The Otago chapter was established in 1993.  Val Burns (Wellington), who had a longstanding interest in establishing OMEP in New Zealand since the 1980s, began a discussion with early childhood people in Dunedin.   This was happening around the time preparations were underway for the  5th Early Childhood Convention that was held in Dunedin in 1991. 

After the conference Lyn Foote and others in Dunedin continued to think about establishing OMEP locally and In February 1993 an invitation was sent out to a wide group of people regarding this possibility.   At a meeting held on 10 March 1993 it was agreed to establish a local chapter with membership to be broader that “educationalists”.  Despite considerable effort being made to involve the health and welfare sectors in OMEP activities, the majority of those passionate about OMEP in Otago have come from the local early childhood education sector.

OMEP in Otago has been politically active since its beginning and has responded actively to government policies and plans and the ways in which these could potentially impact on young children and families.  They have hosted political forums prior to elections and have written numerous submissions on government plans, policies and issues impacting on young children.


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