Friday, March 15, 2013

Early childhood education campaign begins

This item has just been listed by NZ Newswire. Judith Nowotarski is the new President of the NZEI. She is the first President to have a background in early childhood education!
Judith Nowotarski - National President NZEI Te Riu Roa

One of New Zealand's biggest education unions is launching a five-year campaign aimed at improving early childhood education (ECE) in the country.

Cuts to funding are eroding the quality of ECE services and the union wants the government to commit more money to ECE in the next budget, NZEI national president Judith Nowotarski says.

"It is a great cause for concern that earlier gains such as a goal of having 100 per cent qualified teachers in ECE centres have been dropped and centre sizes have been allowed to balloon out to 150 children," she said.
"Quality ECE is crucial for all children but is particularly important for those children who come from low socio-economic backgrounds."

The government cuts were short-sighted because for every dollar invested in ECE $17 was saved in welfare and justice system costs in later life, she said.

The union believed the increasing cost of ECE on families was responsible for growth in enrolments slowing, Ms Nowotarski said.

NZEI is launching its Every Child Deserves the Best Start campaign a the Carter Observatory in Wellington on Sunday, which is Children's Day, with a free planetarium show, sausage sizzle and activities for kids.

1 comment:

Jean said...

Fantastic - congratulations Judith.
I am so encouraged to hear of such a campaign. It seems to have been a step forward with two steps back, just lately. Extraordinary to think in 2002 there was the desire to improve group size and ratios for children under two years. Those infants are now nearing the end of their primary school years. How long must we wait for change. The groups the Ministry set up to examine issues of quality in Feb last year have still not had a ministerial response to their recommendations. I feel we really need a campaign to get us moving again in ECE.