December 31, 2004
NZEI Supports Having Qualified Teachers In Early Childhood
NZEI Te Riu Roa, the union that represents early childhood teachers, supports the requirement that comes into affect tomorrow (January 1) that the teachers in charge of early childhood education centres must be qualified and registered.
The government announced the qualification requirement four years ago, to give centres time to meet the January 1, 2005 deadline. It’s part of the government’s 10 year strategic plan for early childhood education, which aims to ensure every child in New Zealand receives a quality early childhood education, by phasing in the requirement that all the teachers in the sector be qualified and registered by 2012.
supports the introduction of this requirement because it is
good for children,”
says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.
“There is a wealth of research that shows children receive a better education at centres staffed by qualified and registered teachers.”
For example the ‘Competent Children’ project being conducted by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, which is tracking the long term development of around 500 children, shows that quality ratings for early childhood education centres increase, as the proportion of qualified staff increases.
“The research also shows that receiving a quality early childhood education enables a child to perform better at school and that this carries on into their adult life,” says Colin Tarr.
“New Zealand’s children deserve nothing less than this, and that’s why NZEI supports the government’s requirement.”
Colin Tarr commends those teachers who have worked hard to gain qualifications to meet the deadline, often studying while working full-time. Many centres have also made great efforts to support their staff gaining early childhood teaching degrees and diplomas, since the requirement was announced four years ago.
NZEI Te Riu Roa recognises the supply of qualified early childhood teachers is still tight. This has been acknowledged by the government which will allow the Ministry of Education to issue provisional licenses, according to strict criteria, for centres that are close to meeting the qualifications requirement and are working with the Ministry to fulfil the requirement.