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Taking action to raise quality in early childhood education

Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education

10 February 2012 Media Statement

Taking action to raise quality in early childhood education

Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced the establishment of two working groups to improve quality early childhood education for young children.

“We are taking action to make sure all early childhood education services are of the highest possible quality,” says Ms Parata.

“The early years of children’s lives are crucial for learning and development, and every single one of our children deserves the best education they can get.

“Some services are of very good quality but to make sure quality is improved throughout all services in New Zealand, we need the experience of experts within the sector to help us get this right.”

Ms Parata says the independent ECE Taskforce report An Agenda for Amazing Children, released in June 2011, emphasised the absolute need for all early childhood education to be of a consistent high quality.

“Children need this and parents and whanau need this. Parents told us during consultation that they want to know their children are being educated and cared for in the best possible environment. They want stronger action where services are poor quality, and they want more information and service accountability,” says Ms Parata.

The ECE advisory groups will provide advice on improving quality of ECE services sector-wide and improving quality of ECE services for under two year–olds.

“To achieve the changes we need experts from within the sector to help us find solutions,” says Ms Parata.

“The advisory groups are made up of people who understand the issues and challenges of early childhood education due to their experience and expertise.

“I look forward to the practical and workable solutions the advisory groups propose.''

Members were selected based on a number of factors, including experience knowledge and understanding of the sector. The first meetings will take place in late February, and the advisory groups will report back to the Government in April.

Any consequent change in respect of kōhanga reo will be the subject of consultation with Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board, including what results from the Trust Board’s claim before the Tribunal.

Improving quality of ECE services sector-wide advisory group members:
Nancy Bell
Clare Wells
Carol Stovold
Alex Gunn
Fiona Hughes
Maureen Woodhams
Janice Taouma
Karla Tardieu

Improving quality of ECE services for children aged less than two years advisory group members:
Jayne White
Dr Janis Carroll-Lind
Jean Rockel
Karen Shields
Natasha Kibble
Lorraine Sands
Carmen Dalli
Nadine Wishnowsky

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