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Scholarships target early childhood teachers

Scholarships target early childhood teachers

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced a $41.4 million new scholarship scheme that will give assistance to people from low income backgrounds to train to be early childhood education teachers.

"The new scheme sits alongside the scholarship scheme I announced yesterday for teachers who train to teach in Maori medium language settings in early childhood, primary or secondary education and in Pasifika language in early childhood education.

"Together, both streams of scholarships represent a $53.8 million dollar investment over four years. The new scholarships are better than the scholarships they replace because more people are eligible, and the monetary awards are significantly higher. Thousands of scholarships could be awarded each year compared with 230 under the previous schemes, and some students could be eligible for as much as $20,000 in total.

" There is some suggestion that financial barriers are stopping unqualified early childhood education teachers from entering teacher education programmes to gain qualifications that lead to registration, so this scheme will play an important role in helping teachers get over this hurdle. Under the scheme they will be able to do their training part time, while continuing to work.

Under the low income scheme an estimated 680 new people would be eligible each year.

"Our government is committed to getting more and more young children into affordable, accessible and top quality early childhood education, and we need more qualified teachers to help in this incredibly important goal," Trevor Mallard said.

"Research shows that teacher qualifications are a key factor in delivering quality early childhood education. We also know that regular and high quality early childhood education makes a noticeable and positive impact on a student's educational success later on. The package announced today also includes the extension of a number of initiatives currently available in the primary and secondary sectors to the early childhood education sector. The package includes: relocation grants for qualified early childhood teachers who move from specific areas of New Zealand or from overseas to areas where there is a high demand for more teachers; grants for qualified early childhood teachers not currently teaching who return to teaching in early childhood education; more study grants for qualified primary teachers to undertake early childhood teacher education. These grants will also be available for those already studying towards a primary teaching qualification who want to swap to an early childhood teaching qualification; funding to increase the number of incentive grants available to early childhood services to help them support staff in training, particularly in Auckland.

Applications for the 2005 scholarships will open in November. Information about the scholarships will be available through the TeachNZ website,

Tackling Teacher Shortages: Initiatives in Early Childhood Education

TeachNZ Scholarships:

Scholarships will be available to pay study fees for people from low income backgrounds, based on the eligibility thresholds of the Community Services Card. Full time students will also be eligible for a total of $10,000 to assist with other study costs. Students will be bonded to teach for the same amount of time as they received the scholarship.

Current Community Services Card Income Threshold
Family Size Income Threshold

Single - sharing accommodation $19,741

Single - living alone $20,913

2 person family (can be a couple or 1 adult and 1 child) $31,225

3 person family $36,371

4 person family $41,517

5 person family $46,665

6 person family $51,813

For families of 7 or more, the income limits increase by $4,840 for each additional person.

Other new initiatives

Loan Support: The loan support scheme, which provides payments of $2,500 per annum to secondary teachers of some subjects in their second to fourth years of teaching to assist with the repayment of student loans, will be extended to some Maori medium teachers.

National Relocation Grants: grants worth up to $3,000 will be made available to qualified early childhood teachers who move from specific areas of NZ to areas where there is a high demand for more teachers.

International Relocation Grants: grants worth up to $5,000 will be made available to qualified early childhood teachers currently living overseas who are willing to move back to NZ and take up an early childhood teaching position in areas where there is a high demand for more teachers.

Returning to Teaching Allowances: grants worth $2,000 will be made available to qualified early childhood teachers currently out of the teaching workforce to return to teaching in early childhood education.

Relief Teacher Pool: the Ministry of Education will manage a relief teacher pool for services on provisional licences in Auckland.

Beginning Teacher Resource: a resource will be produced to provide information about teacher registration for early childhood education services and teachers.

Recruitment Brokers: the Ministry of Education will provide recruitment broker services nationally.

Incentive Grants: the pool of incentive grants, which are payments made to early childhood services to help them support staff who are studying, is to be expanded to provide more grants nationally and in particular a demand driven pool of grants for Auckland.

Primary Study Grants: a demand driven pool of study grants will be made available for primary qualified teachers to train in early childhood teaching, and for those who are currently studying towards a primary teaching qualification and want to switch into early childhood teaching.

Existing Early Childhood Teaching Initiatives

More Pay for Registered Teachers: As part of Budget 2004 early childhood education centres will receive extra funding from April 2005 to cover the costs of paying higher salaries to registered teachers.

Recognition of Prior Learning: This initiative seeks to accelerate the process of converting the qualifications and prior learning of existing ‘unqualified’ staff to those qualifications now recognised in the early childhood sector. Approximately 1200 assessments have been undertaken to date. Distance Learning: to assist students and early childhood services in more remotely located areas to access teacher education. An extra 139 placements are being provided under the scheme. Te Reo Learning Provision: to support the development of kaupapa Maori /Maori immersion learning options for student teachers. Promotional Campaign: to promote teaching opportunities within the early childhood education sector. This will be managed by TeachNZ.

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