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Barnardos welcomes 10 Year Early Learning Action Plan

MEDIA STATEMENT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

10 December 2019

Barnardos welcomes government’s 10 Year Early Learning Action Plan

Barnardos welcomes He taonga te tamaiti - the 10 Year Early Learning Action Plan recently published by the Ministry of Education. Barnardos particularly welcomes the theme of the Action Plan: every child a taonga. The plan recognises that every child is a precious taonga and rights holder, born with inherent potential for growth and development, and should have high quality services supporting their overall education and wellbeing. This focus aligns with Barnardos’ belief that all children in Aotearoa should be able to shine bright from the very start of life.

Mike Munnelly, Chief Executive Barnardos, says “we are pleased that Minister Hipkins has said Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020. The 10 Year Action Plan will have significant implications for Aotearoa’s children and their families, whānau and the people that work within the sector teaching and caring for children and tamariki. We hope that it will help all children and tamariki to have a positive start in life so they can develop to reach their full potential, as is the intent of the broader Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. We are also pleased to see reference in the Action Plan to the need for funding to enable its implementation. That need for funding into early learning is pressing. We hope to see government allocate adequate levels of funding so we can keep and attract the skilled teachers who are essential to giving life to the aspirations this plan holds for children.”

Barnardos is Aotearoa New Zealand’s national children’s charitable NGO, working towards the vision of ‘an Aotearoa New Zealand where every child shines bright’. As part of its services offered around the country, Barnardos Early Learning provides Centre and Home Based early learning to all children and tamariki on a not-for-profit basis. Barnardos Early Learning supports every child to flourish in their early years through strong whānau connections, fostering a love of the natural world, and through embracing every moment as a learning one.

Mr. Munnelly says that Barnardos values the opportunities it has had to contribute to the development of the 10 Year Action Plan for Early Learning, and says that Barnardos “supports changes that will enable tamariki to learn and grow in safe, nurturing environments. We welcome the central themes of quality, equity and choice which underpin the 10 Year Action Plan. Barnardos especially welcomes the focus in the Plan on bringing early learning and social services for families and whānau closer together. We already do this at Barnardos through our Te Korowai Mokopuna service in South Auckland, which has been independently evaluated as having outstanding impact. Given we have a proven model drawing on the strengths of Barnardos Early Learning and Child and Family Services, we hope to partner with government to extend Te Korowai Mokopuna to more locations around Aotearoa to support child, family and whānau outcomes and deliver on this aim of the 10 Year Action Plan.”

Mr Munnelly says that Barnardos is looking forward to seeing He taonga te tamaiti implemented in practice, “to ensure that early learning is recognised as an integral part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s education system, enabling all children to experience a good life.”

ENDS


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