Funding slashes in early childhood education astounding – new research

Funding slashes in early childhood education astounding – new research

For immediate release.

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ) says that, if accurate, new research quantifying slashes to funding for early childhood education (ECE) is astounding.

According to a report by Infometrics (commissioned by NZEI Te Riu Roa) the ECE sector is $260m worse off in 2017. This is when cuts were made to funding for qualified staff in 2010, and funding failed to keep up with inflation.

‘The quantification of what we already knew, that the early childhood sector has been deprived of meaningful funding in recent years, is astonishing,’ said Kathy Wolfe, Chief Executive of ECNZ. ‘According to NZEI, in real terms, ECE services are around $58,000 worse off each per year, than they would have been if funding had not been slashed for qualified staff and had kept up with inflation. This is significant for services that were already running on very tight margins.’

Our children deserve the highest quality ECE possible, laying the foundations for life-long learning. They deserve fully qualified and certificated teaching staff, whose employers can afford to provide them with ongoing professional development. With what amounts to funding cuts in recent years, this has become an impossible aspiration for many early childhood services around the country.

ECNZ is calling on all political parties to commit to restoring funding for a 100% qualified ECE workforce and for funding to be adjusted for inflation, in this election year.


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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.

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