Children, The Family and Health: What it Takes to Give Children Long Life
The Singapore Workshop: Opening Ceremony
The first early childhood education services in New Zealand had the primary aim of providing for disadvantaged children. The psychological and educational advantages of early childhood education services were soon seen to have benefits for all children and were increasingly recognised as providing support to families as well as education for their children. Families and early education services are now jointly involved in the socialisation, care and learning of young children.
Links between home and early childhood education programmes are important. All the comings and goings, people routines and environment within and around a home provide opportunities for the spontaneous learning which should be a feature of all early childhood learning contexts. Each early childhood education service provided should ensure that programmes and resources are sensitive and responsive to the wide range of differing cultures and heritages within the families of the children attending that service.
New Zealand is part of a world revolution in communication, technology, work and leisure. Change in these and other spheres is a feature of every day life. To cope with such changes, children need both the confidence to develop their own perspectives and the capacity to continue acquiring new knowledge and skill.
The New Zealand early childhood curriculum - Te Whariki (the mat-weaving) provides and educational foundation that supports the full range of skills that children will need as life long learners.
Te Whariki - The New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. Very briefly the curriculum has four broad principals at its center.
- Empowerment The early childhood curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow.
- Holistic Development: Curriculum reflects the holistic way children learn and grow.
- Family and Community: The wider world of family and community is an integral part of the curriculum.
- Relationships: Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things.
Within these principals are five strands
- Well being: The health and well being of the child is protected and nutured.
- Belonging: Children and their families feel a sense of belonging.
- Contribution: Opportunities for learning are equitable and each childŐs contribution is valued.
- Communication: The language and symbols of their own and other cultures are promoted and protected.
- Exploration: The child learns through active exploration of the environment.
In New Zealand early childhood education is available to all children. Different services provide for different needs and age groups. The National curriculum ensures that all children attending a center receive a similar standard of education.
Last Modified: June 05, 2010