Anne Tolley 7 October, 2010
Government Taskforce on Early Childhood Education
Education Minister Anne Tolley has announced the establishment of an independent taskforce on early childhood education (ECE).
The taskforce will review the effectiveness of ECE spending, propose innovative ideas about learning and report to the Minister in March 2011.
The investment in early childhood education next year will total $1.3 billion.
"It's vital this money is well spent to ensure the greatest number of children gain access to ECE and fully benefit from it," says Mrs Tolley.
"The previous Government's ECE cost blow-out saw funding treble but the number of children in ECE grew by less than one percent," says Mrs Tolley.
"We owe it to New Zealand children to do better than that, particularly for our Maori and Pacific children and those in lower socio-economic backgrounds," says Mrs Tolley.
"We are determined to reach those children and families who need it most and to give every single child the best possible start in life," says Mrs Tolley.
The taskforce will:
- undertake a full review of the value gained from Government investments in early childhood education.
- consider the efficiency and effectiveness of current ECE expenditure and possible improvements for M?ori, Pasifika, and children from low socio-economic backgrounds
- develop innovative, cost effective and evidence-based ways to support children's learning in early childhood and the first years of compulsory schooling
- make recommendations to Government about proposed changes to funding and policy settings for early childhood education, and the costs, benefits and risks
The taskforce members bring a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives and skills:
- Dr Michael Mintrom is the independent chair and as Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Auckland, has significant experience in policy development.
- Dr Richie Poulton, director of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit and Dr Anne Smith, former Director of the Children's Issues Centre at the University of Otago will bring a strong, evidence-based understanding of child development.
- Ron Viviani, Director of Pacific Guardian Childcare and Tanya Harvey, GM of the Auckland Kindergarten Association, will bring a broad range of business skills, as well as practical experience.
- Aroaro Tamaiti, Director of Te K?pae Piripono Immersion M?ori Early Childhood Centre and Laurayne Tafa, school Principal of decile two Homai Primary in Manurewa, will bring good practical experience of working in our target communities.
- Claire Johnstone, General Manager Business Services at the Hutt City Council, will provide independent expertise in policy development. Peter Reynolds, CEO of the Early Childhood Council, will bring a broad view of the current issues and opportunities in the sector.