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Whānau Manaaki calls on government to honour its promises

Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens calls on the government to honour its promises

Kindergartens around the country are campaigning for the government to honour its commitments to restore funding for 100 per cent qualified teachers.

Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens is responsible for 101 kindergartens from the Central Plateau of the North Island to Wellington’s South Coast, including Whanganui, Horowhenua, Kapiti, Porirua, Wairarapa, Upper Hutt and Wellington city.

“The former National government cut our budgets by 14 per cent, and despite Labour’s promises this has not been restored says Amanda Coulston, chief executive of Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens.

“Labour MPs and candidates, including the current Minister of Education Chris Hipkins, visited our kindergarten and signed a pledge to restore the funding” says Ms Coulston.

“The government has been in power for two years now, and it’s time for action”, she says.

“Our services are under stress because we continue to staff them with qualified teachers, even though the government only pays for four out of five teachers.”

All the coalition partners in government support restoring the funding.

This government has made much of its commitment to children. Quality early childhood education is a major contributer to child wellbeing, which has such an influence for children throughout life.

Investment in high quality early childhood education can bring economic returns around 10 times its costs. These returns include lower costs for schooling through less need for learning support, lower health costs and decreased social and economic inequalities.

Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens offer high quality education because all teachers employed are fully qualified, but their funding has fallen behind for 11 years.

Ninety per cent of kindergarten funding comes from the Government. We can’t keep absorbing rising costs – nor do we want to pass on costs to parents who already contribute to about 5 per cent of costs.

There is a wealth of research that demonstrates the positive impact that quality education has on the development and wellbeing of young children.

“Children start school ready to learn, develop social skills, learn about problem solving and co-operating with others. They have better physical and mental health throughout their lives.”

Researchers found qualified teachers were better at extending children’s learning than non- qualified staff. The impact on the children’s learning was still visible when they were 16 years old.

Qualified teachers are registered and renew practising certificates every three years to show they continue to meet professional standards and remain suitable to teach young children

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