21st February 2019
The New Zealand Home Based ECE Association welcomed the announcement from Minister of Education, Hon. Chris Hipkins yesterday and believes he is moving in the right direction to raise quality and professionalism in the Home-Based Early Learning sector.
The move to introduce a Level 4 Early Childhood Education Certificate benchmark qualification provides the opportunity for educators to gain a qualification while working. The Ministry of Education has indicated there will be lead-in time of 3 to 4 years for educators to become qualified.
Some NZ Home Based ECE Association members who have English as a second language, have concerns around being able to gain the Level 4 ECE qualification.
Susan Phua, the NZHBECE President, says the Association has recently secured an agreement with the New Zealand Open Polytechnic whereby our members can access free fees for the new level 4 ECE Certificate.
The Association is working closely with both the Ministry of Education and the Open Polytechnic to ensure there are training options for all educators within our sector.
The Minister of Education, Hon. Chris Hipkins, has indicated the Ministry of Education will ensure that Ministry funding will incentivise the sector moving toward educators becoming fully qualified. The Association is keen for the Ministry of Education to work quickly towards a funding system that is equitable for the Home-Based sector. Currently there are many Home Based ECE providers with educators who are qualified who will be unable to access the current quality funding.
Susan Phua says, that currently the Home Based ECE sector is the only early learning sector with regulated small ratios and group sizes. This supports nurturing learning environments for children. Within this context the NZ Home Based ECE Association has continued to highlight to the Minister of Education the value of children being able to receive early learning education within their home language and culture.
The Association will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Education to raise professionalism and quality within the sector to ensure the uniqueness of Home-Based Early Childhood Education and creating positive learning outcomes for tamariki.