Our youngest Kiwis will benefit from a completely fresh look at the Early Childhood Education sector.

The Minister of Education today announced anEarly Learning Strategic plan that aims to improve quality in the sector. 

A strategic plan is long overdue and it is 16 years since the last one, says NZEI Te Riu Roa National Executive member and kindergarten teacher Virginia Oakly.

“The Minister has listened to teachers about our concerns in ECE and has responded relatively quickly, but what is most important here is that kids will benefit from improvements that come out of this work.

 “Our members have been really active in this for some time, and have raised issues about  ECE quality including child-to-teacher ratios, under-funding and the need for 100 percent qualified staff, and also not having enough teachers coming into, and staying in, the sector.”

NZEI Te Riu Roa has two representatives on the advisory group to the Minister.

“This is really important, that we are there at the table and telling the Ministry what it is like on the ground.”

A draft strategic plan will go out to the sector for consultation in September 2018.   

Home-based care, which is one of the fastest growing areas of ECE,  is being looked at separately and has its own terms of reference.