Turning The Tide on Private Profit-Focused Provision In Early Childhood Education





early childhood education, democracy, privatisation, policy


The article analyses a market-based approach to early childhood education (ECE) provision and the growth of for-profit ECE provision, evidence about ‘quality’ and accessibility, and problems occurring when a need for private profit conflicts with the best interests of families and children. The issue of for-profit provision is set within the context of international developments and solutions in Europe, UK, US and Canada. Immediate steps that might be taken for a democratic system of community-based and public early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand are pinpointed. Overall, the article offers possibilities for asserting democratic values as a way towards alternatives in Aotearoa New Zealand’s early childhood education provision.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Linda Mitchell, University of Waikato

Linda Mitchell is Professor in Early Childhood Education and Director of the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research and of the Early Years Research Centre at the University of Waikato. A main research interest is in evaluation and analysis of early childhood education policies. Her recent book Democratic Policies and Practices in Early Childhood Education: An Aotearoa New Zealand case study expands on her views that education should be a public good and community asset. A second main interest is in practitioner-focused research. She is currently leading two projects investigating how early childhood education can strengthen bicultural belonging for refugee and migrant families in Aotearoa New Zealand, and also help families sustain a sense of belonging in their home country.