Early childhood services fall short

NZ Herald 6 August 2015
A report into education for under-3s has found almost half of early childhood services are not doing enough to help babies and toddlers learn.

The review of 235 early childhood services providers shows while they are good at establishing warm and nurturing relationships, 46 per cent lack a responsive curriculum that supports our youngest children to be “communicators and explorers”.

Experts have labelled the findings “concerning”, with academics saying there are major implications for children’s development if they are not in a quality, stimulating, responsive setting during crucial brain development time.

“The best early childhood care, it’s not just babysitting,” said Auckland University research fellow Jean Rockel. “It’s about more than keeping you safe. It’s a critical period of learning, and about developing empathy. It’s time to get things right in these first years. You don’t easily get a second chance with the brain.”

The report was undertaken by the Education Review Office in 2014. It was prompted by several earlier studies which also highlighted concerns about education for under-3s.
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