Minister’s target put above giving kids the best start

Information obtained by the Green Party today shows the Education Minister has sought no data or proof that her Government’s drive to increase the numbers of children in Early Childhood Education (ECE) is leaving those children better off.

A Green Party parliamentary question shows that school readiness of children is not being monitored, despite large changes in early childhood education.  The National Government has set a Better Public Service target of 98 percent participation rate by 2016 in Early Childhood Education, without seeking any evidence that children are better off as a result.

“By pushing participation rates at any cost, the Government is knowingly putting very young children at risk,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said today.

“All the evidence shows that young children are only better off in ECE if the quality is very high. The Minister is choosing not to focus on quality in her drive to meet her own attendance targets.  It’s no surprise to learn now that she has also chosen not to know if children she is driving into ECE are any better off for it.

“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 were 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,” Ms Delahunty said. 

Latest Education Announcements

Story

Time to support te reo Māori as a core subject and as a medium of instruction

On the 50th anniversary of the Māori language petition, the Green Party is calling on the Government to make te reo Māori a core curriculum subject...
Read More

Story

Pay parity for early childhood teachers, now

A recent decision by the Minister of Education to hold back pay parity for ECE teachers needs changing urgently, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Free masks a Green win

Following pressure from the Green Party, the Government has announced that medical masks will be available free for everyone, with N95 masks free f...
Read More

Story

Green Party secures free masks in schools

Political pressure from the Green Party has pushed the Government to supply free masks to kids and teachers in schools across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Read More

Story

Pay equity for kaiārahi i te reo celebrated

Recognising te reo and tikanga Māori in schools starts with pay equity, says the Green Party.
Read More

Story

Testing removal means domestic protections needed

The Green Party says the removal of pre-departure testing for arrivals into New Zealand means the Government must step up domestic measures to prot...
Read More