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


Removing socio-economic barriers to participation in early childhood education: Is current policy in Aotearoa New Zealand effective?

nzrece journalOriginal Policy Paper
© ChildForum

PDF copies of this article are available for personal use click here to go to the Store page 

Full reference
Postlewaight, G. (2016). Removing socio-economic barriers to participation in early childhood education: Is current policy in Aotearoa New Zealand effective? NZ Research in ECE Journal, Special Issue: Equality and Diversity, 19, 46 - 60. Retrieved from http://www.childforum.com/research/vol-19-2016-nzrece-journal/1353-removing-socio-economic-barriers-to-participation-in-ece.html


Removing socio-economic barriers to participation in early childhood education: Is current policy in Aotearoa New Zealand effective?

Gillian Postlewaight
Eastern Institute of Technology, NZ



Positive outcomes for children from low socio-economic families are increased through their participation in quality early childhood education (ECE) programmes (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], 2011). Present Government policies and initiatives in New Zealand focus predominantly on increasing participation as a long term solution to equitable access to education. Such a one dimensional solution does not address the underlying barriers that hinder participation for children in poverty. Through the examination of current research, aspects of equal importance to access and participation that were central to Pathways to the future: Ngā Huarahi Arataki, a 10-year strategic plan for early childhood education (Ministry of Education [MoE], 2002) are identified and discussed. Specifically, the goals to: “increase participation in quality in ECE services, improve quality of ECE services and promote collaborative relationships” (MoE, 2002, p.3) are considered in relation to past and current policy. This position paper offers for deliberation an alternative cohesive solution to break down the barriers of access to ECE. A holistic, wraparound approach for families in poverty that includes health, well-being and education is presented as an equitable way forward.

Key words: Barriers to participation; equitable outcomes; socio-economic; policy; poverty.

Login with your member's username and password to keep reading

Here’s how our membership plans work

  • Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals.
  • Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles - along with support and a range of other benefits as outlined on the Join Us page 
  • Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and the articles in all past and current jounral issues.

Should you not hold a current membership –  you are welcome to apply now.

Free E-Newsletter

Receive the free Early Childhood Alert.


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!



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


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

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.