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

Advice, resources, research (etc.) for members and subscribers

 

New Government Working Groups to Provide Advice on Improving ECE Quality

© ChildForum

The make-up of two working groups to provide Government with advice on improving the quality of ECE services was announced by the Education Minister, Hekia Parata, today.  

On the 14th October 2011 the former Minister of Education, Anne Tolley, stated in response to its ECE Taskforce report that it would be seeking further advice from ECE sector representatives via working groups. Nominations were sought for members for two advisory groups - one on improving the quality of ECE sector wide (excluding Kohānga Reo) and one on improving the quality of ECE for children under 2 years.  The groups were to be made up of no less than 4 members and no more than 8 members who would receive a daily fee payment of $250.00 plus travel and accommodation.

Nominations for positions on the advisory groups closed on the 28th October 2011.  Under the Terms of Reference nominees were expected to meet for up to six days starting in late October and ending in early March 2012.  Instead the first meetings are now expected to start from late February 2012 and end in April when the groups will be asked to report back to Ministry of Education's group manager for ECE.   

Ms Parata says she is looking forward to "the practical and workable solutions the advisory groups propose.'' 

It is not known to what extent the Minister's Brief for the Advisory Groups will allow members to look at critical issues within the early childhood sector and put forward solutions aimed at raising standards in order to help facilitate quality for children.  Current issues include the minimum ratio of 5 children under 2-years to 1 teacher, no requirement in mixed-aged centres for qualified teachers to be spread amongst both the infants and older children, no minimum standards requirements for group size, and lifting the regulatable standard for qualified and registered teachers from 50% to 80%.  Another issue in the teacher-led part of the ECE sector is that it has a gender-segregated workforce and is unable to model to young children non-discriminatory practices and provide children with contact with educators of both genders.

The input of the working groups into the new "simplified' funding system being developed for the ECE sector would seem to be a necessity also, since funding and funding incentives are used by government as a tool, alongside regulation, to influence consumer choices and use of ECE hours and to influence ECE business provider practices around setting enrolment conditions, parent fees, and providing above minimum standards such as for the employment of qualified staff. 

Members of the working groups represent a range of experience and interests, though it's interesting to note that firstly all members are female and no men in ECE are represented, secondly selection was ECE sector and academic based and did not include parents or community members such as children's advocates from outside of ECE management and representation groups, and lastly it includes representatives from the organisations that felt most disadvantaged by the ECE Taskforce Report recommendations (Playcentre and Home-based ECE) and also those groups whose voices were not included as participants in the ECE Taskforce Group (The NZ Childcare Association and NZ Kindergartens Inc).  Left out or overlooked again is the teachers' union NZEI Te Riu Roa, Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand, the Rudolf Steiner Federation, and the Christian Early Childhood Education Assn.

In regard to other nominations accepted it is noteworthy that authors from two of the three reports (the 3rd report was an ERO produced one) cited in the Terms of Reference are sitting on the advisory group for ECE quality for children under 2-years.  These are Janis Carroll-Lind (an author of the Children's Commission report on the non-parental care and education of infants and toddlers), and Carmen Dalli, Jayne White, and Jean Rockel who undertook writing a review of the literature for the Ministry of Education on quality ECE for under 2-s. This working group is weighted towards academics with four out of eight members coming from an academic background, one service management, and three professional support and development. 

 

The 'improving quality of ECE services sector-wide advisory group' members are:

  1. Nancy Bell (NZ Childcare Assn, President)
  2. Clare Wells (NZ Kindergartens Inc, Chief Executive Officer)
  3. Carol Stovold (NZ Home-based Assn, President)
  4. Alexandra Gunn (University of Canterbury, lecturer)
  5. Fiona Hughes (Kidicorp, Chief Operations Officer)
  6. Maureen Woodhams (NZ Playcentre Federation, Co-president)
  7. Janice Taouma (A'oga Fa'a Samoa Inc ECE Service, Ponsonby, Auckland; winner of the 2010 Human Rights Commission Award for Samoan Language Champion in Primary School Education)
  8. Karla Tardieu (NZ Childcare Assn, council member)

The 'improving quality of ECE services for children aged less than two years advisory group' members are:

  1. Jayne White (University of Waikato, lecturer)
  2. Dr Janis Carroll-Lind (NZ Childcare Assn, researcher leader)
  3. Jean Rockel (University of Auckland, lecturer)
  4. Karen Shields (Franklin Kindergarten Assn, manager)
  5. Natasha Kibble (Daisies ECE Centre owned by Linda Meade &  Anne Meade previous advisor to former Prime Minister David Lange on ECE and consultant with the NZ Childcare Assn, centre director and experienced leader of teachers in professional development)
  6. Lorraine Sands ( Educational Leadership Project, a company funded by Ministry of Education grants and centre membership fees, professional development facilitator)
  7. Carmen Dalli  (University of Victoria, professor) 
  8. Nadine Wishnowsky (NZ Playcentre Federation, professional development facilitator).

To read the Terms of Reference for the Advisory groups,  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

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?
This plan is for any person who works with children or has an interest in early childcare and early childhood education.

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

Your own personal username and password.

ECE Service 
Member

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... licensed or new set-ups.

$198.00 12 months from the date of joining
Does your ECE group have more than 1 service? See our discounted rates

A shared username and password for your team or ECE group.

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have access to all past and current NZIRECE published journal and its articles. Hundreds of research articles!

$125.00 annual renewable in November each year

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