The Ministry of Education aims to provide more opportunity for all children to participate in quality early childhood education (ECE), with a particular focus on supporting vulnerable children. We want 98% of children starting school to have had prior participation in quality ECE.
The Early Learning Information (ELI) system provides us with more quality information on ECE than ever before. The information collected via ELI is real-time compared to paper-based collection methods historically used. The use of national student numbers (NSN) allows us to capture ECE participation information and link it to individual children throughout their education journey; highlighting the value of ECE.
The information collected by the ELI system has many benefits for the ECE sector, children and their families, communities and the Ministry. These benefits include:
- Easier and faster for early learning services to send data to the Ministry, and for the Ministry to process, validate and use ECE data.
- Parents have access to more comprehensive information on their child’s participation in ECE which they can use to discuss with schools.
- Early learning services can access reports which can be used for planning purposes.
- Better information about children’s continuity of learning allows communities and the ECE sector to assess and understand patterns of movement both between early learning services, and between early learning services and schools.
- Improved ability to identify and understand ECE participation rates, trends, and very low or fragmented participation patterns. Together, the ECE sector and the Ministry will be able to better focus on the needs of specific communities, and individual children, particularly those who require additional support to participate regularly in ECE.
- The Ministry is better able to resource ECE and assist communities by monitoring early learning services and providing support where needed.
- Greater ability for the Ministry to report funding per child and funding per cohort.
- Parent’s decisions about which early learning service(s) to enrol their children in can be better informed.
- People looking to open, close, or change the structure of their early learning service(s) will be able to make better informed decisions.
- Education records that follow children from ECE means that participation in ECE can be linked to educational achievement over time which allows us to assess the impact of ECE on education outcomes in the future.
- Enhanced ability for the Ministry to monitor and measure the impact of initiatives to increase participation in ECE.
- The Government can make more informed policy and investment decisions.