The Importance of Early Childhood Education
The early years of a young child’s life lay the foundations for life-long learning. Alongside family and whanau, the wider community including early childhood educators influence a child’s development in the early years. Our government recognises the importance of early childhood education by regulating, funding and supporting quality early childhood education in a diverse range of settings. New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum, Te Whariki, recognises our aspirations for our country’s young children and promotes diverse aspects of a child’s well-being, belonging, communication, contribution and exploration.
Early Childhood education and care opportunities in New Zealand for children aged 0-6 years include both centre and home-based options. These include education and care centres, kindergartens, Playcentres, Te Kohanga Reo, Pacific Island centres and home-based agencies, etc.
The Role of an Early Childhood Educator
Infants, toddlers and young children who experience positive and stimulating experiences and relationships with people and the environment are well equipped to reach their potential in life. A skilled and passionate early childhood educator plays an important role in the lives of young children. Educators of young children need to have asound theoretical knowledge and be able to apply this in practical ways when interacting with young children. Additionally, educators will reflect on their teaching techniques, strengths and challenges and seek ways to develop both personally and professionally in order to be confident and competent educators of young children.