The feature which appeared in the New Zealand Herald on early childhood education raises a question: is the investment in early education paying off and are we seeing good results for that $1.5 b annual spend?
Chief education scientific advisor, Professor Stuart McNaughton says we need to do a better job of assessing how effective our investment is. And we agree.
Why does investing in early childhood education matter?
Research shows us that engagement in quality early childhood education is a strong indicator of solid achievement during school life and beyond. Simply put, early childhood education builds the skills, knowledge and attributes children will draw on throughout their lives.
The early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki, aligns with the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. They set out the aspirations our community has for our children and young people.
We know high-quality early childhood education, teacher qualifications and ongoing professional learning are essential.
The Education Council is working to support ongoing improvements in initial teacher education (teacher training.) We want to ensure all teachers, whether they work in early childhood education or in school settings, are well equipped to practice in the modern world and current in their knowledge of their profession.
We believe Communities of Learning will provide opportunities for early childhood education services to contribute to raising education achievement, working in collaboration across the profession, sharing knowledge and expertise, and the latest research.
There are a lot of challenges ahead but we believe by elevating the status of all teachers – including early childhood teachers – we will be able to start to see more clearly how we can measure what success looks like. For us, it starts with investing in teachers.