Early Childhood Council releases its vision for higher quality and more sustainable early learning

24 August 2023

Politicians contesting the 2023 General Election need to understand the fundamental issues that need their attention if early learning services are to survive, let alone thrive, for the good of children and whānau, says the Early Childhood Council.

“Our children’s early learning touches a huge number of New Zealanders. Those with children in childcare or who can’t find or afford it, those working in the sector and those who may not realise the people they employ rely on affordable and accessible childcare so they can work at all. We think it’s important these voices are heard this election,” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.

The ECC’s 2023 General Election Policy Manifesto lays out the key problems facing the sector, along with potential solutions and their benefits to children and families if the policies are delivered properly by an incoming government. The policy manifesto is grounded in a set of principles for quality early childhood education policy, including enabling parent choice and ensuring the financial viability of centres.

“We’d love to see an incoming government specifically focus on improving early learning, so crisis can be averted. We know how complex New Zealand’s early childhood system has become, making it hard for politicians to focus on the real problems. This is their chance to adopt our policies and drive change that will benefit tamariki and their families,” said Simon Laube.

“So far pre-election promises have targeted young families with ways to reduce fees, with some being more generous than others, but all introducing new complexities and not addressing major underlying problems. Consultation with the sector must be improved, so our manifesto is about ECC being proactive and suggesting solutions,” said Simon Laube.

The ECC’s 2023 General Election Policy Manifesto is focused on fixing the current broken funding model, taking action to solve the current teacher shortage (and retain our best people) and how to improve the relationship between the early learning sector and its major regulator, the Ministry of Education.

“Early learning is the foundation for a child’s successful journey through their years in education. Our children trust us to faithfully meet these needs, it’s up to us to live up to that trust,” said Simon Laube.

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