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Budget 2016 insulting to early childhood education

Budget 2016 insulting to early childhood education

26 May 2016

For immediate release.

Budget 2016 is, as expected, the annual slap in the face for early childhood education (ECE) providers who received no increase to funding rates for the second year running.

John Diggins, Acting Chief Executive of Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ), said that the ECE sector was struggling to provide high quality learning due to years of under investment.

‘The ECE sector is incredibly disappointed but not surprised today as it learns that the budget brings no funding increases, again. Since the removal of funding for 100% qualified teachers in 2010, and any increases to funding rates being less than half of CPI in recent years, the sector is really hurting and this is ultimately affecting children.’

‘On the face of it, it looks like more money is being pumped into ECE. Increases in funding only reflect the increases in numbers of children attending ECE but don’t begin to touch on quality. The reality is that funding has actually decreased per child over successive years.’

The push for participation is good, but high quality ECE is now where the focus needs to be, and that doesn’t happen without funding that backs a 100% qualified workforce, good teacher-child ratios and funding that allows centres to provide professional development for their teachers.

‘More and more of our members are telling us they are struggling to afford providing their teachers with professional development,’ said Mr Diggins. ‘How can we expect children to have a high quality ECE experience if the sector can’t afford to develop its teachers?’

ENDS

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