To be a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order:
WELLS, Ms Clare Elizabeth
For services to early childhood education
Ms Clare Wells has been a key driver of quality early childhood education for more than 40 years.
Ms Wells is currently a board member of the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand. She has bolstered these organisations through her well-established early childhood networks as well as her involvement in cross-sector initiatives and advisory groups. She was the Chief Executive of New Zealand Kindergartens from 2008 to 2019. She championed and campaigned for universal access to quality early childhood education services, the development of a qualified and progressive teaching workforce, and a partnership with government that supports the growth of community-based services. She chaired the Teachers Council (now the Education Council) Early Childhood Advisory group for five years. She is well known for her collaborative leadership style, and she was instrumental in the development of the first early learning strategic plan in the early 2000s. Ms Wells’ leadership has contributed to unifying and providing a clear direction for New Zealand’s kindergarten sector.