BestStart, New Zealand’s largest early childhood education provider, is backing calls for a review of Before School
Clair Edgeler, National Teaching Manager, says that while BestStart applauds the providers of B4SC, a revised, more
collaborative programme could save personal and costly health and education issues in the future.
“BestStart thinks that a review of preschool health and wellbeing assessment is sensible. The benefit of a B4SC review
could be improved wellbeing of our tamariki through a more integrated approach between health and education services.
“The early years are proven to be a strong indicator of health outcomes for children’s adult lives, and that’s why we
need a new, strategic approach.”
“The timing of the B4SC checks is often viewed as too late to provide the intervention and support identified. Earlier
checks might assist in the assessment of children needing additional support, with a positive impact on their learning
A review could also cover the provision of pre-school dental healthcare. “With the high rates of tooth decay, a review
of how we address preschool dental care is desperately required,” says Edgeler.
“Initiatives such as the Toi Te Ora (BOP/Lakes DHB) Building Blocks programme, with its comprehensive focus on health
and wellbeing resources for early learning, is an excellent initiative, raising children’s wellbeing by involving early
childhood teachers and parents. This should be considered for a nationwide approach.
Edgeler believes that health and wellbeing focus in the early years needs to be more widespread. “At BestStart, our
centre teams have committed to the goal of becoming 100% Healthy Heart awarded, meaning children attending our centres
experience healthy menus and a focus on daily active movement. We believe initiatives such as these are important
aspects for children’s wellbeing in early learning settings.”