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Early Childhood Centres Need Workforce, Not Trials

Early Childhood Centres Need Stable Workforce, Not Trial Periods

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says using early childhood centres to promote trial periods of employment is ridiculous and bad for early childhood education.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) is using childcare centres as one of their five examples of evidence that trial periods of employment work.

“Relationships are critical in early childhood education," said Judith Nowotarski, NZEI vice-president and early childhood teacher. “A stable staff is essential in the smooth operation of early childhood centres and essential to children’s learning.”

Mrs Nowotarski said EMA clearly did not understand how early childhood centres work.

“There were many ways of ensuring that centres employ teachers who are the right fit,” she said. “It is best practice for other staff members and parents to be part of the interviewing panels and all teachers can provide evidence of their qualifications and experience to support good decision-making.”

Mrs Nowotarski said good pay and conditions, qualified teachers and stable staffing are all elements of quality early childhood education.

“In the budget Government made massive cuts to early childhood education which undermined centres’ ability to employ qualified teachers,” she said.

“The extension of the trial period is another attack on conditions of early childhood teachers and other New Zealand workers.”

ENDS

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