ECE Teachers are Made of Money – Education Minister

teacher wages and family money worriesDr Sarah Alexander
Chief Executive, ChildForum
The Wellbeing Budget 2020 sets out that "teachers will now pay an annual amount of approximately $157.00" for a practising certificate. 
There is to be no concession or discount for teachers not covered by the unified pay scale - the majority of teachers in ECE are not covered by the unified pay scale.  Most teachers in ECE are not enabled by the government to be paid on the same pay scale as school teachers, and do not receive the same level of funding as kindergartens (should your service wish to be funded on the kindergarten funding table, click here to learn more).
A $100 fee will be payable on top of the $157.00 should a teacher be late in lodging their annual application for renewal. Renewal will need to be done every year. 
Should a teacher's certificate be "subject to confirmation" the fee is $257 for one year.
Should a teacher be going from "provisional" to "full" the fee is $257 for one year.
This new fee charging regime will start from February next year. 
A practising certificate is a requirement for teachers in secondary and primary schools.  It is a requirement for the 'person responsible' in early childhood centres and for coordinators/ visiting teachers in home-based ECE.
So if it is a requirement for schools and ECE services - why is the cost put onto teachers personally to bear? 
The announcement in the Wellbeing Budget 2020 is a further blow for many ECE teachers who are already financially exploited. It is not good for teacher well-being.
Pay rates for ECE service provider attestation set by the Ministry of Education for qualified and certificated teachers in non-kindergarten ECE centres are just  $21.87 and $22.51 an hour. Both rates will increase only marginally to $23.97 an hour in July 2020.  
A teacher who is not a new graduate, teachers who may have higher degrees, teachers who may have years of experience and teachers who may be room managers or centre leaders -  may still be paid on the starter salary because the Ministry of Education is concerned only that the starter salary is paid to them. 
Pay parity is denied to all qualified and certificated teachers in ECE. Pay parity means the same pay scale - find out more by going to the page "wages and pay scales"

How did this come about?  Here's a copy of an earlier article

In 2016 Education Minister Hekia Parata said she wanted the Education Council to become a self-sufficient business operation and instructed it to increase the fees it charged teachers and find other sources of revenue.  While it was suggested that teacher registration fees would be increased from $220.80 to $510.00 this did not go ahead.

A new Labour-led Government came into power in October 2017.  Chris Hipkins replaced Ms Parata as Minister of Education.  In Sept 2018 he changed the name of the Education Council to the 'Teaching Council'  - at an estimated cost of $220,000 for the name change.  

Fee increases are now most likely to go ahead because Minister Hipkins supports Ms Parata's view that the Teaching Council should be financially self-sufficient and its money is running out with no new injunction of funding from the government. 

Employers note that:
Where employers are making payment of Teaching Council fees on behalf of an individual teacher or a group of teachers, separate payment in full for the applicable fees for each individual teacher is required at the time of application.

Teachers note that: 
The Teaching Council has no facility for teachers to pay fees by instalments in arrears as it is a legal requirement that all applicable fees are paid in full prior to a Practising Certificate being issued. Neither does the Teaching Council have the facility to support the pre-payment of fees by instalment in advance.

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The article below was published on 24 November 2016

teacher wages and family money worriesThe Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand has been put on notice by Education Minister Hekia Parata to become a self-sufficient business operation and instructed to raise fees on teachers practising certificates and find other sources of revenue.

ChildForum says the Government is walking all over early childhood teachers.

“Early childhood teachers are not made of money. They should not be made to pay more for a practising certificate,” ChildForum’s chief executive Dr Sarah Alexander said.

“Early childhood teachers do not earn massive amounts of money. They are highly vulnerable in terms of pay and conditions of work compared with teachers in schools and in the public education sector.”

Already, early childhood teachers who are not able to complete the requirements for full registration within six years of gaining their teaching qualification owing to reasons such as taking time off to have children or working in home-based ECE or a different part of the education sector, face a fee around of $4,000 and four months of additional study for a teacher refresher course if they want to stay in.

“Increasing the costs of certification is yet another move that will add to early childhood teachers questioning how much longer they can afford to stay in the profession and this will result in greater loss of talent and investment in teacher education and building up a qualified ECE workforce.”

After restructuring and renaming the NZ Teachers’ Council Ms Parata has announced that the Government is giving ECANZ $21.3 million of taxpayer money on top of the $3.43 million already given to enable it to complete the transition process.

A condition attached to this cash injection is that ECANZ work towards financial self-sufficiency.

“The Education Council will be required to provide quarterly updates to the Minister on its financial position and progress, while the Ministry of Education will commission an independent review of the Council’s financial progress in a year’s time. The Minister will appoint a person with corporate finance expertise to the Education Council to help support its pathway to financial sustainability” Ms Parata said.

Sources of other revenue, in addition to that raised by increasing fees to teachers, could come for example from commercial businesses, private childcare companies, marketing companies, etc.

“This does not exactly fit with the Minister of Education’s words about helping teachers to take more ownership of their professional body,” said Dr Alexander.


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