National research shows that participation in quality early childhood education (ECE) is more likely to achieve good learning outcomes for tamariki. Early childhood is a time when the foundations for language development, cultural transmission, social skills, behaviours and attitudes are provided. There appear to be two significant contributors toward good early childhood learning experiences: (1) the quality of family ties and involvement in the child’s early learning experiences; and (2) the resources available to children and parents.
Ngāi Tahu research indicates high participation in some form of early childhood education. Te Kōhanga Reo attracts around 14% while most attend kindergartens, play centres and playgroups. While Ngāi Tahu whānui would like access to quality immersion and bilingual options there are few teachers in this area.
Ngāi Tahu education has undertaken research into whānau perspectives of quality education provision. This research, as well as research into traditional Ngāi Tahu child-rearing practices, will be published and distributed to Ngāi Tahu whānau.
We want to increase choice of quality provision, with effective teachers in immersion and bilingual programmes; and to increase access to Ngāi Tahu curriculum resources for teachers and Ngāi Tahu whānau. Ngāi Tahu education intends to encourage the development of groups that wish to focus on Ngāi Tahu-centred practices.