Advisory Group report welcomed
NZ Kindergartens (NZK) welcomes the Advisory Group on Early Learning report which has significant implications for the early childhood education (ECE) and school sectors. The report focuses on the implementation of the early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki and continuity of early learning across ECE and schools.
“NZK applauds the advisory group’s bold and progressive recommendations,” said NZK chief executive Clare Wells. “They focus on children’s learning and improving teaching and leadership across ECE and schools, taking the sector to the next level of professional practice.”
The report focuses on the continuity of learning and highlights the importance of teachers across the profession working together to ensure successful transitions for children moving from ECE to school.
“The advisory group emphasises that the demands on teachers to implement Te Whāriki, promote positive learning outcomes and effective transitions require professional qualifications,” said Clare Wells. “Kindergarten associations under the NZK umbrella employ 100% qualified registered teachers in permanent ratioed positions. This report provides further evidence that all centre-based, teacher-led services need to move toward 100% qualified, registered teachers.”
“We strongly endorse the recommendations to ensure all ECE teachers have non-child contact time for teacher inquiry and professional development,” said Clare Wells. “They align with the practice in kindergartens where teachers have non-child contact time, which is critical to support and enhance high quality teaching practice” Clare Wells said.
“A focused effort to lift leadership capacity across the sector is long overdue” said Clare Wells. “Leadership for learning is central to the successful implementation of the recommendations.”
The advisory group states the overlap between the recommendations is deliberate and merely limited action on any one is likely to undermine the effectiveness of the others.
“It is essential the Ministry of Education engage the ECE sector and work collaboratively to implement the recommendations,” said Clare Wells.
“The report sets out an ambitious agenda which will need to be backed up with additional funding to the sector to fully implement the recommendations and realise the benefits,” Clare Wells said.
New Zealand Kindergarten released a report on special education earlier this year and welcomes the request for urgent action to support children with special education needs, including resolving funding issues which are currently inconsistent across the ECE and school sector.
For further comment: Please contact NZK Chief Executive Clare Wells 0272 955 044.Background
- the Ministry of Education commission an update of Te Whāriki
- the Ministry fund a major professional development initiative (2016-2020 inclusive) focused on leadership for learning in early childhood education and care settings (birth to five years), and emphasising leadership of implementation of Te Whāriki for all learners, and Maori perspectives and leadership for bicultural practice
- all early childhood education and care services make available teacher inquiry time equivalent to two hours’ non-contact time per qualified teacher per week, to support continuing professional development activities
- all early childhood education and care services make available teacher inquiry time equivalent to two hours non-contact time per provisionally registered teacher per week, to support inquiry-based induction and mentoring
- the Ministry of Education require all schools and early childhood services to develop, implement and evaluate transition to school policies, in consultation with local stakeholders
- the Ministry of Education update arrangements to support children with special educational needs, and urgently resolve funding issues to support children with special needs and their families as they transition to school
New Zealand Kindergartens (NZK) Incorporated, Te Pūtahi Kura Puhou o Aotearoa, is the umbrella organisation representing twenty-six regional kindergarten associations covering over 430 kindergartens and early childhood education services. Nationwide kindergartens provide services for nearly 32,000 enrolled children as well as support for their families and whānau. We are committed to working with parents, communities and the government to offer high quality services, with 100% qualified teachers, which meet the unique needs of children and whānau.
NZK provides services to all families. Almost two-thirds of kindergartens are in low and middle income areas. After nga kōhanga reo and correspondence school, kindergarten has the highest percentage of Māori children attending (22%), and among Pasifika children, kindergarten has the highest percentage attending alongside education and care services (8%). Almost twenty per cent of early childhood education enrolments in communities with a Ministry of Health deprivation index rating of 10 (the most socio-economically deprived communities) are in kindergartens.