NZQA’s ECE Qualifications Review Project Team advises that demand for lower level ECE qualifications could continue to increase as employers seek to employ “unqualified” staff with some level of training and qualification.
Therefore it is considered important that graduates of the proposed new NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care at Level 6 on the NZQA qualifications framework have the depth of skills and knowledge considered necessary to work or gain employment as early childhood educators in centres.
Over recent years there has been a reduction in the number of students enrolling in level 7 ECE teaching qualifications.
Expectations that registered early childhood teachers would be valued dropped after the government lowered the previous 100% registered teacher funding band to 80%+ and failed to introduce regulation to ensure a minimum of 80% registered teachers employed within ratios in teacher-led services.
“This may generate new demand for lower-level qualifications to equip the “unqualified” workforce to be effective”, says the ECE Qualifications Review Project Team in its consultation document
The Qualifications Review Project Team have outlined ten new ECE qualifications to replace the current level 1 to 6 qualifications – six certificates and four diplomas – under two sets of ECE qualifications 1. ‘General‘, and 2. ‘Mātauranga Māori’.
Once approved, the new qualifications will replace all level 1 to 6 ECE qualifications currently on the NZQF.
This will be of interest to all teacher-led ECE service providers and providers of childcare, nanny and early teacher education courses.
The National Party’s 2014 election policy contains no reference (yet) to supporting the funding of registered teachers in ECE teacher-led services and recent polls suggest that National may be elected in for another term - see other articles about this on the ChildForum.com website