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ECE funding lacks focus on quality

ECE funding lacks focus on quality

New Zealand Kindergartens welcomes the $155.7 million increase in the 2014 budget to support participation in early childhood education, but is disappointed the government hasn’t made a commitment to improving the quality of ECE services.

“The budget reprioritises around $20 million of funding and while we welcome new funding to keep pace with growing participation rates in ECE and to provide some help to services to meet rising costs, we are disappointed that the government hasn’t focused on improving the quality of ECE.” said New Zealand Kindergartens Chief Executive Clare Wells. “Overall we still have some way to go to ensure every child has access to high quality early childhood education.”

“This budget was the opportunity to lift the standards for all ECE (teacher-led) services to support at least 80% of staff have the appropriate teaching qualifications to work with young children as a step towards 100% qualified teaching workforce." said Wells. “Instead, the government has left it at 50%, and that’s not good enough.”

“It was also an opportunity to connect initiatives around professional leadership and special education across ECE and schools," says Wells. "Better connections would improve professional leadership and teaching practice and strengthen transitions for children and families."

The government has acknowledged the importance of ECE to the well-being and educational achievement of all children – and all services must be high quality to realise these outcomes.


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