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Playcentre Supports Kindergarten Teachers

9 December 2005

Playcentre Supports Kindergarten Teachers

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation has announced its support for kindergarten teachers in their struggle to maintain high quality conditions for teachers and children.

Mrs Robynn Kopua, president of the Federation, comments that "Children need to have time to spend with their families in their own homes, time to rest, and time that's not scheduled with activities. It's not appropriate to be forcing kindergartens to keep children for full days when it goes against the kindergarten philosophy and the needs of their children."

Playcentre's 60 years of providing high quality education means that they understand the challenges of providing high quality care for children. "Providing high quality interactions with children is a very demanding job," Mrs. Kopua says.

"Teachers are focussing closely on the children and their needs, while the children are present. They use their non-contact hours to plan for each child and fulfill the administrative and regulatory requirements for an early childhood service. An increase in contact hours means that teachers will have to take time away from the children to perform these duties."

Mrs Kopua also expresses concern at the plan to run kindergartens year round. "These are very young children," she says. "They need to have vacations, just as other children do: a chance to relax with their siblings, without the enforced stimulation of being on a session with large numbers of other children.

It's not fair for the Government to be imposing its vision of getting all stay at home parents back into the workforce, and all children into full-time childcare, onto kindergarten families and teachers. We have a vision that puts the needs and education of the children and their families first."

Kindergarten teachers already work very hard to provide high quality education. "We need to value those who work with our youngest children," says Mrs. Kopua, "Not erode their working conditions and effectively reduce their pay."


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