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How the coronavirus pandemic and NZ lockdown may be affecting you and your early childhood service - questions, discussions, concerns, help.
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TOPIC: Recruiting qualified teachers into child minding for higher wages breaches rules

Recruiting qualified teachers into child minding for higher wages breaches rules 1 month 1 day ago #935

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Defying conditions set by the Ministry of Education for service providers in return for funding, there has been effort to recruit qualified and certificated teachers into child-minding positions during Alert Levels 4 and 3.

The Teaching Council has on the front page of its website a notice begging teachers to swap teaching for child minding although we are now at Alert Level 3 and all teacher-led centres can re-open.
(TC website front page image dated 3 May 2020)
The notice recommends teachers contact PORSE. PORSE is owned by the Rainbow Corner Group (Rrahul and Bhavini Dosshi). When NZ went into lockdown in March, the NZ Herald reported that Mr Dosshi said that “all of his 1200 home-based educators and his 200 centre-based teachers” were available to be carers. "Wherever the essential workers are, we will come to the party and do our part."

But the Ministry of Education rules are as follow:

Centre-based service providers are not eligible to participate. Only home-based service providers and their existing educators are able to offer childcare under this scheme. A home-based service provider can only use their existing educators or educators from other home-based licensed services to offer childcare under this scheme. Educators must have already been working for your service or another licensed service prior to the lockdown (midnight on 25 March). You are not able to recruit new educators to act as carers at this time.

Any company then that attempts or does recruit teachers from centres that it also owns or from early childhood centres it does not own such as kindergartens, would therefore go against the rules of the payment for essential worker childcare providers scheme.

The Ministry of Education stated this at Alert Level 4. It has restated this for Alert 3 after advising early childhood centres to reopen, with teachers continuing to provide online learning for children who are not attending or resume teaching in their workplace for children who are attending.

Do you think it would be reasonable of the Ministry of Education to request PORSE, if it hasn't already, to report to it the names and roles of people (if not working as home-based educators prior to the lockdown) and find out if rules have indeed been broken or not?

PS: 'Childminding' because normal ECE regulations do not apply as not providing a licensed service. Further the agreement signed between home-based providers such as PORSE and the Ministry of Education is clear that the carers are carers and not required to provide any education or instruction as part of caring for the children of essential workers.
The Teaching Council does not recognise home-based educators to be teachers. It states that the "role is not a designated teaching position, so you aren’t required to hold a teaching qualification or a practising certificate."

Changing the topic to Pay

A wage of $25.00 an hour funded by the Ministry of Education for caring for the child of an essential worker sounds fair.

So, you couldn't blame a qualified and certificated teacher who is back at work in their centre with a bubble of up to 10 children from different families and perhaps on only $21 or $22 an hour (Ministry of Education attestation rates) if they feel a little bit hard done by.

It shows just how unreasonable teacher pay rates are that the Ministry of Education requires child minders to be paid substantially more.

Note that funding for the child-minding scheme is in place up to midnight on Friday 8 May. It was put in place initially for Alert Level 4 and then extended for Alert Level 3. It is probable therefore that the life of the scheme will be further extended should the government announce on Monday 11 May not to go immediately to Alert Level 2.

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Last edit: by ChildForum National Office.
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