Winston Peters – the Man of the Moment4es blog winston

Speculation around the next New Zealand government is still rife two days after the initial 2017 election results were announced, with ‘kingmaker’ Winston Peters appearing to be in no hurry to get coalition negotiations underway.

While the New Zealand First leader and former deputy prime minister is still holding his cards close to his chest, it’s clear that he has two coalition options – to join with National, or with Labour and the Greens.

Education commentator Save Our Schools has suggested that, for education, the two possible outcomes stand in stark contrast:

“NZ First and National are just not in agreement on the future of our education system, and with an NZ First/National government, it would be an uphill battle for NZ First to effect any changes to National’s plans… In stark contrast, there is enormous agreement on what is needed in education between NZ First, Labour and the Greens… All three also want an inclusive model that properly supports children with Special Educational Needs, and all three want adequate funding for support staff.”

Here’s a quick refresher on the key promises each of the parties has made for the Early Childhood Education sector:

National – awarded 46% of the party vote

  • Increase funding for early childhood education

Labour – awarded 35.8% of the party vote

  • Require early childhood education centres to employ 80% registered teachers
  • Reduce teacher to child ratios and group sizes
  • Fund new early childhood centres in areas with low provision
  • Develop early intervention programmes addressing the needs of vulnerable children in the most in the most deprived areas
  • Develop a 10-year strategic for early childhood education

NZ First – awarded 7.5% of the party vote

  • Reinstate requirement that all early childhood education teachers are registered
  • Review adult to infant ratios in early childhood education centres
  • Increase funding and support for Playcentre
  • Improve access to early childhood education in isolated rural communities
  • Explore new ways to fund Te Kohanga Reo

Greens – awarded 5.9% of the party vote

  • Increase funding for early childhood education
  • Reduce teacher to child ratios
  • Support pay parity for early childhood, primary and secondary teachers
  • Restore funding for all early childhood education teachers to be qualified
  • Increase education funding for children with disabilities

For more insights on what each party is offering for Early Childhood Education, head to Child Forum’s recent post Political Party Early Childhood Education Election Promises 2017.

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