Media Release July 7, 2005
From NZEI Te Riu Roa
For Immediate Use
Extra Funding For Early Childhood Education Good For Kids
Early childhood teachers throughout the country are welcoming the extra funding the Government has delivered to all early childhood education services this week.
There are more than 3000 early childhood education services in New Zealand. Each one has this week received a share of a $185 million funding injection, that is the first instalment of the $523 million the Government has allocated for early childhood education in the 2005/2006 financial year, which began on Friday (July 1).
“Early childhood teachers who belong to NZEI welcome
the extra funding because they know it is being used to
ensure that all New Zealand children receive a good start
in life by providing them with
access to a quality early years education,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.
This is being achieved by using the money to increase the number of qualified and registered teachers and to lift pay rates in the sector to the same level as primary and secondary schools.
“Research shows that the key to providing children with a quality education in their early years is to have them taught by qualified and registered teachers,” says Colin Tarr.
This is why NZEI supports the Government goal of having all early childhood teachers qualified and registered by 2012.
Critics of have stated that early childhood centres would struggle to meet the goal and would have to close. “This has not happened,” says Colin Tarr. “That’s because centres have been given extra money to help achieve the goal and individual teachers are being given the support they need to become qualified and registered,” says Colin Tarr
Included in the funding injection received by centres this week is an increase in the grant paid to provisionally registered teachers to enable them to under take the professional development they need to become fully registered. There are 2900 provisionally registered teachers currently receiving the grant which has been increased by 10% from $3410 a year to $3762.
NZEI also welcomes the funding that is being provided to deliver pay parity to early childhood teachers. “This recognises that the work they do is as important as their colleagues in primary and secondary schools and should be given equal value,” says Colin Tarr
It’s crucial for children to get a good start to their education. Research in New Zealand and overseas shows that children who receive a quality education in their early years perform better at school and carry the benefits into adult life.
“This is why it’s essential we maintain the investment currently being made in early childhood education because it will benefit all children and the country as a whole,” says Colin Tarr.