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Proposed new early learning changes out for consultation

"Consultation begins this week on a second round of proposed regulatory reforms to improve the quality of early learning services for tamariki and whānau," according to John Brooker, Group Manager, Education System Policy, at the Ministry of Education.

The new proposals relate to network management and the staffing of services. They include:

- Implementing the new network management function. Several proposals are set out as to how this function might work. These include possible National and Regional Statements to set out where new services are needed, and options to fulfil the Crown’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi responsibilities.

- Regulating for 80% qualified teachers in teacher-led centre-based and hospital-based services. The current requirement is for 50 per cent of staff to be ECE qualified. There are three options being considered: retaining a high percentage of ECE qualified teachers; matching regulations with the funding rules; and ensuring ECE qualified teachers are always present.

- Strengthening the person responsible requirement for teacher-led and hospital-based services. These proposals would clarify what is expected of persons responsible and limit the role to experienced teachers with the right skills.

- Strengthening the person responsible requirement for home- services. These proposals are designed to strengthen curriculum delivery and oversight of educators, and to better support educators’ professional development.

"The Ministry of Education believes that the proposed changes will help create a more fit for purpose, high quality and sustainable early learning network supported by well-qualified, diverse teaching staff and leaders. This is an important chance for all people interested in the care, education, and wellbeing of our tamariki in their early years, to have their say on the proposed changes," John Brooker says.

The consultation begins 8 September and runs until 13 October 2021. People interested in having a say can go to https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/early-learning-regulatory-review/ to find out how.

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