From NZEI Te Riu Roa
Thurs Oct 19, 2006
For Immediate Use
NZEI Pleased Date Set for Qualified Teachers Requirement
NZEI Te Riu Roa is pleased that the Government has set the date by which early childhood education centres must ensure that half of their teachers are qualified.
Education Minister Steve Maharey today announced that from December 31 next year, early childhood education centres will be required by regulation to have 50% of their teachers holding a recognised early childhood teaching qualification.
“Until now 2007 has been a target for early childhood education centres to have half their teachers qualified, now it is a requirement that half their teachers are qualified,” says Irene Cooper, National President of NZEI Te Riu Roa, the union that represents early childhood teachers.
The target of having 50% of early childhood teachers qualified by 2007 was set four years ago when the Government launched its 10 year strategic plan for early childhood education. The target for having all early childhood teachers qualified is 2012.
NZEI notes that the deadline for meeting the 50% requirement has been moved from the start of 2007 to the end of that year.
“Shifting the deadline recognizes the difficulty that early childhood education centres in some areas of the country are having in attracting qualified teachers,” says Irene Cooper.
“This is a pragmatic
response to the fact that centres in isolated areas, and in
parts of the country
that are traditionally hard to staff, find it harder to recruit qualified teachers. Schools in these areas have a similar problem.”
“NZEI notes that early childhood education centres where teachers are members of the union, and are paid salaries and enjoy working conditions that recognise the important work they do, find it far easier to attract and retain qualified staff,” says Irene Cooper.
She says NZEI will be keeping a close watch on the granting of provisional licenses to centres who do not meet the December 31, 2007 deadline for having half their teachers qualified.
“Centres have known about the qualification targets for four years and are receiving a lot of help to meet the deadline,” says Irene Cooper. “The Government provides extra funding for centres who employ qualified teachers and individual teachers can obtain scholarships to assist with the cost of qualifying.”
“NZEI also welcomes the positive moves to improve child to teacher ratios announced today by the Government,” says Irene Cooper.