Millions are being spent to recruit children for early learning, but there is alarm about the quality of education and growing social justice concerns.

Dr Sarah Alexander emphasises she wants to see ECE in New Zealand flourish and knows it's a goodsend for working parents.  But she says it's important to remember ECE is not compulsory here, there are caveats that determine whether it will benefit a child and there are (also) good reasons that a parent might prefer to look after a child full-time.

A new website, provides free, independent advice about services across the country.  It gives key details about each service with reviews and star ratings from parents.  Because of a lack of transparency in the sector the website may also end up playing a watchdog role by regularly updating any official complaints or investigations linked to centres.

Read the full article including interviews, by Catherine Woulfe, NZ Listener, April 19-25, 2014