A recent release by the Ministry of Education showed that numbers of children in early childhood education has risen by 10% since 2005.

This is no doubt due to the 20 Hours programme and the increase in home-based care.  In Southland, our early childhood services are blessed with environments that lend themselves to giving children rich learning experiences.

One such example is Fiordland Kindergarten’s innovative new Wednesday kindergarten sessions in the outdoors (their Nature Discovery programme), taking the children to Ivon Wilson Park in keeping with the European ‘forest kindergarten‘ philosophy.

Fiordland Kindergarten head teacher Claire Maley-Shaw recently won a travel award to further study this concept.

The contribution quality early childhood education makes to preparing our little ones for school and the years ahead should not be underestimated.  That’s why the Government is supporting early childhood education as part of over overall pathway to success in school and in life.