September 22, 2004
NZEI Applauds Early Childhood Teaching Scholarships
NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes today’s announcement of a new scholarship scheme to help low income earners to study to become early childhood teachers.
The scheme was announced by the Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard, at the union’s Annual Meeting in Wellington. NZEI Te Riu Roa represents early childhood teachers.
The 700 scholarships announced will pay full fees and provide an allowance for other study costs of $10,000. Those eligible will be single people who opt into training whose income is below $20,000, people whose household income is $31,000 for two people, through to an income level of $51,000 for a six person family.
“These scholarships recognise the campaign we've run at NZEI to get the resources needed to provide quality teachers and quality education for early childhood education,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr. Judith Nowotarski, a head teacher at Hawera Kindergarten and a co-convenor of NZEI’s Early Childhood National Caucus, says the scholarships should help low income people study to become early childhood teachers. "Personally, I know parents at home in Hawera who are keen to get into early childhood teaching but have not been able to because they are on one income. This funding can make this possible for them.”
“It will be great for them, and ultimately great for our children because research shows that having early childhood education centres staffed with qualified teachers is the key to providing a quality education for our children,” says Judith Nowotarski.