Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

NZEI calls for urgent implementation of ECE strategy

NZEI calls for urgent implementation of Government's strategy for early childhood education
4 December 2019

NZEI Te Riu Roa is calling for urgency in implementing the Government's 10-year early learning action plan, He taonga te temaiti, released today.

The Institute welcomed the announcement of a return to incentivising services that have 100% qualified teachers. However, the timetable for fixing the pay gap for teachers and providing support for struggling centres must be accelerated, given the crisis the sector currently faces.

Sandie Burn, the convenor of NZEI's Early Childhood National Caucus, said the return of funding for 100% qualified teachers would be a relief to centres that had struggled to pay their fully qualified teams since the previous Government cut the incentive 2009. However, she urged the Government to move quickly.

"A number of quality centres have had to close down because of under-funding in recent years and we're aware of more that are on the brink. The Minister has signalled that funding for 100% qualified teachers will return next year, but we still don't know when. For some struggling centres it may be too late.

"We've already written to the Minister stressing the need for emergency funding for non-profit centres on the brink of closing, and that need remains," she said.

NZEI Te Riu Roa has been campaigning for years against the cuts to funding for qualified teachers and the per-child freeze on funding that has closed centres or forced them to compromise on quality or increase costs to parents.

"The average pay gap of 23% between kindergarten teachers and other equally qualified early childhood teachers is another major issue that can not be put off any longer. The problem is flagged in today's action plan, but we need urgent action on a solution now.

NZEI Te Riu Roa ramped up its campaign for fair pay in early childhood education yesterday with the launch of a public video campaign starring TV star and ECE teacher Karen O'Leary.

"The crisis in recruiting and retaining ECE teachers is growing, and the goal of 100% qualified staff can't be achieved without making ECE teaching a viable career choice," said Ms Burn.

"If we want to increase quality for all children then the first and best thing we can do is have qualified teachers in front of them – no amount of policy changes or regulations will count for anything without qualified teachers building strong effective relationships with children in small groups in quality learning environments."

Ms Burn said there was also disappointment in the sector that the strategy showed no ambition for turning the tide of privatisation in the sector.

"The Government has expressed a desire to increase public provision of ECE, but the sector is increasingly being dominated by large-scale for-profit providers to the detriment of smaller community services."

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Roddy Doyle's Grim and Gritty Rosie

Although it was completed over two years ago, Roddy Doyle's first original screenplay in over eighteen years has only just arrived in New Zealand. It's been well worth the wait. More>>

Howard Davis: Naming Names - The Personal History of David Copperfield

Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Armando Iannucci has re-imagined Charles Dickens’ tribute to grit and perseverance through the comedic lens of colour-blind casting, giving the narrative new life for a woke age. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION