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The new year sees consultation beginning on review of early learning regulations. The Ministry of Education has begun a comprehensive review of the early learning regulatory system. The first tranche of proposals to tighten and clarify parts of the regulations is now available for feedback, by 12 February, 2021.

The Ministry is taking a broad look at the regulations and licensing standards for this diverse sector, to make sure they are clear and fit-for-purpose to give our youngest learners the best possible start in their education. The main aim of tranche one is to address some of the gaps in the current system including those that pose a risk to children’s health, safety, and wellbeing. The proposals in this tranche would most impact new early learning services, service providers that have a change in circumstance, and services that have compliance issues. This Review is the first of three tranches planned over the next three years.

The sector has changed significantly since the current regulations took effect in 2008.  The number of children participating has increased, and children are participating at younger ages and for longer hours.  There are now also more early learning services, and the mix of service types is quite different than more than a decade ago.

Areas that require more work will be in later tranches. This will include addressing several commitments in the Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 and Review of Home-based Early Childhood Education.

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