Kids at risk due to Government ECE push

A new survey of the early childhood education (ECE) sector shows centres struggling to make ends meet under a six-year Government funding freeze, the Green Party said today.

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa survey of ECE centres shows that 87 percent of respondents have experienced shortfalls since the Government first froze per-child funding six years ago. The Government has pushed for 98 percent of children to be participating in ECE before starting school as a Better Public Service target.

“Putting bums on seats has been more important to the National Government than ensuring that kids are getting a quality experience,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“Pushing more and more children into ECE while freezing per-child funding for six years means that something has to give – it shouldn’t be the quality of education for our children.

“The Education Ministry, the Education Review Office, the chief education science advisor and advisory groups have all told the Minister there are serious quality issues with some early childhood education services, and these quality issues are putting thousands of kids at risk.

“Everything the Government has done has driven down the quality of ECE, at the same time it has been forcing more and more children to participate.

“This Government scrapped the requirement for all teachers in the sector to be qualified, it has encouraged the proliferation of low quality ECE, scrapped a review of the home-based sector following serious concerns, and threatened to cut families’ benefits if they don’t enrol their children in ECE.

“Early childhood education is relied upon by many families around the country, and families should be able to trust that their kids are being properly educated and looked after.

“I am particularly concerned that 31 percent of respondents say that the inclusion of learners with special education needs has been affected.

“My Select Committee inquiry into dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders in schools, due to report back very soon, has heard for the need for better and earlier screening when children have these learning needs,” Ms Delahunty said. 

Action

Jeanette Fitzsimon's Memorial

Since her passing, we have been so moved by your stories of Jeanette. Inspiring, challenging, humorous, poignant — endless stories of a life so ric...
Take Action

Action

Local Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action

Latest Education Announcements

Policy

Education Policy

Every child is entitled to a high-quality, free, accessible public education that gives them the best possible start in life. Well-funded public ed...
See More

Policy

Inclusive Education

The Green Party is passionate about improving inclusive education services so that every Kiwi kid gets to fully participate in school life. In gove...
See More

Policy

Tertiary Education Policy

Supporting students creates a fairer society and a stronger economy. Tertiary education can help drive the transition to a sustainable Aotearoa New...
See More

Story

Safer speed limits for schools

The Government is delivering on its commitment to make streets safer for kids to walk and cycle to school, by reducing speed limits to a maximum of...
Read More

Story

Aotearoa history to be taught in all schools

The Government’s commitment to ensure New Zealand history is taught in all schools by 2022 is part of a landmark day for our nation’s story, said G...
Read More

Story

Food in Schools: caring for our children’s future

The Green Party is welcoming today’s announcement of a pilot programme to provide school lunches in 30 schools, expanding to 120 schools by 2021. “...
Read More