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More Funding Cuts to Kindergartens

News Release 25 November 2010

More Funding Cuts to Kindergartens

Another million dollars will be cut from Government funding to kindergartens next year, on top of the estimated $14 million reduction in funding already announced in the budget, according to the New Zealand Kindergartens (NZK).

NZK is the umbrella organisation representing twenty nine kindergarten associations covering 430 kindergartens nation-wide.

Services employing newly qualified teachers (provisionally registered teachers - PRTS) receive a grant to help those teachers to become fully registered. Each year, a grant of $4,300 per PRT is paid, supporting their two year induction programme. The programme is an essential part of the process of becoming a teacher. The research shows effective induction is critical to the success of newly qualified teachers in both ECE services and schools.

Clare Wells, NZK Chief Executive said: “This is another significant funding blow to kindergartens, which will see even more pressure placed on kindergarten associations to make up the funding shortfall they face in 2011.”

NZK kindergartens are committed to employing 100% qualified and registered teachers and to providing high quality education for young children. There are more than 250 beginning teachers in NZK kindergartens this year. “The Government has determined that services with over 80% qualified teachers will no longer be eligible for the PRT grant. Based on this years’ numbers of PRTs that means over $1 million will be stripped from current funding,” continued Clare Wells.

“This is another example of ECE services being penalised for employing all qualified teachers. The first was the scrapping of the target for 100% qualified and registered teachers in all ECE teacher-led services, followed by cutting funding rates to services with over 80% qualified staff. Now the funding to support newly qualified teachers has been pulled.

“At the end of the day, it is about the quality of the programmes available to children and families. The Government has lowered standards in ECE at the same time as it wants to improve participation and education achievement. That simply doesn’t make sense,” stated Clare Wells.

ENDS

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