Early Childhood Council welcomes inclusive approach to proposed education sector changes

Wednesday 21 February 2018

The Early Childhood Council (ECC) looks forward to participating in meaningful and inclusive discussions, meetings, and consultations on proposed changes to the education sector that affect early childhood education.

The Minister of Education today announced proposed reforms of the education sector, and a number of work programmes that will take place over the next three years.

The ECC Chief Executive Officer, Peter Reynolds, says it is pleasing to see early childhood education (ECE) will be included as an equal participant in discussions from day-one.

"We welcome any moves to view the education sector as a whole, and ensure it is more inclusive, and hopefully enable more of a level playing field across the ECE sector too," Mr Reynolds says.

"The ECC looks forward to participating in the Education Summit and the work to develop an Early Learning Strategic Plan.

"We also welcome involvement in other working groups, and consultations on elements that may impact ECE. This includes the proposed review of funding, the review of home-based services, an action plan for learning support, and the development of a future-focused Education Workforce Strategy," he says.

"The proposal to revise the Pasifika Education Plan, for example, needs to take account of the detrimental impact the Education Council's International English Language Testing System (IELTS) policy is having on Pasifika ECE teachers. So it will be good to be part of the wider education discussions and consultations to ensure the ECE voice is heard."

At the centre of ECE are this country's youngest citizens. ECE matters and has an important role establishing the foundations for a child's future learning pathways.

"New Zealand has a model of parental choice and variety of ECE services. We support this model, but seek a fairer ECE playing field to address funding losses, and equally applied rules and regulations for the sector.

"ECE in New Zealand enjoys a world-class curriculum, Te Whaariki, that was recently refreshed. We hope this will gain the support it deserves to be fully implemented and better aligned with the wider school curriculum as another way to support pre-schoolers transition to school," Mr Reynolds says.

"We support ensuring fair access to quality ECE for all, and ensuring those that require additional learning support, can receive it."

The ECC looks forward to the details of the proposals, and to participating in meaningful, inclusive discussions, working groups and committees, hui and fono.

The Early Childhood Council is the largest representative body of licensed early childhood centres in New Zealand. It is not-for-profit and bi-partisan.

The member centres we represent care for and educate more than 50,000 New Zealand children, and employ more than 7,000 staff.

For more information please contact

ECC CEO Peter Reynolds Phone: 0800 742 742 or 028 258 22322 Email: ceo@ecc.org.nz Website: www.ecc.org.nz

ECC Senior Communications Officer Lucy Taylor Phone: 04 471 0399 Email: comms@ecc.org.nz