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


Budget contemptuous of children with special learning needs

26 May, 2016

Budget 2016 contemptuous of children with special learning needs, says Early Childhood Council

The Government’s 2016 Budget is contemptuous of the many thousands of struggling families who have preschoolers with special learning needs, says New Zealand’s largest representative body of licensed early childhood centres.

Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds says the Budget delivered many tens of million of dollars to school children with special educational needs, and ‘not a penny for children in early childhood education’.

Mr Reynolds described the Government’s special education strategy as ‘insane’.

‘They leave children with hopelessly inadequate special education support during their early childhood years when the most important cognitive development is occurring. They wait until the children’s development is seriously delayed, and their problems exacerbated… then they intervene, at school, to address the problems created by this neglect.’

Mr Reynolds described the state of professional development funding for early childhood education as ‘a national disgrace’.

He said a recent survey of early childhood centres had revealed:

• fifty-nine per cent of centres waiting, on average, more than three months for assistance with the assessment of children, and almost a quarter waiting more than six months;

• more than 80 per cent of centres indicating the results of this included the ‘delayed development of… children’; and

• 90 per cent saying they did not receive Education Support Worker support for the amount of time they required it.

‘I feel for the ECE teachers and managers struggling to cope with all kinds of children with special learning needs - without proper resource. I know teachers are attacked. I know some go home with bite marks and bruises. I know centre equipment gets damaged. I know some children with special learning needs take up the full-time attention of a single teacher, leaving other children with insufficient attention. And I know the difficulties this can cause for those managing early childhood education centres.’

Mr Reynolds said the Government knew exactly what was going on for children with special learning needs in early childhood education, ‘but they just couldn’t care less’.

The Early Childhood Council has a membership of more than 1100 centres, and cares for tens of thousands of children from one end of New Zealand to the other.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


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: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. 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>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland