Left Further Behind : How New Zealand is failing its children. Chapter 15: Early childhood care and education

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Ritchie, Jenny
Johnson, Alan
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Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
early childhood education
New Zealand
low-income communities
rural communities
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Ritchie, J, & Johnson, A . (2011). Early childhood care and education. In C. Dale, M. O'Brien, & S. St. John (Eds.), Left Further Behind: How New Zealand is failing its children. (pp. 159-175). Auckland, New Zealand: Child Poverty Action Group Inc.
The National Equal Opportunities Network (NEON), a partnership between the Human Rights Commission and the EEO Trust,3 argues that the provision of high-quality, affordable, accessible and available early childhood education benefits both young children and their parents, and ultimately the community. They give particular attention to the lack of provision of early childhood care and education places in rural and low-income areas, and the gender imbalance in carer roles that still operates as a cultural norm. There has been confusion in recent early childhood education policy as to the value to society of provision. This confusion has centred around the dual aims of meeting the needs of children and families for quality education and care; and providing support to families and the economy by providing adequate early childhood services for young children and thus freeing workers for the workforce. The focus in this chapter is on the causes and consequences of under-provision of early childhood education. The chapter first provides an overview of early childhood education in New Zealand. The second section, “To those that have, more shall be given”, digs deeper into the data, and focuses particularly on under-provision in low-income and rural communities.
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