Flawed Tertiary Policy Threatens Early Childhood

Published: Sat 3 Aug 2002 05:52 PM
Flawed Tertiary Policy Threatens Early Childhood Sector
Nowhere more are the flaws in the Government's Tertiary Policy exposed than in the early childhood sector. The majority of early childhood teachers graduate from private tertiary institutions, with the three largest suppliers of early childhood teachers all being private providers. There is an acute shortage of early childhood teachers due, in part, to the inaction of successive governments over many years to fund the sector adequately to ensure the recruitment and retention of sufficient staff, but more recently this Government's 'flip-flopping' of the rules around early childhood qualifications which has required thousands of existing early childhood teachers to retrain if they wish to keep their jobs. Minister Mallard (Minister Responsible for Early Childhood Education), in an attempt to 'fix' the problem he has created, has introduced a number of ineffective strategies to boost the number of early childhood teachers. Meanwhile in another room in the Beehive his colleague, Minister Maharey (Minister Responsible for Tertiary Education) has cut funding and capped enrolments at the 2001 level to the very institutions
that train early childhood teachers, private tertiary institutions. This Government's interference in early childhood qualifications coupled
with their dogmatic opposition to private tertiary institutions has quite literally left no one holding the baby.
Contact Sue Thorne, Chief Executive, Early Childhood Council 09 449 1327 mobile 027 4483 215

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