As a parent choosing an early childhood education service can be a daunting process. There are many types to choose from, many methods and philosophies to be aware of, and a range of quality indicators to consider. This paper will identify three indicators in childcare centres that helped with my decision and relate to my personal values and beliefs associated with early childhood education.
The first indicator is an effective and relevant curriculum and how it is applied into the policy and procedures of the centre. New Zealand has its very own early childhood curriculum and framework specifically designed for our children, whānau, communities, and cultures. The introduction in the Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education [MoE], 1996) states, “this curriculum is founded on the following aspirations for children: to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society” (p. 9). A childcare centre following a purposeful and structured curriculum forms a united foundation and effective framework for the children, teachers, parents, and community. The Whāriki curriculum acknowledges the cultural diversities New Zealand now faces as opposed to 40 years ago in early childhood services and incorporates this with children of different ages, environments, and learning abilities. After reading the Te Whāriki, one sentence was permanently memorized, “It is about the individual child” (MoE, 1996, p. 9). Researching more into New Zealand curriculums, I came to a confident conclusion that a centre with a planned curriculum, partially Te Whāriki, mattered to my child’s education and supported my beliefs towards early education for New Zealand children.
This lead me into reading the Licensing Criteria for early childhood centres as my next quality indicator is the health and safety for my child and the environment they will...
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