Kindergartens Welcome Funding For Early Childhood Teacher Salaries, Expanding School Lunch Scheme
Kindergartens Aotearoa welcomes the approach to government spending announced in the budget to support people across the country suffering from the effects of the Covid-19 virus.
The government package included a billion dollars for education, which includes a significant boost to the salaries of many early childhood teachers and Kaiako outside of the kindergarten sector, who have been paid significantly less than kindergarten teachers for too long.
Kindergartens Aotearoa is a collective of eight regional kindergarten associations around the country that operate 365 kindergartens and other early childhood education services catering for 18,500 children and employing 2,300 teaching, advisory and support staff.
Spokesperson Amanda Coulston says it is good that the government recognises the support that needs to go to children, whānau, and young people as the nation recovers from the Covid-19 crisis.
“We applaud the focus on training, housing, jobs, and community services.”
“Many of our families have been affected by job losses in sectors such as tourism and hospitality, and many were already struggling to make ends meet. Initiatives such as expanding the school lunch scheme will also help families/whānau and support school achievement.”
We acknowledge the need for Māori and Pasifika initiatives that build community and capacity, and we hope the funding will result in more Māori and Pasifika early childhood kaiako, which are desperately needed, Ms Coulston says.
We note that kindergartens will receive a cost of living adjustment early next year, and that more announcements about the early childhood sector can be expected shortly. We welcome the Minister of Education’s commitment earlier this week to funding centres that provide 100 per cent qualified teachers, and we look forward to some positive news about this in the near future.