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Improving Quality Of Early Childhood Education

MEDIA RELEASE 12 NOVEMBER 1999

Education Minister Nick Smith, during a visit to Paula's Preschool in Nelson, today launched a new resource that will help improve the quality of early childhood education throughout the country. The Quality Journey/He Haerenga Whai Hua is a portfolio of resources that will help early childhood education services to review the quality of their work.

"The early years are the most important in a child's life. We are committed to ensuring all New Zealand children get a high quality education so they can have the best possible start. There is no question that the early childhood sector is totally committed to delivering the best results for our children and this new resource will help all of those involved meet that commitment."

The Quality Journey is being sent to early childhood education services throughout the country. It was developed by Dr Anne Meade with Anne Kerslake Hendricks, in consultation with the sector, to help the early childhood sector put in place systems that will give services the opportunity to ask themselves: From: Ministerial Announcements "Are we doing the right things? Are we getting the right results? How can we do better? What could we do differently?

"While this is a voluntary resource, I encourage all early childhood education services to look at how they can use it to help them lift the quality of their service. It is a very useful and easy to follow resource which includes practical information. I want to pay a special tribute to the work that led to The Quality Journey. I am really impressed with the resource that has been developed. It's exciting and it's innovative."

"It is timely that this resource is launched in the NZ Childcare Association's Early Childhood Education Awareness Week. National has made early childhood education its biggest priority in the education sector since 1990. We have opened 1,170 more early childhood centres, increased participation by 45,000 children and increased funding, in real terms, by 92%. We have made a huge commitment to early intervention programmes like Family Start, HIPPY and PAFT and now have health, welfare and education agencies working together under the strengthening families umbrella to ensure all children get the very best start in life."

ENDS

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