From the Herald on Sunday (17 April 2011)
New Zealand’s biggest study into literacy teaching at childcare centres – where under-5s are cared for and prepared for school – has revealed some alarming findings.
* 330 Childcare centres were inspected.
* 60% were lacking a focus on literacy.
* $115.50 The daily rate paid at a top-end childcare centre.
One expert has labelled teaching practices discovered in some centres as “quite dangerous”, while another says the report reveals our children are being sold short. The Education Review Office (ERO) Report on Literacy in Early Childhood Services investigated if children were learning good literacy skills in centres. The Education Ministry views a good start in early literacy – not only reading and writing, but also listening, talking, viewing and drawing – as “critical” to kids doing well later on. ERO investigators went into more than 350 teacher- and parent-led early childhood services – including daycares, kindergartens, playcentres and home-based networks and discovered: Some teachers tried to teach phonics to kids aged under two. Purchases of books, art, writing materials, and computer software with no specific learning in mind. Failure to differentiate teaching for boys and girls (boys get bored more easily). Some services that simply didn’t know if they were improving kids’ learning.
In the 70’s it was ‘child-minding’ – in the 80’s it was ‘child-care’ – in the 90’s it was ‘early learning centre’ – today it’s ‘early childhood education’
But guess what? It’s still child-minding!