Early childhood education

Mātauranga Kōhungahunga

We have made the following submissions the government entities on issues relating to early childhood education. To view the submissions, click on the titles below. 


Learning Support Coordinator - Guide to the Role (8 April 2020)

The draft guide clarifies questions people may have about what LSCs are and what they do. The document will be useful not just for LSCs but also for the wider community. and parents and whānau of the tamariki they are supporting. You can read our submission here.

Education and Training Bill (10 February 2020)

We agree with the structure change of the proposed Bill.  We provided feedback on a number areas that will impact on the ECE sector including Home-based changes;  licensing practices; police vet processes; expansion of ERO powers; and the return to teaching pathway. We also commented on the functions of workforce development councils. You can read our submission here.

The Education and Training Act came into effect on 1 August 2020. You can view the Act here.


National Party Education Discussion Document (7 December 2019)

Our feedback was in the form of an online survey.

ERO Indicators of quality for early childhood education (30 November 2019)

We like that the outcome indicators are open ended and linked to Te Whāriki and focussed on children’s learning.  We are pleased to see entire indicators for leadership and the emphasis on stewardship through effective governance. We are also pleased there is provision for professional development under both ‘Evaluation for Improvement’ and ‘Leadership’. View our survey response here.

ERO have released their new indicators of quality, Te Ara Poutama which are available here.

First Aid Qualifications (28 November 2019)

We agree with the proposed simplification of first aid qualifications. The proposed areas to be taught include what is in the current qualifications.  We are pleased that the qualification covers both CPR and choking for children and infants. Our submission was in the form of an online survey.

Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) (25 November 2019)

The proposed priorities send a strong signal to the early learning sector on what is expected in terms of working with tamariki and their whānau to have a positive impact for children. It is good to see a balance between the needs of children, their whānau, as well as the teachers and leaders of early learning services.  We are pleased to see that all of the priorities are well aligned with Te Whāriki and the inclusion of family and whānau in the life of services is consistent with the requirements of the licensing criteria. 

The NELP have now been finalised and gazetted. You can read about the NELP here.

Person responsible requirements in ECE centres (18 October 2019)

We are concerned that if this change is made – even as a temporary measure until the full Early Learning Strategic Plan is implemented through additional changes to the regulations, what other allowances might the government make? What is needed is a programme to increase the number of qualified ECE teachers through attraction to the profession, by supporting those already in the sector to gain a qualification, and incentives in place for others to become qualified.

View the Government’s decisions on the review here.

Pacific Education Fono (10 October 2019)

We believe that it is important that Pasifika Education Plan (PEP) places more emphasis on supplying teachers who have some understanding of Pasifika cultures and ways of children’s knowing and being. The PEP must also re-emphasise the long-standing importance of teachers working in partnerships with families to strengthen children’s educational experiences.

View the Government’s Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030 here.

Tomorrow's Schools Review (4 April 2019)

The Taskforce’s recommendations largely ignore the need for a fully integrated education system. What happens in early childhood education makes a difference for a child’s learning journey and life outcomes, so it is vital that early childhood education be included in overarching system design.

View the Government’s decisions on the review here.

Strategic Plan for Early Learning (15 March 2019)

We support many of the recommendations in the strategic plan, especially those that address issues the early learning sector has been asking the government to invest in for nearly a decade. The recommendations we think should be prioritised include:  Improved qualified teacher targets, ratios and group size; Teaching workforce salary and conditions; Teacher Education – initial and ongoing professional learning and development. The final plan is called the Early Learning Action Plan.

View the Government’s decisions on the review here. 


Draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan (31 October 2018)

While we support the government’s commitment to progress towards an inclusive education system, we feel the plan needs to ensure that ECE services me ngā kohanga reo are central to the Disability and Plan. We worry that the rare opportunity the action plan offers will be squandered if ECE services me ngā kohanga reo (and kaiako, tamariki and whānau) are not authentically included and prioritised in the action plan and supported by appropriate government funding for early intervention.

View the Government’s decisions on the review here.

Review of Home-based Early Childhood Education (28 September 2018)

We support many of the Ministry of Education’s proposed changes to home-based early childhood education. We think it is important that the requirements on home-based early childhood education services are aligned to those of other early childhood service types.

View the Government’s decisions on the review here. 

Guidance on design of sleep provisions – PF29 (centres) and PF20 (home-based) (25 July 2018)

Overall we think the guidance is sensible and well-written, and provides some useful explanation for the requirements and recommended practices. We note that the focus of the guidance revision is on use of bunk beds, but we have taken the opportunity to comment on the wider guidance. There are a few places where we think the guidance could be strengthened and the potential for ambiguity removed. View our submission here.

View updated sleep provision guidance here.

Police Vetting Services legislation proposals (10 July 2018)

We believe there should be a statutory framework for the police vetting service. The submission covers various aspects of police vetting including who can request a police vet, information sharing and ongoing monitoring.

Education (National Education and Learning Priorities) Amendment Bill (11 April 2018)

We support in principle of the proposal for the government of the day to communicate education priorities through this mechanism. We are concerned that ECE services will find it difficult to “to demonstrate how they are contributing to, and implementing, the NELP through their annual plans”.

View the final Bill here.

Issues being considered for legislation (Education Act amendments) (11 April 2018)

Our submission covered three areas: Protecting the public interest in the work of the Education Council; Establishing a College of Educational Leadership; Vetting requirements for schools and home-based early learning services.

Protecting the public interest in the work of the Education Council was introduced in the Education Amendment Bill. View the final Bill here.