Today the Education Minister released a statement of changes to ECE the national government is going to be begin to put in place. This follows a Ministry of Education analysis of feedback on the government's ECE taskforce review of the effectiveness of spending on ECE.
As Government, National is to:
1. Set up sector advisory groups (its mentioned that this will include only representatives from the ECE sector and not parents and other experts - and the Ministry has from what we can ascertain only made the call for nominations available to ECE sector groups through their current ECE advisory group- if you don't belong to a sector group or pay big dollars to a lobby group to represent your political interests or your sector group hasn't passed a nomination form on to you - see below for a copy of the Ministry of Education nomination form) to advise on:
- Identifying and improving the practice of low-quality services
- Developing new and improved policies for ECE for children under two years old
- Improving the transition for children from ECE to primary school
2. Review/evaluate the usefulness and quality of the national curriculum Te Whariki (not mentioned if other curricula may be considered as relevant curricula in NZ early childhood services e.g. Montessori)
3. Develop interactive web-based tools to help parents choose the right ECE (not known if this will include virtual trips into each service for parent to assess how the adults and children interact with each other and with their child or if the web-based tools will be more along the lines of 'here are the different options in ECE the government or our consultants think you should choose from').
4. Make changes to the funding system. Though will continue to offer universal (not means-tested) access to 20 Hours ECE (though not stated if the 20 hour funding rate will be increased to keep up with costs, or if the "free" will be put back into the 20 hours ECE funding subsidy so services can not charge top-up fees and if limitations will be placed on services requiring children to attend extra hours that families can be charged directly for)
5. Will not make any policy decisions relating to Nga Kohanga Reo without first consulting with the Trust Board.
Ministry of Education Advisory group forms
- Nomination form click here to read and download
- Terms of reference for the operation of the advisory groups