Childcare workers say some centres are like ‘factory farming children’

Stuff co.nz 7 October 2015
A quarter of early childhood teachers would not enrol their own children at their centres due to concerns about quality, a survey reveals.

A ChildForum survey of more than 600 teachers, given exclusively to Stuff but due for official release on Wednesday, has some saying their centres are like “factory farming for children” or “mostly crowd management”.

Centres and teachers were under pressure to provide safe and quality care, but indicated a lack of support, the research network’s survey report said.

The Ministry of Education was pushing for 98 per cent of Kiwi children to participate in quality early childhood education, but its focus was on “increasing participation and not on quality”, it said.

“It would seem that the policy push for increased participation is very likely putting children’s attachment and development of secure relationships, brain development, learning, and life-long outcomes at risk.”

With 153 out of 601 teachers indicating they would not be happy for their child to attend their centre “we should be seriously worried”, it says. Reasons given related to quality and personal beliefs about young children’s needs.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/national/72694017/Childcare-workers-say-some-centres-are-like-factory-farming-children

Call for more investment in childcare quality
Stuff co.nz 8 October 2015
The focus for early childhood education should be quality, not high participation, sector representatives say.

A ChildForum survey of more than 600 teachers found that a quarter of early childhood teachers would not enrol their own children at their centres due to concerns about quality, with some saying their centres were like “factory farming for children” or “mostly crowd management”.

New Zealand Educational Institute early childhood representative Virginia Oakly said the report endorsed what the union had been saying for some time.

“If we don’t get it right and make sure the education children are receiving is quality there are long-term effects on their education and well being.”

The sector was “chronically underfunded”, and any extra funding was spent on new centres rather than improving services already available.

Early Childhood NZ chief executive Nancy Bell said while the survey only represented 2 per cent of teachers, it highlighted its concerns, “namely teacher-child ratios for under-2s and teachers’ employment conditions”.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/72778261/call-for-more-investment-in-childcare-quality.html