high quality early childhood education
The right of every child to participate in high quality early childhood education is the vision set out in a new report released yesterday.
The report of the Quality Public Early Childhood Education Project (QPECE) Strengthening community-based early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand presents the collective view of nine key early childhood education organisations.
“The benefits to children and families of participation in high quality early childhood education is well documented” says Clare Wells, chief executive of New Zealand Kindergartens.
“The project’s goals to promote high quality community-based services through a national network, that are accountable to parents, communities and government, sit well with New Zealand Kindergarten’s vision for the sector” said Clare Wells.
“Although there is considerable public investment in early childhood education and a significant growth in services in recent years, children are still missing out” says Clare Wells. “Clearly, the current model is not working for all communities.”
The government has identified participation in high quality early childhood education a key priority, focusing on increasing the participation of Maori and Pacific nations children, and children from low socio-economic areas.
“The government is looking to parents and to the community to be part of the solution. The government must resource community-based services to take on that role and plan provision to ensure every community has access to high quality services” says Clare Wells.
“Community-based services are not well positioned to quickly establish new services. We rely on grants and community fund raising. In low socio-economic areas this is an extra call on already stretched resources. It takes considerable effort from volunteers and staff, and generally takes a long time before a service is up and running.
“But when it is operating, 100 percent of the government’s investment goes directly to where it is needed: to support high quality provision. That’s got to be good for children and families and good for the taxpayer.” says Clare Wells.