According to the Ministry of Education’s Early childhood education and young adult competencies at age 16 study, the benefits are tangible and measurable.
Regardless of their family background, children who took part in quality early childhood education enjoyed lasting benefits in terms of literacy, numeracy, logical problem solving competencies and social skills.
The key word here is quality: there is a growing body of research that shows that it’s the ability of teachers to recognise children’s interests and turn them into learning opportunities, expand and develop language and social skills that makes the difference.
Kidsfirst Kindergartens, together with kindergarten associations across New Zealand, believe that early childhood education qualifications, ongoing professional development and high standards are at the heart of quality education. That’s why we insist that all of our teachers are fully trained, qualified and registered with the Teaching Council. We know the huge difference that makes for children and families. Having 100% qualified teachers costs us more, but this is such a fundamental part of delivering quality education, we won’t compromise on it.
Many of our teachers have been with Kidsfirst for decades. For them, teaching is a vocation - a career they have chosen because of a love of teaching and learning, and because making a difference in the lives of children and families is so important. They choose to work in kindergartens over other kinds of early childhood education because they believe in children learning through play, in working with families to know and understand each child, in the value of large, natural outdoor spaces, small class sizes and strong support from their umbrella organisation. Trainee teachers choose kindergarten for their placements because its reputation for quality teaching and learning is so high.
Our teachers invest heavily in themselves and their careers and never stop learning. Each year, we are proud to hand out awards recognising the growing number of teaching staff who have completed higher levels of post graduate study over the previous 12 months.
In turn, our teachers are supported by Kidsfirst with ongoing professional development and a team of education managers and specialists whose job it is to support continuous improvement in our kindergartens, and better learning outcomes for Kidsfirst children.
We believe strongly that trained teachers are essential to building on the foundations of learning that happens at home, to prepare children for life-long learning in the world ahead.
Learn more about the value of trained teachers when you visit a Kidsfirst kindergarten.
More reading: ECE and Young Adult Competencies at Age 16