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Home arrow Education arrow Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand: History, Pedagogy, and Liberation

Regulatory framework

The inappropriateness of the neoliberal regulatory framework (one- size-fits-all) was borne out by the Waitangi Tribunal (2012), which found: “Rather, there needs to be greater partnership and cooperation in formulating regulations and licensing criteria specific to the needs and situation of TKR” (p. 293). Failure to enact a meaningful partnership has meant that the TKR National Trust body has, perhaps inadvertently, certainly unintentionally, acted as the Trojan horse of hostile policy. The strategic focus of the last decade has resulted in funding inequities, leading to operation shortfalls. This strategic focus has directly affected the ability of Maori immersion (bilingual) settings to stay afloat in what has become a very competitive, increasingly privatized, market place for ECE. The promotion of “parental choice” narrow colonial prescriptions of “quality,” and poor engagement with the Maori language communities in terms of educating parents and caregivers regarding the benefits of bilingual immersion education has reduced options for Maori parents wanting Maori immersion, in spite of the rhetoric. This has been the direct cause of attrition of enrollments in Kohanga Reo and their closures.

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