Government is on notice: fund ECE teacher pay parity in 2023

The Government’s half-kept promises on pay parity funding for early childhood teachers has created a dire situation for ECE services who are desperate to do right by their teachers. 

Briefing documents released by Treasury yesterday show the Government reduced pay parity funding for early childhood teachers in its May Budget to limit its education spending. 

“As an ECE membership organisation, we know our ECE services are desperate to pay teachers more but also keep fees affordable for whānau so no child misses out on early learning. Government is forcing them into an untenable choice,” Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood NZ chief executive Kathy Wolfe says.

Kathy Wolfe said the Government had promised pay parity during the last election but so far delivered only half-kept pay parity promises in the 2021 and 2022 Budgets.

“It is a graphic example of how the skilled, degree-qualified and mainly female ECE workforce continue to be undervalued by government politicians and officials alike,” says Kathy Wolfe.

“Government keeps telling us they’ll deliver when in reality, inadequate ECE funding is ongoing and pay parity for teachers continues to be unaffordable for most ECE services,” she said.

“Unless the Government addresses the fundamental issue of adequate funding for ECE services to pay their teachers fairly, the critical shortage of ECE teachers will continue.

“The Government has one last chance to make good on its ECE pay parity promises in Budget 2023 – our ECE teachers and young tamariki deserve it.”