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Funding slashes in early childhood education astounding

Media statement

Funding slashes in early childhood education astounding – new research

24 March 2017

For immediate release.

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ) says that, if accurate, new research quantifying slashes to funding for early childhood education (ECE) is astounding.

According to a report by Infometrics (commissioned by NZEI Te Riu Roa) the ECE sector is $260m worse off in 2017. This is when cuts were made to funding for qualified staff in 2010, and funding failed to keep up with inflation.

‘The quantification of what we already knew, that the early childhood sector has been deprived of meaningful funding in recent years, is astonishing,’ said Kathy Wolfe, Chief Executive of ECNZ. ‘According to NZEI, in real terms, ECE services are around $58,000 worse off each per year, than they would have been if funding had not been slashed for qualified staff and had kept up with inflation. This is significant for services that were already running on very tight margins.’

Our children deserve the highest quality ECE possible, laying the foundations for life-long learning. They deserve fully qualified and certificated teaching staff, whose employers can afford to provide them with ongoing professional development. With what amounts to funding cuts in recent years, this has become an impossible aspiration for many early childhood services around the country.

ECNZ is calling on all political parties to commit to restoring funding for a 100% qualified ECE workforce and for funding to be adjusted for inflation, in this election year.


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