Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Another wake up call to invest in early childhood education

15th August 2011

Yet another wake up call to the government to invest more in early childhood education

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is asking how much more evidence the government needs to stop treating early childhood education as an unmanageable cost rather than an investment for the future.

A report commissioned by Every Child Counts says that outcomes for New Zealand children are among the lowest in the OECD and that is costing the country up to $6 billion a year. It says New Zealand has among the lowest levels of public investment in children and access to affordable early childhood education is a critical form of investment which leads to positive returns.

“Here we have yet another report which stresses how important investing in the early years is and how quality early childhood education can improve outcomes for children later in life, ultimately saving the country billions of dollars a year,” says NZEI National Executive member Hayley Whitaker.

“It is astounding that in the face of this type of evidence and similar recommendations from the ECE Taskforce and the Gluckman Report that this government continues to treat early childhood education as an unmanageable cost rather than a wise investment for the future”.

“It has cut hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to thousands of early childhood centres, treating qualified teachers as a luxury and making ECE more expensive for thousands of families,” she says.

In many countries such as Denmark where they have universal high quality early childhood education, children from low income backgrounds do four times better than similar children in other OECD countries.

An NZEI petition signed by more than 60,000 New Zealanders calls on the government to reverse the funding cuts and invest at least 1% of GDP on early childhood education as recommended by UNICEF. An OECD report in 2009 showed New Zealand spent 0.4% of GDP - well below the OECD average.

Ms Whitaker says “more investment in the early years is in the long-term interests of the whole country and the bottom-line is that our children are worth it.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland