Government needs to look at early childhood sector funding too

Changes to employment legislation are only half the story for the early childhood sector, says Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood Education (ECNZ) Chief Executive, Kathy Wolfe.

“While we’re really pleased that this government is committed to fair pay, that’s only half the story for our sector,” says Ms Wolfe. 

“Per child funding rates in early childhood education (ECE) have not increased since 2010.  As a result, most early childhood education and care centres cannot afford to pay for 100% qualified teaching staff – while balancing centre services – even though they would like to.”

Research shows that this situation is not ideal for young tamariki just starting their learning journey. 

“As a result, we’re keen to work with the new government to restore per child funding rates,” says Ms Wolfe.  “This will enable centres to start to address the pay parity issue for ECE qualified teachers that sees these teachers paid less than their primary school teacher peers.”   

Ms Wolfe says the pay parity issue sits alongside an historic pay equity issue, which also needs addressing. 

“We look forward to the government funding ECE so 100% qualified teachers can be reached and maintained in teacher-led services.  Funding also needs to be provided to support ongoing professional practice, and recognise the skills and knowledge needed to work with and nurture our youngest learners.”

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