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Minister’s foreword

As Minister of Education, I am pleased to launch this conversation on home-based early childhood education.

There's an increasing body of evidence to show that quality early learning has an important role in providing children with a strong foundation for their future.

Home-based early childhood education is the fastest growing part of the early learning sector.  It has also changed significantly since it was first regulated in the 1990s. 

This is why I asked the Ministry of Education to assess home-based early childhood education.  I want to ensure we have the right policy settings in place, so that all children benefit from quality education.

This discussion document sets out a wide range of proposed changes, including introducing a minimum qualification requirement for educators.  The changes aim to lift quality, and help make sure Government funding is used as intended – to support education and care.

Any changes in the sector are likely to have a direct impact on parents and whānau, as well as educators and service providers.  So I encourage everyone involved to think about what’s being suggested, and provide feedback, which will be carefully considered before any final decisions are made. 

The interests of children and their families are paramount in this process.  In making and implementing any changes, every effort will be made to minimise disruption to them.

A new Early Learning Strategic Plan is also being developed at the same time as this Review.  The Early Learning Strategic Plan covers the whole early learning sector, including home-based early childhood education.  Any changes arising from this Review will be incorporated into the Early Learning Strategic Plan.

Hon Chris Hipkins
Minister of Education