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There was a flurry of activity last week at national level with the release of a new ERO report on ECE curriculum standards in centres, the release of briefing papers with relevance to early childcare by Treasury to the Finance Minister and by the Ministry of Education to the Education Minister. As well an employers' lobby group did themselves no good and may have hurt progress in the increasing number of men being attracted to take-up ECE teaching.
This newsletter gives you the stories about these happenings with links to articles available on the ChildForum website.
Should you be involved with an early childhood service which is worried about its future or fearful about how the policy and funding changes being signalled at national level are going to affect it, please drop us a line and let us know what the worries or fears are for your service. Contact us by clicking here. We are preparing and putting together some advice to support early childhood services which will be available later next week.
- Treasury Advice on Targeting ECE funding
- Ministry of Education Advice on ECE funding and policy
- ERO Findings on ECE Curriculum Support of Children's Social-Emotional Competence
- Men in ECE Not Helped by Early Childhood Council
- Help for Students, Families and People New to Early Childcare and Education
- Help for People who Need to Know about Early Childcare and Education
1. Same Old – Same Old. Treasury Advice on Targeting ECE Funding Assistance but is the Government Listening?
The New Zealand Treasury has been recommending for a number of years that funding in early childhood education be targeted towards children from lower socio-economic groups but whether the government has paid any attention is another story.
It is often said that the benefits of early childhood education are higher for children from disadvantaged homes and yet these are the very children who are less likely to participate in ECE.
2. Ministry of Education's Advice on ECE Funding and Policy for the New Education Minister
The briefing for the new Education Minister prepared by ministerial advisors restates the government's election policy of achieving 98% of new school entrants having participated in early childhood education. This target is set for 2015.
Specific emphasis is being put on increasing participation among children from Maori and Pacific Island with the briefing stating the government's focus needs to shift from "gross inputs, such as rates of participation and numbers of qualified teachers, to more closely targeted interventions focused on the quality of education delivery and the intensity of participation for Māori and Pasifika children".
Increasing the uptake of ECE by children of beneficiaries is highlighted as part of planned welfare reforms.
A change to the way ECE is funded is also in the pipeline
3. ERO Findings on ECE Curriculum Support of Children's Social-Emotional Competence
The Education Review Office (ERO) says in a national report just released that kindergartens, childcare centres, and playcentres are mainly doing well in helping children to develop social competence, emotional wellbeing and an understanding of appropriate behaviour.
Of the 310 early childhood centres evaluated on this during their regular scheduled ERO reviews in 2010, 83% were judged to have a curriculum that was operating successfully to help children develop social and emotional competence.
In a few services the quality of curriculum was such it was likely to be harmful for children. It is not mentioned if, or what, action ERO or other agencies took at the time to assess whether individual children were experiencing harm, and if so, what action had been taken to stop this from happening and then, getting assistance for the children and families.
4. Men in ECE Not Helped by Early Childhood Council
The Early Childhood Council's press release on the shortage of men working in early childhood education is quite short-sighted in its content. The comments appear to be fanning the paedophile hysteria of the early 1990s. Bringing up that hysteria of the past again is not going to help raise the number of men working in early childhood education.
The issue of men working in childcare being associated with sex abuse was put to rest within the sector a long time ago and the sector has moved on with the percentage of male teachers since 2007 starting to rise again.
Blaming teacher training providers, as the ECC has done, for not producing enough qualified male teachers is surely not helpful. Employers have the power to make changes and encourage men into teaching, and there is a recent example of a Kindergarten Association doing just this.
5. Help for Students, Families and People New to Early Childcare and Education
A wide range of information is available for public access from the ChildForum website, including a dictionary of terminology/educational jargon (click here), information about different service types (click here), help with choosing an ECE service that is quality for the child and family (click here), guidance in asssessing the quality of a service (click here), and information on funding, subsidies, and grants (click here).
Gift certificates for ChildForum membership can be purchased to support students and teachers in their professional learning journey and career, click here to read more.
6. Help for People Who Need to Know about Early Childcare and Education
Members can log in to the ChildForum website with their username and password and get instant access to information, research, and advice on issues and solutions. They can contribute to discussions and read what others say, within the Childcare and Teaching Network, the ECE Service Management Network, and the Early Childhood Research Network. If you are not currently a member, click here to join.
No responsibility is taken for any errors. If you spot an error please inform us so that it can be corrected.
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