NZ Herald 20 April 2015
Children in early childhood education may have been placed at risk of developmental damage after the Government’s continued focus on driving up participation despite sector-wide concerns about quality.
The Education Ministry, the Education Review Office and advisory groups all believe there are quality issues in New Zealand and recently urged Education Minister Hekia Parata to work to raise standards.
Successive reports to the minister warned that poor care was harmful – particularly for babies – and could have long-term effects on learning and behaviour.
A Herald investigation has found there were 150 services reviewed by the ERO in 2014 alone that required “further development” or had to have a supplementary review; 30 were on provisional licences.
“If you can’t provide quality care, let alone education, it is damaging. The research says there is no point of early childhood education unless it’s quality. These children would be better off in their own homes.”
The most serious issues included a lack of supervision, poor management, no police vetting of staff, a lack of cultural response, and limited knowledge of the curriculum and child development.