Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ) has today published an ‘Election Manifesto’ providing a guide for early childhood teachers and parents to the main issues facing early childhood education (ECE).
As well as setting out its own aims the ECNZ’s document allows parents and teachers to compare different party policies on ECE as they decide how to cast their votes.
The manifesto can be downloaded from: https://www.ecnz.ac.nz/manifesto
“Early Childhood Education is just as important as primary and secondary education,” said ECNZ chief executive Kathy Wolfe. “But it’s not receiving the funding and investment in quality teaching that it needs to make the best contribution to education in New Zealand.
“Our manifesto lets parents and teachers see what each political party is promising for ECE in the election and enables them to look at it side by side with what we think are the most pressing needs for the education of our youngest tamariki.”
ECNZ calls for whichever party is in government after 23 September to:
- Restore early childhood funding to account for inflation since 2010
- Increase the per-child hourly rate of funding, which has seen virtually no increase since 2008
- Commit to work towards funding for 100% qualified teaching staff in teacher-led centres
- Reduce the under-2 teacher-child ratio to 1:4 (on the way to 1:3)
- Commit to investing in funding for professional development for ECE leaders and teachers
- Invest in leadership, including the development of policy informed by recent and relevant ECE leadership research
- Recognise and respect ECE teachers as equals alongside primary and secondary teachers
- Demonstrate that ECE services are valued and integral partners in Kāhui Ako │Communities of Learning through equitable provision of resourcing for participation.
“Our manifesto does not seek to tell people who to vote for. We want ECE services, families and whānua, and teachers to ask themselves how important our children’s education is to them and to make an informed choice on that basis,” said Kathy Wolfe.