Free onsite ECE has the potential to be the starting point for a comprehensive communityhub in communities with the greatest need. According to the Childrens Commmissioner’s expert group the more socially andeconomically disadvantaged a child, the most they gain from paricipatin gin good qualityECE. As wall as positive impacts on school readiness and perfoamcne, the group cites maternalemployment, less use of social services, and less crime amongst kids who attended a year or more of good quality ECE.
: 1/ Only xx per cent of children have attended ECE before arriving at school, Among M
ori, the rate is xx and Pacific children, the rate is xxx. The second biggest factor parents cite when not accessing preschool is the availability of a service.(2009 childcaresurvey – parents preferring to care for their child comes first)
2/ Low decile schools are suffering from falling rolls resulting in the average decilexx school with xxxx unused space.This compares with xxx in decile 8, xx in decile 9 and xx in decile ten schools.
We propose establishing free, culturally appropriate, teacher-led early childhood centresonsite at low decile schools where there is a need in the area for quality, not-for-profit ECE.This solves multiple problems at once:
Gets ECE into communities that need it
Mitigates transport problems by siting ECE at places where families in many casesalready go
Is a less threatening introduction to school for families with a history of educationaldisengagement
makes schools with falling roles more viable by building community support for them,and using empty space.
Demysitifies and normalises ECE
It is also likely to lead to increased enrolments at the primary school. (to beconfirmed)Onsite ECE is already working in many school communities around New Zealand.Kindergarten teachers have expressed support for the idea, though this needs morefeedback and consultation with the sector.In 2010 Early Childhood taskforce recommended that community hubs be establishedaround new ece centres as a key way to mitigate poverty and increase ECE attendance.(Agenda for Amazing Children, final report of the ECE Taskforce 2010)