Kindergartens welcome govt 'every child a taonga' plan

By Kelvin McDonald

Kindergartens around the country are welcoming the government's plan to raise the quality and funding of early childhood education.

The He taonga te tamati – Every child a taonga - draft strategic plan includes- as one of its first commitments- funding for 100 percent qualified teachers. 

Kindergartens have been struggling to retain quality services since funding was cut in 2010. 

Amanda Coulston, chief executive of He Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens, which operates 86 kindergartens in the Lower North Island, says, “We support changes that will lift quality across the sector and will enable kindergartens to continue to provide quality services to every child.”

Children’s charity Barnardos also welcomed the initiative, saying the final plan will have significant implications for Aotearoa’s children and their whānau.

The charity says the recognition that every child is a precious taonga "aligns with Barnardos’ belief that all children in Aotearoa should be able to shine bright from the very start of life."