I will remember this year in education for... not only the outcome of the New Zealand General Election, but also the approach taken by both major parties to recognise the value of early childhood education (ECE), and start seeing it as an equal at the education tables.

Our proudest achievement this year... has been the impact of the completion of the Ministry’s project to refresh the New Zealand ECE curriculum, Te Whāriki. It is a world-leading curriculum and we enjoyed being involved with the refresh. In particular, we can’t wait to see the positive impact of the curriculum refresh for centre leadership and children’s learning outcomes into the future. 

I predict the biggest issue in the sector for 2018 will be... gaining clarity around government plans for early childhood education (ECE), and some recognition of the funding losses childhood centres have endured since 2011.  We may also see changes to the Communities of Learning model, and we’d expect more widely in the education sector that teacher pay and teacher shortages will continue to be a discussion point.

Next year our priorities should be... continuing to represent the interests of privately-owned and community-owned childhood centres in New Zealand, to continue to advocate for quality early childhood education, and to achieve more of a level playing field in terms of government rules and regulations across the ECE sector.