The Early Childhood Council (ECC) wants to know why early childhood education (ECE) is largely missing from the National Party education policy announcements.
The comments come after the National Party announced further plans for primary school education in the lead up to the election. Including a focus on national standards, languages, and technology.
ECC Chief Executive, Peter Reynolds, says all the research points to quality ECE leading to life long learning benefits for children. However, ECE was missing from the weekend’s education announcements.
“Where does ECE feature in the National policy announcements? What value does National place on ECE? What messages does this send to our pre-schoolers and to our ECE providers?
“We have seen progressive funding cuts-by-stealth to the ECE sector in New Zealand since 2010,” Mr Reynolds says.
Now in the lead up to the election, the National Government seems to reinforce its lack of focus on ECE as a valuable education stage in a child’s life, and ECE’s connection to the wider education system and learning outcomes.
“The ECC has calculated that, despite the rhetoric of more funding for education, every early learning service in New Zealand has in fact lost over $100,000 in government subsidy levels,” Peter Reynolds says.
Early childhood education providers work hard to deliver quality education for our youngest citizens.
“On behalf of our more than 1,000 member early childhood centres, the ECC recommends reinstituting a catch-up payment to education and care centres sufficient to move towards pay parity between kindergarten and other ECE teachers.
“What’s more we believe ECE needs to be treated as an equal partner at the education table,” Mr Reynolds says.
“We also strongly support increasing the universal funding available to early childhood education and care centres by the same or similar amount as any future increase to the Kindergarten Collective Employment Agreement,” Mr Reynolds says.
“At the end of the day, how we value our early childhood teachers, and ECE service providers, directly feeds into the quality learning outcomes for our country’s pre-school aged children.”