to the labour market changes," Trevor Mallard said.

"There is a desperate need in many parts of the country for quality, affordable early childhood education, but there is no strategy to meet this need.

"It is time to reintroduce some coherency to the sector.

"The Budget this year included funding for a long-term strategy for the sector. $100,000 has been set aside in the first year to produce a discussion document, and run a nationwide consultation process. A further $50,000 will be available in next year's Budget for a working group to do further work on the proposed strategic plan.

"The working group is being established to prepare a report on early childhood education goals spanning the next ten years. The objective of the plan is to develop strategic goals and a framework for early childhood education policy that will:
 improve quality and access to early childhood education for all New Zealand children;

 identify and take into account relationships between government policy in early childhood education and other government policy goals, particularly those in labour market, health, welfare and Closing the Gaps policies; and



 give stability to the sector as to the future direction of early childhood education in New Zealand.

"There are separate groups currently examining shorter term issues including an equity funding working group and methods of recognising skills and knowledge for qualification purposes.

"It is envisaged that the working group will meet for up to ten 2-day meetings over the next 12 months and submit its final report before the end of August 2001. Five of these meetings may consist of the full group, while the other five will concentrate on Mäori, Pacific and mainstream strand development.

"The group will be headed by Anne Meade – author of the fourth Labour Government's report into early childhood education "Before Five"

"The strategic plan is a priority for us. The result will provide a focus as all other ECE policy is developed. It will include goals developed by the sector and it will set out how those goals will be achieved," Trevor Mallard said.


ENDS


Terms of Reference and group membership attached
Terms of Reference for the development of a Strategic Plan for Early Childhood Education

Preamble

1 The government is committed to the development of a strategic plan for early childhood education. The purpose of the plan is to provide strategic goals and a framework for policy that will give stability to the sector as to the future direction of early childhood education in New Zealand.
2 The government's broad early childhood education aims are to:
 improve access to, participation in and quality in early childhood education; and
 Close the Gaps in participation in quality early childhood education between Mäori and non-Mäori, and Pacific and non-Pacific children.

Treaty of Waitangi

3 The strategic plan working group is to recognise that government and Mäori have a special relationship through the Treaty of Waitangi, and to use structures and processes aimed at enhancing this relationship.
Guiding principles

4 The strategic plan working group is to:
a consult with a wide range of relevant parties, paying particular attention to underrepresented populations; and
b identify and take into account relationships between government policy in early childhood education and other government policy goals, particularly those in labour market, health, welfare and Closing the Gaps policies.
Key Tasks to be achieved by Strategic Plan Working Group

5 The strategic plan working group is to:
a develop a 10-year strategic plan to fulfil government's broad aims for early childhood education that contains strategic goals and a framework for policy for early childhood education;
b develop three strands: Mäori, Pacific and "mainstream" in preparing the plan that are later woven together in the final report. Issues for Mäori and Pacific children and their families in both "mainstream" and language-immersion services should be addressed;
c harmonise the goals and strategies for Mäori children with those contained in 'Whakaaro Maatauranga' and those which arise from the Ministry of Education’s Hui Taumata;
d harmonise the goals and strategies for Pacific children with those contained in 'Ko E Ako 'a e Kakai Pasifika';
e develop and implement a consultation process to facilitate the involvement of the following in the development of the strategic plan for early childhood education:
 the early childhood sector;
 Mäori and Pacific communities;
 "unrepresented interests" (communities – geographic and population-based - that have little access to early childhood education, and providers not represented by national organisations);
 rural groups;
 parents;
 the school sector; and
 training and professional development providers.

The process should include Ministry of Education mechanisms and other approaches that will be effective in reaching the relevant groups;

f address issues to do with barriers to participation and/or access for communities that are underrepresented in early childhood education services(when compared with the rate of the general community);
g focus on closing the gaps between Mäori and non-Mäori, Pacific and non-Pacific children in early childhood education;
h identify barriers to access to culturally appropriate services for Mäori and Pacific children and their families, including the responsiveness of "mainstream" services to these communities;
i examine issues related to quality early childhood education and recommend approaches to improving quality. The role of providers of teacher training, registration and the Education Council may need to be considered;
j advise on how existing government agencies and mechanisms could be used to progress the strategic goals for early childhood education; and
k report on progress to the Ministry of Education about every 6 weeks, present a draft report to the Minister of Education for his consideration by April, 2001, and prepare a final report by the end of August 2001 for consideration by the Minister of Education and Cabinet.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
STATEGIC PLANNING WORKING GROUP

Anne Meade - Wellington
Afamasaga Telesia McDonald
- Auckland
Bernadette Ah Voa Eteuete
- Auckland
Fereni Ete
- Wellington
Hellen PuhiPuhi
- Wanganui
Naama Prasad
- Auckland
Iritana Tawhiwhirangi
- Wellington
Christine Walker
- Wanganui
Matiu Clendon
- Auckland
Donna Matahaere-Atariki
- Dunedin
Sola Freeman
- Wellington
Marianne Kayes
- Auckland
Anne Smith
- Dunedin
Helen May
- Wellington
Jean Rockel
- Auckland
Di Banks
- Wairarapa
Pat Davey
- Dunedin
Don Gilling
- Wellington
Clare Wells
- Wellington
Jenny Varney
- Wellington
Linda Mitchell
- Wellington
Royce Dewe
- Wanganui
Sue Thorne
Auckland
Jan Ballantyne
- Putaruru
Rose Cole
- Wellington
Jenny Boyne
- Martinborough
Candy Smith - South Auckland

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