Participants at the 2019 national early chilhdood management forum put forward the following questions on funding for the Ministry of Education, Damian Edwards, Associate Deputy Secretary, Education System Policy. Thank you Damian for providing answers and clairfications.
- Has the MoE considered using the school payroll model to pay teachers? If the government paid the teachers to ratio and gave each centre an ops grant, in a similar fashion to schools, this would level the playing field for teachers in general, would it not?
- Are kindergartens a publicly owned service? And, could you please explain why the ministry is involved in negotiations of kindergarten teacher salaries and conditions
- What actions is the ministry taking in respect of funding rules to ensure all service providers pay their qualified and certificated teachers at rates that recognise their qualification, experience, and leadership responsibilities?
- We are a non-profit community-based centre and we've managed to keep our centre afloat with quality ratios even when funding was cut, but this is not sustainable in the long term. We can't wait for the 10 year plan! How much longer before ECE funding is addressed?
- How does the ministry define fair pay for ECE teachers?
- Why does funding not reflect wage inflation in Auckland?
- When will we see funding for ECE 'non-contact' time as provided for primary teachers?
- Will there be funding targeted to improve ratios for babies and 2 to 3-year olds?
- What was the underspend by Government in ECE last year? Why was this money not directed into areas that support teachers poor pay?
- Why has the Free ECE funding not increased since first introduced?
- Can MoE please provide an easy to follow reporting template for equity funding?
- How many hours is a centre able to claim for under twos per week?
- How is the Ministry going to support centres when the minimum wage keeps rising and leave entitlements are increasing?
- Can we use equity funding to pay our teacher wages to meet attestation requirements?
- Why are home-based services not receiving an increase in funding?
- What plans are there to make professional development more affordable and available in small towns?
- With discussions around higher minimum rates for ECE teachers, and the minimum wage increasing too, will we also see the required funding increases to match this?
- Why is the funding attached to each child different according to the type of service they attend when their needs are the same?
- How specifically does the ministry support centre managers and their mental and physical wellbeing?
- Is the ministry aware that WINZ will not offer the child subsidy for 5 year olds and what is the ministry doing about this?
1. Has the MoE considered using the school payroll model to pay teachers? If the government paid the teachers to ratio and gave each centre an ops grant, in a similar fashion to schools, this would level the playing field for teachers in general, would it not?
Early childhood education is not compulsory and the Government only partially funds ECE through Ministry of Education subsidies. Children aged 2 and under are partially subsidised for up to 6 hours per day, for a maximum of 30 hours per week. Children aged 3-5 years old are fully subsidised for up to 20 hours a week (capped at 6 hours per day), and partially subsidised for a further 10 hours of participation (also capped at 6 hours per day).
The current funding system is not intended to cover the full cost of early childhood education.
Directly paying the salaries of all teachers needed for ratios and providing an ops grant would be a significant shift in policy, as it would entail a system where government covers a higher proportion of the cost of ECE and for more than 30 hours per week per child.
In addition, ECE is provided by a mix of community-owned and private organisations which operate independently of government.
2. Are kindergartens a publicly owned service and could you please explain why the ministry is involved in negotiations of kindergarten teacher salaries and conditions?
Kindergartens are not a publicly owned service. They are run by kindergarten associations, which are not publicly owned entities.
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