Early childhood education advocates demand equity for all early childhood teachers
2 June 2017
For immediate release.
Kathy Wolfe, Chief Executive of Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ), said that all early childhood education teachers deserved better funding, not only kindergarten teachers.
Yesterday Government and the education union NZEI agreed the new terms of the Kindergarten Collective Employment Agreement. This saw a 2% pay increase and the agreement to pay for practising certificate costs.
‘I’m really pleased kindergarten teachers are getting a pay increase from government, and their practising certificate costs covered. Their teachers deserve this and it’s great there has been acknowledgement from the Government,’ said Ms Wolfe. ‘However, we want to see the value of all ECE teachers recognised with adequate funding. A teacher is a teacher is a teacher!’
The largest service type within the ECE sector is Education and Care numbering around 2,500 services. This group do not receive the same benefits as kindergartens (which number around 650). The education and care sub-sector is reliant on increases in per child funding at budget time. This then is able to flow through to increases in salary which provides recognition for our qualified teachers.
Last week’s budget saw no increases to per child funding rates across the board. ‘Really, this was just another kick in the teeth for a sector crushed by years of government underfunding,’ said Ms Wolfe. There has been very little change to the per-child hourly funding rate since 2008, and funding for qualified teachers was slashed in 2010. It’s not a pretty picture and one wonders why the government does not value early childhood education.’
Ms Wolfe said ECNZ is astonished that the Government chooses to ignore the large body of evidence that makes it clear that high quality early childhood education makes social and economic sense over the long-term.
‘This Government’s attitude in ignoring the research evidence that proves the importance and value of high quality ECE is shocking. ECE must be high quality to deliver the benefits children deserve, and appropriate funding is required to achieve this. It’s time the government stood up for our tamariki, the future of this country.’
For further information contact Martin Švehla on 027 340 6099. Visit us at ecnz.ac.nz.
Please note that Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand should be cited in full in the first instance and can then be abbreviated to ECNZ.
About Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ) - formerly known as Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa/NZ Childcare Association (NZCA).
ECNZ is a national organisation that promotes high quality early childhood education (ECE) through initial teacher education, professional development, advocacy and membership services. ECNZ represents hundreds of early childhood education (ECE) services, providing education and care to thousands of infants, toddlers and young children. Established in 1963, ECNZ has a long history of improving standards of practice in New Zealand’s early childhood education sector. Registered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as a Private Tertiary Education (PTE) provider, ECNZ is today one of New Zealand’s largest providers of early childhood initial teacher education (ITE), with over 60 academic staff based at 11 sites throughout the country.