Nearly all New Zealand children attend early learning services before starting school.
The early learning sector includes kindergartens, nga kōhanga reo, playcentres, education and care services, home-based ECE services (such as childcare centres or preschools), hospital-based services, playgroups, ngā puna kōhungahunga, and Pacific Island playgroups.
Once finalised, the new strategy will set out a planned approach to develop and strengthen the early learning sector, to meet the needs of all children and their families and whānau.
A draft plan has been developed by a Ministerial Advisory Group, a larger Reference Group that includes sector stakeholders, and the Ministry of Education.
The early learning online survey, the findings of the Education Summits and the broader Education Conversation, other work being undertaken in the education portfolio, as well as the latest research have all contributed to the draft plan’s development.
The terms of reference for the strategy were announced by the Minister of Education on 5 April 2018, together with the members of the Ministerial Advisory Group and the Reference Group.
At the same time, the Minister also announced a review of home-based early childhood education, to ensure that it delivers quality education and care for children.