April 21, 2015
ECE target putting children at risk
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall says a focus on ill-considered targets is contributing to low quality early childhood education.
The Education Review Office last year identified 150 services that fell below an acceptable standard, with problems including lack of supervision, poor management, no police vetting of staff, a lack of cultural response, and limited knowledge of the curriculum and child development.
The New Zealand Educational Institute is calling for an inquiry into the quality of early childhood education, pointing to a proliferation of for-profit centres.
Ms Wall says the problem is Minister Hekia Parata’s single-minded push for the Better Public Service target of 98 percent participation in early childhood education, with no commitment to quality.
"Evidence about lack of quality and how it can be detrimental to children, especially those whose needs aren't immediately responded to, I think means we should all be wary about what is being established in our community, and actually as a community demanding that we have greater quality from some of the providers," she says.
Ms Wall says areas like Manurewa and South Auckland have traditionally been under-served for early childhood education, but the current model isn’t the right way to address the gap.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH LOUISA WALL CLICK ON THE LINK
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com