Learning is lifelong, from infants to adults.
Education is the foundation of a prosperous and well-functioning nation. Adequately resourcing education invests in our children and their futures, must be inclusive of all, from infants to adults, and be responsive to a range of talents, cultures, abilities, and disabilities.
Education is a critical goal for many international instruments that New Zealand is bound by.
· Article 28 of the UNCRC enshrines all children and young people’s right to education.
· The best interests of children (Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)) should be the primary consideration for all decision making, policies and practices in the education sector from early childhood through primary, secondary, and tertiary.
· The UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG4 states “Ensure inclusive, equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
While there are many positive education and care practices in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are growing concerns about accessibility, availability, affordability, quality, culturally responsive practices, welfare and wellbeing, including the social and emotional health of children and their teachers.
This election, we encourage all New Zealanders to engage candidates with the following questions, then vote for those that answer YES!
- Will your party act to prevent harm to child health, especially infant and toddler mental health, protect Kaiako, and improve the quality of ECE, by committing to an urgent improvement to, 1 teacher to 4 children, for children under two years, and 1 teacher to eight children for 2 year olds, within the next term of government?
- Will your party commit to increasing minimum space requirements per child in both indoor and outdoor environments in Early Childhood Centres, and that must be accessible to all children, in the next term of government?
- Will your party address the negative effects upon children and teachers by reducing the maximum numbers permitted in group sizes for children in centre-based, teacher-led, Early Childhood Centres, in the next term of government?
- Will your party commit to adequately funding timely assessment and well-resourced learning and behaviour support for children to enable inclusion regardless of ability or disability?
- Will your party make a sustained commitment to fund and resource Ka Ora Ka Ako - Healthy School Lunches Programme to embed this policy as a permanent part of education delivery in New Zealand?