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ECE Review An Opportunity To Return Focus To Children Without Costly Over-Regulation

The Early Childhood Council says the new Ministry for Regulation’s sector review is a once in a generation chance to refocus Early Childhood Education.

“Now’s the time to redefine regulation so services can offer what children, parents and providers want from childcare. Let’s support parents and families with young children to choose affordable and high-quality care and education, and remove our sector’s headwinds to arrest the decline. We should recognise services that go beyond minimum standards and enable innovation - we’re excited about the review and about the future,” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.

“The ECE regulation system today punishes good people for inconsequential rules, justifying Ministry intervention, centre closures and parents losing childcare, thanks to one size fits all regulation. Regulations are part of the problem, but it’s also about how they’re applied, inconsistently and often without clear warnings. A recent ECC survey showed the level of fear among providers is unchanged, or even worse since the change of government. This review can’t start soon enough.”

The ECC, who represent 1,523 childcare centres throughout New Zealand, are well underway engaging on the review, starting to gather a second round of feedback from members on their experience and recommendations when working with current regulations.

“The initial changes to Network Management and Person Responsible were a great start, but there’s a lot of work to be done. February’s changes to Person Responsible that the new Government couldn’t stop in time have exposed ECE providers to new regulatory risks and burdens.”

“I sincerely hope the review will make a difference to operating and teaching in ECE, and get the focus right so parents can choose quality education and care that’s best for their children,” said Simon Laube.

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