20 hours of free ECE for domestic students

Children who have been legally enrolled in kindergartens in New Zealand for at least 20 hours a week are eligible for the 20 hours of free ECE. This entitlement is available to any three, four, or five-year-old who is enrolled in the 20 Hours ECE programme. It is not affected by immigration status, income, or employment status. The child must also be enrolled in a formal school by the time they are six. However, some Early Childhood Education Providers will still ask parents to make a voluntary contribution towards their child’s education. This is a common practice and many parents choose to make this contribution in order to help support their local kindergarten.


All-day kindergartens operate an independent fee structure

Private schools, also known as independent schools, receive very little government funding, relying almost entirely on student fees. The fees vary by school level, with higher fees at the later levels of school. They can range from NZ$1000 to NZ$2000 per term for day students. The majority of private schools are single-sex, although there are also a few mixed-gender schools in the country. The government requires that private schools meet certain standards to remain registered.

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Early childhood educators use narratives to assess each child’s progress

In New Zealand, early childhood educators use narratives to assess each child for learning and progress. They also incorporate observations and reflective practice into the formative assessment process. This holistic approach reflects the way children learn, grow, and play within their family and community contexts. By using stories to document children’s experiences, educators can better understand their role in teaching and learning and make adjustments as needed.


Early childhood education is marketed as a centre for younger children to play freely and explore the world

While early childhood education has always been a hot topic in educational circles, a recent study has challenged some of the traditional notions of the subject. For example, while most of us think of a centre where younger children can play freely and explore the world, the reality may be much different. Children who have quality education experiences will have more positive self-esteem, be more interested in learning, and have a greater capacity for socialization. These qualities, along with a nurturing environment, can increase children’s motivation to learn.

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Early childhood education is subsidised by the government

The early childhood education sector in New Zealand has been subsidised by the government for many years. The government began subsidising free kindergarten associations in the 1890s. This move was linked to an emerging interest in moral reform and the health of young children. In the twentieth century, early childhood education in New Zealand was transformed. In response to changing needs, the government developed progressive education policies that promoted preschool for children aged three and four years prior to entry into school at five years old. These new policies introduced new services and justified state involvement in the early years.