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Teachers Leaving Due To The Vaccine Mandate Will Significantly Impact Early Learning

41% of surveyed Early Childhood Council members say they’ll lose at least one teacher because of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“33% of members surveyed say they’ll lose one or two teachers, and 10% say they’ll lose between three and five. This is a huge issue for centres who must maintain teacher / child ratios or send children home,” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.

“It’s a difficult situation for everyone – vaccination mandate conversations can be extremely sensitive and difficult for both unvaccinated individuals and the managers and centre owners, with direct implications for the tamariki they care for.”

Centre managers and owners have been managing challenging employment processes with vaccine hesitant teachers, and must now recruit replacements during an ongoing teacher shortage.

53% of ECC members surveyed say they’re actively recruiting teachers, with 69% saying they’ve received low quality applications, or no suitable candidates apply.

“We will start to see more centres needing to down-size the number of children they cater for, pointing to the need for a centralised plan for dealing with the teacher shortage. Many centres are at breaking point and we’ve had reports from some members that they will now be closing permanently,” said Simon Laube.


The ECC began a survey of its over 1350 members, who care for over 67,000 tamariki, on 15 November 2021. At the date of this release, 372 members had participated. Survey data follows in the appendix.


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