Foreword

The Education Review Office (ERO) is an independent government department that reviews the performance of New Zealand’s schools and early childhood services, and reports publicly on what it finds.

The whakataukī of ERO demonstrates the importance we place on the educational achievement of our children and young people:

Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa The Child – the Heart of the Matter

In our daily work we have the privilege of going into early childhood services and schools, giving us a current picture of what is happening throughout the country. We collate and analyse this information so that it can be used to benefit the education sector and, therefore, the children in our education system. ERO’s reports contribute sound information for work undertaken to support the Government’s policies.

All children should have the opportunity to participate in early childhood education, including children with special needs. Not only do these children have the right to take part in early childhood education, the education and care they receive should be inclusive. ERO recently evaluated how well early childhood services included children with special needs. This report presents the findings from that evaluation. It also discusses what it means to be inclusive, some of the challenges facing services and areas for improvement.

Successful delivery in education relies on many people and organisations across the community working together for the benefit of children and young people. We trust the information in ERO’s evaluations will help them in their work.

Dr Graham Stoop

Chief Review Officer

Education Review Office

November 2012