Government to blame for kindergarten teacher cuts
15 October 2015
NZEI says the funding crisis forcing kindergartens to cut qualified teachers is a direct result of the government policy that puts quantity ahead of quality in early childhood education.
“Quite frankly, for the past few years kindergartens have been using up all their reserves to stay afloat and maintain quality teaching but now they’ve run out of options,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National Secretary Paul Goulter.
“This is direct consequence of the government’s decision to no longer fund 100 percent qualified teaching along with no real increase in ongoing funding.
He says the decision by Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens, the association which runs 85 non-profit community-based kindergartens in the Wellington region, to cut qualified teaching staff was set in train back in 2010 when the government made that decision.
“Since then kindergartens have restructured and jumped through all sorts of hoops to maintain quality teaching but now have no other option but to start laying off qualified teachers.
“How can the government claim to be promoting quality early childhood education when this situation is a direct result of its policies?
“This is going to have long term consequences for children and their education, especially those who struggle or come from more challenging backgrounds.”
NZEI has been meeting with teachers in kindergartens around the Wellington region and more meetings are scheduled over the next few days.