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Early Childhood Education needs Leadership Plan

Date: 10 July 2009

Early Childhood Education needs Leadership Strategy

New Zealand's early childhood education sector would benefit from a cohesive leadership strategy, says New Zealand Teachers Council Director, Dr Peter Lind.

This conclusion was the result of the Teachers Council's research report, Conceptualising Leadership in Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand which Dr Lind released today at the Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa/New Zealand Childcare Association conference in Auckland.

"While there is a leadership strategy for the school sector there is no equivalent support for teachers and leaders in the early childhood education sector. The absence of a cohesive leadership strategy is a significant risk to professional initiatives supporting quality teaching and learning in this sector”, says Dr Lind.

"Quality leadership is not just the domain of the person who is responsible for the centre, kindergarten, kohanga reo or home-based network but requires all teachers to have the opportunities to further develop their leadership capability."

Quality early childhood education has a significant impact on the learning achievements of children. Longitudinal research studies show that children at age 14, who received quality early childhood education, were still educationally benefiting from that experience nine years later.

The early childhood education sector is growing. As at 1 July 2008, 198,784 children were enrolled at 4,649 early childhood education services, an increase of 3.8% from 1 July 2007. There are now 16,861 registered teachers in this sector.

The New Zealand Teachers Council was established in 2002 to provide professional leadership in teaching, enhance the professional status of teachers and to contribute to a safe and high quality teaching and learning environment. The Council works, in partnership with teachers and others, to encourage best teaching practice, excellent learning outcomes for students and the maintenance of high professional standards.


ENDS

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