Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand is calling on the Government to find scope in this year’s Budget to inject well deserved and long overdue funding into the ECE sector.
Te Rito Maioha Chief Executive Kathy Wolfe says, “hearing Finance Minister Grant Robertson outlining the Government’s priorities in the upcoming ‘recovery’ Budget, it’s heartening to know that as well as priorities for the economy there will be a continued key focus on child wellbeing.”
“Quality early childhood education is a critical aspect of child wellbeing. About 97% of children are in some form of early childhood education in this country. What is more, it is clear from research that a child’s first 1000 days of life are of paramount importance to that child’s development, wellbeing, and lifelong learning.”
“While we do understand the unprecedented pressures on the government’s budget at this time, with the challenges still posed by the Covid 19 pandemic, it is critical for quality early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand that the full ECE sector achieves parity with kindergartens and primary teachers.
“This is not incompatible with the government’s goals for economic renewal, and surely compatible its focus on child wellbeing”, says Chief Executive Kathy Wolfe.
“Paying ECE teachers equitably will help to rebuild and sustain our economy by supporting families returning to work and rebuilding their businesses, and by our teachers’ own spending in the domestic economy.
“Te Rito Maioha supports the calls from NZEI Te Riu Roa for an immediate end to the pay imbalance of up to 31% between ECE teachers and their counterparts in kindergartens and schools.”
“The sector has been underfunded for so long. The longer the Government fails to address this issue, the harder it will be to retain valued staff in the sector and improve quality.”
“Our youngest tamariki deserve nothing less than the best start in their learning journey.”
The Budget is set to be revealed later this month.