Common sense on ECE network management welcomed
The Early Childhood Council welcomes the extended deadline before the Early Childhood Education network management pre-licensing controls take effect, announced by Education Minister Hon Chris Hipkins today at Select Committee.
“It’s great to see this decisiveness from the Minister, which will help providers looking to create new centres who’ve done it tough through COVID-19,” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.
“Many new early childhood centres were facing the impossible task of completing new builds, while facing all sorts of delays, before the new regulation would have taken legal effect from 1 August 2022.”
“Under the new pre-licensing application process, that meant a small but significant number of new centres faced an unreasonable level of uncertainty. This included those building new centres that, under the old timeline, might never have been able to open because of the new regulation. They were facing all their work and efforts going to waste, while parents potentially faced losing quality new providers for the bright young children of 2023,” said Simon Laube.
Feedback from many in the early learning sector told the Education and Workforce Select Committee that improvements in the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) were justified to take into account the pandemic’s impact. Other concerns raised included a two-year timeline for new builds that isn’t fit for purpose, as it fails to take into account the complexity of the wide range of projects.
“We’re really interested in how the Government determines the priority areas for new centres, as it’s crucial people building them in the future have this information. The new February 2023 deadline is great, but will come up fast, with the current tough impacts of the pandemic being felt around New Zealand and in the early childhood sector,” said Simon Laube.