20 December 2013
All children deserve qualified early childhood education leadership
NZEI Te Riu Roa is calling for the Government to fund quality leadership across the early childhood education sector, following the proposed settlement recognising the value of kindergarten head teachers.
NZEI President Judith Nowotarski said all children deserved quality leadership and teaching in ECE services to give them the best possible start for a lifetime of learning.
Last week NZEI and the Ministry of Education reached a proposed settlement on a new kindergarten collective agreement that would see a new leadership allowance for head teachers and teachers retaining parity with their primary colleagues.
“This is fantastic for the 28,000 children who attend kindergartens, as it will be easier to recruit and retain great head teachers. But all pre-school children deserve the best start that comes with quality leadership and 100 per cent qualified teachers,” she said.
Education Minister Hekia Parata frequently speaks about how quality teaching and quality leadership boost children’s learning success and wrote just last month that, “Evidence is clear that the quality of teaching and school leadership have the biggest in- school effect in raising student achievement to improve educational success. Similarly, qualified teachers are a key factor in providing quality early childhood education that has a positive impact on learner outcomes.”
ECE services are currently only required to have 50 per cent qualified and registered teachers. Since the National Government dropped the goal of 100 per cent qualified ECE teachers in 2009, centres have reduced their numbers of teachers to save costs. Many non-kindergarten centres employ almost half of their staff as unqualified carers.
“We strongly encourage the Government to fund quality leadership in all ECE centres and restore the target of 100 per cent qualified and registered teachers. As a result of the government dropping the 100 per cent target, there are now numerous qualified ECE teachers unable to find work, and tertiary institutions are slashing the number of ECE teachers they train.”