New Zealand Kindergartens welcomes new education minister
New Zealand Kindergartens Te Pūtahi Kura Puhou o Aotearoa (NZK) welcomes Minister Kaye to the education portfolio.
“Decisions made by the Minister of Education have a huge impact on the lives of children, young people and their whānau,” said Clare Wells, NZK chief executive. “It’s encouraging to see Cabinet has appointed a minister who knows the education sector and has already built connections with education stakeholders,” said Clare Wells.
“The past seven years have been a difficult time for early childhood education,” Clare Wells said. “The 2010 funding cuts meant the per-child funding rates for kindergartens and other services that currently employ 100% qualified teachers are lower now than they were back in 2010.”
“We will be looking to Minister Kaye to support high quality education for young children through fairer funding rates to all services and to restore funding to support a 100% qualified teaching workforce,” said Clare Wells. “At a time when all the research evidence shows the quality of teaching and learning is central to children’s educational success, it makes good sense to invest in teachers.”
Although the government has increased its overall spending on early childhood education (ECE) since 2010 this is due to more children enrolled in ECE, not to the per-child per hour amount that supports high quality education for children.
NZK wants to see a renewed emphasis on the quality of ECE and looks to the minister to take the lead. “This includes investment in professional learning and development to implement the revision of the ECE curriculum, Te Whāriki, which matches the opportunities given to schools when their revised curriculum was introduced,” Clare Wells said. “Improving quality will also mean reducing the ratio of adults to children for children under two and putting restrictions on group sizes.”
“Everyone involved in kindergarten is passionate about the difference high quality education makes for children and their whānau, and every funding dollar we receive goes to a great education for children,” said Clare Wells. “We’re hoping to see that same passion for high quality education from our new minister and look forward to working with her to make that happen.”ENDS