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Monopoly Games in the Nursery

Inequalities and early childhood education.
Posted March 15, 2011

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Executive Summary

New Zealand children who are members of low socio-economic households or who live in low socio-economic communities are accessing early childhood education (ECE) less than other New Zealand children. This lack of opportunity is despite Government programmes which heavily subsidise ECE attendance. The consequence of this results in children being less successful in their early years of school and opens the door to lifelong educational and economic disadvantage.

This document considers this issue with a view to identifying useful community development-based models that might address the continuing inequalities within, and emerging from, New Zealand's early childhood educational system.

The discussion in this document is guided by these questions:

  • What is the nature and source of current inequalities in New Zealand concerning access to early childhood education?
  • What are some models of ECE intervention that may help reduce these inequalities?

To guide this discussion, data from low socio-economic communities is used to discover the effect of relevant policies. Also, qualitative data is examined from interviews and surveys conducted at several urban and rural ECE providers.