This article argues that the rights of childen should be at the heart of early childhood education policy development. It describes the free market framework inherited by the current government, highlights inequalities for children in income and participation in early childhood education, and describes policy initiatives. These are analysed against yardsticks for effective government policy for children.
The article concludes that there is currently a new valuing of early childhood education, and significant shifts in policy are in train. However, key to the success of these shifts will be the government's willingness to prioritise early childhood education and make hard decisions about planning, co-ordination, and funding, or the policies will be unworkable.
The full journal article is published in:
New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 11, 2001. p. 123-143
Full text download: Currents of change: Early childhood education in 2001 [PDF]