28 May 2012

Call to urgently review home-based childhood education

7:42 pm on 28 May 2012

For the second time in less than a year, the Government has been told to urgently review home-based early childhood education.

The call comes from the Government's advisory group on quality education for under two-year-olds and has the support of the main early childhood sector groups.

The advisory group's recommendation comes nearly 12 months after a government taskforce heavily criticised the home-based sector for its lack of registered teachers and called for an urgent review.

Early childhood groups agree a review is needed, saying home-based care is the fastest growing part of the early childhood sector but little is known about how to ensure that it is high quality.

The Homebased Early Childhood Education Association says early childhood education policy and regulations have developed with too little attention to home-based care and education.

Association president Carol Stovold says the review is necessary because successive governments have largely ignored home-based services.

"The Ministry of Education has been handing out charters and licensing home-based services for years with little or no understanding, and certainly very little evidence, for home-based sector and is now largely responsible for the diversity of the provision and quality of home-based childcare throughout the country."

Ms Stovold says a review will prove that most home-based services are doing a good job.