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


Where are the policy announcements for early learning?

Where are the policy announcements for early learning?

30 August 2017

Early childhood education is conspicuous by its absence from current political debate on education, says Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ) Chief Executive Kathy Wolfe.

“From the recent education policy announcements by the National party government and opposition parties, you would think that our tamariki’s education doesn’t begin until they step through the door of their first primary school.”

“No government is going to materially improve educational achievement at primary and secondary school unless it tackles head-on our country’s persistent underinvestment in quality teaching in early childhood education.

“There is good evidence that high-quality teaching for under-fives leads to better performance at later stages of schooling. Qualified early childhood teachers understand how to engage our youngest learners by channelling children’s natural curiosity and playfulness. And you can see the difference in the reading and maths results of 12 year-olds between those who experienced quality early childhood education and those who didn’t.[1]

“By our reckoning, restoring the $260 million lost to early childhood education since 2010 would lead to a measurable improvement in standards when the current cohort of under-fives progresses to primary school level.

“Research in the US suggests that for every dollar invested in early childhood education there is a return of $7-$12 from better outcomes later in life.[2] But all we are hearing from politicians centres on initiatives to address the problems that manifest in compulsory schooling, many of which can be attributed to underinvestment in early learning.

“We believe the Government must commit to work towards funding for 100% qualified teaching staff in teacher-led centres. We also believe Government should reduce the teacher to child ratios for under-twos to align with international best practice.

“The ongoing underinvestment in early childhood education is not just short-changing teachers as well as children and their families. It is short-changing the future prospects of all New Zealanders. Elections provide an opportunity to set a new course for the future. However, it remains to be seen which political party, if any, will make any meaningful commitment to our youngest learners.

“We think it is well past time for a New Zealand government to make early learning matter,” Kathy Wolfe said.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Floorball: NZ To Host World Cup Of Floorball In 2022

In a major coup for a minnow nation in the European-dominated sport of floorball, New Zealand has won the rights to host one of the sport’s marque international events. More>>

National Voyage Continues: Tuia 250 Ends

Tuia 250 has unleashed an unstoppable desire to keep moving forward and continue the kōrero about who we are, say the co-chairs of the Tuia 250 National Coordinating Committee, Dame Jenny Shipley and Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. More>>


Te Papa: New Chief Executive From Its Own Staff

Courtney Johnston has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Te Papa. Ms Johnston will take up the role in December 2019. Since its founding, Te Papa has had a dual leadership model, and as Tumu Whakarae|Chief Executive, Johnston will share the leadership with Kaihautū Dr Arapata Hakiwai. More>>


Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>





  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland