logo

ChildForum Early Childhood Education Nationwide Network
Promoting quality, valuing knowledge, advancing thinking and working together for the benefit of children, services and the sector

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitteryoutube

Member Login

Member space

 

ECE Participation for the Most Disadvantaged Children: Child Poverty Action Group Report

© ChildForum

a.CPAG websits main imageA report released today by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) supports concerns held by many in the early childhood sector that Government policy puts too much emphasis  on simply getting under-5s into care without ensuring that issues fundamental to providing quality education are addressed. 

However, putting a baby or young child who is living in poverty into care during the day, even when it is of the highest quality, may not be the only or the best solution to alleviate child poverty, says Dr Sarah Alexander of the early childhood national network, ChildForum.

“Children’s basic needs are for love and security, food, shelter, warmth, and good health and at the end of the day attendance at an early childhood facility will only benefit the child in so far as it makes a difference to the home environment and parents’ ability to meet their children’s needs,” Dr Alexander says.

Child Poverty Action Group said in its report that “it is essential that the push to increase participation in early childhood services is matched by a focus on high quality, culturally responsive services." 

"Disadvantaged children are the most vulnerable to potential harm so it's vital that policies to increase participation are matched with a focus on making sure all children have access to high quality, culturally responsive services."

Dr Alexander says other options for policy consideration could include for example, giving parents a financial choice to be full-time parents or utilise a formal facility,  greater support for mothers to continue breastfeeding to mitigate the health risks to children of being in large-group care, and closing the large gaps in funding rates that favour full-day over part-day services and private ECE services over centres provided by community groups and parents such as Playcentres.

Dr Alexander says that CPAG has highlighted some of the key issues existing in early childhood education, including the affordability of ECE for low-income families, discrimination against the children of beneficiary parents by the Government in making childcare effectively compulsory only for this group, and regulations that do not set high enough standards for employing staff that are qualified and registered teachers, limiting group size, and ensuring optimal staffing ratios for toddlers and babies.

A survey of 360 people released by ChildForum last month revealed a strong desire by those working in the sector for the Government to take immediate action on:

  • Improving the current ratio of one teacher for every five under-2s, to 1:4
  • Restoring funding for services employing 100% registered teachers
  • Limiting the number of children in groups/classes within a service’s licence
  • A review of  community-based ECE services with discussion as to how these services could be better supported
  • Lifting the minimum requirement for the percentage of qualified teachers in teacher-led services from 50% to 80%   

Also there is concern that the teaching qualifications of those providing ECE as home-based educators are not recognised.

Dr Alexander says counting only the qualifications of co-ordinators who oversee the work of home-based educators has led to a misunderstanding that all home-based educators are unqualified and that all are providing care inferior to that provided within centre-based settings. 

 

Related information

Article on Unravelling the Costs of Poverty, Strategies to Help Children Educationally Under 5 years, and Policy Choices

The May 2014 ECE survey click here

Articles on the issue of forcing the children of beneficiaries to attend ECE click here

Overview of the regulation change increasing the defacto minimum group size for children in early childhood centres from 50 children to 150 children or 25 under 2s to 75 click here  

Free E-Newsletter

Receive the free Early Childhood Alert.

captcha 

We hate spam as much as you, we will not sell your contact details to anyone.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

Don’t miss out any longer, click the button below to join ChildForum

Testimonials

  • Preschool Leader

    Having heard a colleague talk about how useful she had found their material I joined. ChildForum's replies to my queries are prompt, extremely informative & with a genuine personal touch. I am impressed by the commitment to research & courage in tackling the hard issues like the risks of poor quality care for under 2s
    Val Morrison (Small is Beautiful)
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Join Us!

child-with-binoculars-small

 

Subscribe now for information you can trust, expert advice and research, as well as access to quality resources

We are confident you will be delighted to discover and experience the benefits of membership - so join now and make this message for non-members disappear from your screen. 

Membership Options

Individual
Member

Who is this for?
Any person who has an interest in early childhood education and care or who works directly with children.

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

The membership belongs to you, and you only. Enjoy your own personal username and password.

ECE Service Organisation
Member

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... established or newly licensed. Gives access to professional & research materials enjoyed by individual members PLUS service operation and management area. 

$198.00 12 months for a standalone licensed service
Special rates for organisations with more than 1 licence

The membership belongs to your whole organisation, team members and managers.

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have online access to the NZ-Int Research in ECE journal (includes all past and current issues) 

$125.00 annual subscription, renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.