Tuesday 24 October 2017
The Early Childhood Council (ECC) looks forward to working with the new Labour/New Zealand First coalition Government on areas impacting early childhood education policy.
The ECC Chief Executive Officer, Peter Reynolds, says the ECC wants to see the early childhood education (ECE) sector treated as an equal partner at the education tables, and in education policy.
“How we value our early childhood services, the centre owners, managers, and teachers, directly feeds into the quality learning outcomes for our country’s pre-school-aged children,” Mr Reynolds says.
New Zealand has a world-class ECE curriculum, Te Whariki, but there are areas of the ECE sector that could be improved. In particular, the ECC looks forward to working with the new Government to address the funding inequities that have crept into the ECE sector since 2011.
“Subsidy funding for all services should be set on an equitable basis. A more realistic per-child funding rate for all services is one way to support the provision of quality in the sector, and ensure all families and whanau have choice and can access to quality ECE providers.
“Government policy should, as a priority, address the loss of funding from the per-child subsidy level across both the Universal Subsidy and the 20 Hours ECE Subsidy to compensate for inflationary adjustments, to the extent that this is possible within a responsible fiscal envelope.
“ECE services that can afford to do so, following an upward adjustment to the per child rate, will more likely explore increasing their teacher numbers toward the 100% qualified goal – should there be teachers available to employ and should this be a goal the ECE centre wish to embrace,” Mr Reynolds says.
The ECC is a huge supporter of parents, whanau and caregivers rights to choose between the diverse-range of ECE services on offer in New Zealand. We are lucky choice available, and a high quality national ECE curriculum, Te Whariki.
However, many New Zealanders won’t realise there can be vast differences between ECE service providers and there are differences in the rules, regulations and funding models these providers operate to.
“The ECC wants to see a level-playing field in the ECE sector,” Mr Reynolds says.
“All ECE service providers, whether it be home-based, parent-led, Kindergarten or an early childhood education centre, should be subject to the same reasonable levels of government rules and regulation. This would ensure ECE providers across the board offer the same levels of safety and quality because they operate under the same rules and regulations.”
The Early Childhood Council looks forward to continuing these discussions and working with the new Government, the incoming Education Minister, and Associate Minister, on the important portfolio of early childhood education.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What are the areas of ECE that the ECC thinks could be improved?
What is the Early Childhood Council?
The Early Childhood Council (ECC) represents the interests of independently owned licensed early childhood centres in New Zealand and promote the provision of quality early childhood education (ECE).
We have over 1,000 members, 30% of which are community-owned and 70% privately-owned. ECC members employ thousands of teachers, and care for tens of thousands of children.
Why does early childhood education (ECE) matter?
Research shows ECE establishes the foundations for a child’s future learning, and in New Zealand we have good uptake of ECE services. New Zealand has a highly effective ECE sector that offers choice and innovates rapidly in response to social change, government policy and different community needs. As well as learning benefits, ECE participation has an economic benefit, enabling thousands of parents to participate in careers they might otherwise find difficult to continue.
For more information please contact:
ECC CEO Peter Reynolds Phone: 0800 742 742 or 028 258 22322 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ecc.org.nz
ECC Senior Communications Officer Lucy Taylor Phone: 04 471 0399 Email: email@example.com