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10-year plan for early childhood education

12 September 2002 Media Statement

Government releases 10-year plan for early childhood education

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today launched a 10-year plan for early childhood education, which aims to increase participation, improve quality and promote collaborative relationships.

Pathways to the Future: Nga Huarahi Arataki, is the first long-term plan for early childhood education since Before Five in 1989.

“We know early childhood education makes a significant difference to the way children develop and go on to learn throughout their lives,“ Trevor Mallard said.

“The Government wants to make sure all children have the opportunity to participate in quality early childhood education. We also want to make sure that relationships between early childhood providers, schools and other agencies, help support good outcomes for children, their parents and whanau.”

In August 2000, a sector working group was set up to develop the foundations of the plan. The Government then began working extensively with the early childhood education sector to develop the plan further.

The working group presented their final report in October 2001. Since then, the plan has developed into a government statement about the future of early childhood education.

“This plan will mean major changes for early childhood education. Some of the biggest changes include requiring all regulated teachers to be registered with the Diploma of Teaching (early childhood education) or higher by 2012, and the Ministry of Education taking a more active role in supporting communities where early childhood education participation is low.

“The Government is also undertaking a comprehensive review of funding for early childhood education. The review will consider all aspects of the funding system. This includes how ECE services are funded currently and the levels of contribution made by government and parents to funding the provision of ECE services. The review will also consider what level of funding the government should put into ECE services to ensure the successful implementation of the plan.

“The best current estimate is that the changes will add a total of between $75 and $92 million to the investment in ECE by 2005/6.”

In launching the plan, Trevor Mallard also announced some of the plan’s early initiatives including:
- Establishing six Centres of Innovation next year to undertake research and development in early childhood education for three years. These centres will be existing services that will work in partnership with early childhood education researchers to develop, assess and disseminate innovative practice. At the end of three years another six centres will get the opportunity to take part.
- Supporting best practice in teaching and learning, including support for assessment and support for better transitions between early childhood education and school.
- Developing information for parents about the range of early childhood education services and other social services that are available locally.
- Providing 90 additional incentive grants in 2002 to help services meet the costs of upgrading their staff’s qualifications;
- Undertaking a longitudinal evaluation of the plan to measure how well it achieves its three goals.

These are:
- Increasing participation
- Improving quality
- Promoting collaborative relationships

For a copy of the plan click here:

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