Boost for kindergarten teacher leadership approved
Kindergarten teachers have overwhelmingly endorsed a settlement that contains a $2000 leadership allowance for head teachers and ensures kindergarten teachers retain parity with their primary colleagues.
More than 98% of teachers voting approved of the settlement, negotiated by NZEI Te Riu Roa. The leadership allowance will be introduced from the beginning of 2016.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski says the recognition of the importance of leadership in kindergarten is welcome.
"However, the Government needs to fund quality leadership across the early childhood education sector. All children deserve the best start that comes with quality leadership and 100 per cent qualified teachers," she says.
"The fact is that cuts to ECE quality funding since 2010 threaten to undermine the ability of services to offer all children high quality. The Government recognised the importance of quality teaching and leadership in schooling in its scheme announced last week. A similar investment in ECE is long overdue. The evidence shows that high quality ECE has a positive impact on children's educational success that is long-lasting, and that quality is strongly correlated with having qualified and registered teachers."
ECE services are currently required to have only 50 per cent qualified and registered teachers. Since the National Government dropped the goal of 100 per cent qualified ECE teachers in 2009 and cut associated funding, 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."