Ensuring the best for children in ECE
“The release of the latest Childcare Survey is timely” said Clare Wells, Chief Executive NZ Kindergartens. The survey shows just under 300,000 children have formal childcare arrangements, attending services each day. Half of those children attend because of parents’ work commitments.
“The survey shows 64% of children aged four or younger attend an early childhood education (ECE) service – that’s around 200,000 children” Clare Wells said.
“With significant numbers of our young children attending an ECE service, we owe it to them and to their parents and whānau to ensure it’s the best it can be” said Clare wells. “Parents said socialising and education were key reasons for their children to be in ECE so we must make sure those aspirations are well met” Clare Wells said. “The top priority for government and of every ECE service must be high quality teaching and learning in engaging learning environments.”
“The focus for the past few years has been on increasing the participation of children in ECE and now is the time focus on the quality of services” said Clare Wells. “The quality of ECE has been the subject of many government commissioned reviews and reports over the past few years resulting in a series of recommendations – many of which have yet to be taken up” Clare Wells said.
“We know the critical factors that make a positive difference for children’s learning in their first few years and the impact that has on their learning success through their schooling years” Clare Wells said.
“For too long the ECE sector has been subjected to a series of ad hoc policy changes, many of which have undermined quality and now is the time to turn that around” Clare Wells said. “The survey is a timely reminder to focus on the quality of services – to confirm the factors that need to be in place to ensure quality and implement a plan to achieve it” said Clare Wells. “We look forward to working with the government to make that happen.”