New Zealand’s early learning services are diverse and include education and care services, kindergartens, nga kōhanga reo, playcentres, home-based early learning services, hospital-based services and playgroups.
Early learning services have a range of ownership and governance structures and offer different philosophies, languages and operating models. These differences have emerged over time in response to changing social contexts, cultural and educational aspirations, parental values and employment patterns. Diverse provision is valued in New Zealand because it offers choice to parents and whānau.
The New Zealand government will be working, starting next year and over the next four years, to advance the actions in the Plan, including:
- incentivising for 100 per cent and regulating for 80 per cent qualified teachers in teacher-led centres ; and then regulation for 100 per cent longer term
- improving the consistency and levels of teacher salaries and conditions.
The government will also advance work on:
- the development of an early learning teacher supply strategy
- a more active management approach to the network so all children have access to high quality learning
- improving adult: child ratios for children under 2 years from 1:5 to 1:4 and from 1:10 to 1:5 for 2 year olds as funding allows
- making sure children in under-served communities have access to high quality services that support their identity, language and culture.