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What is actually behind some services having staffing problems

The lobby group representing the business interests of some centre owners under the name of the Early Childhood Council is in the news concerning centres belonging to its members in Auckland struggling to recruit teachers.

Board member, Mira Metu who owns three centres is quoted as saying "My last job ad I think we got seven applicants and it's just so hard to pick something sensible out of that sometimes."

She said she's now looking to hire staff from the Phillipines.

The business lobby group's president Theresa Dodd says she can't enrol children at her centre because she's not getting job applicants.

"I personally can account for the fact that I've turned away some enrolments because I haven't been able to find the staff, or the staff that I want, to fill the positions at my centre".

Fiona Hughes representing the Best Start chain claimed the shortage was more a localised one confined to Auckland. On record BestStart previously (formerly known as Kidicorp) backed the government's decision to move away from 100 per cent qualified teachers because children needed unqualified "nana's" too.  

However on social media qualified teachers are saying that jobs - good jobs - can be hard to find and Auckland is no exception.

Comments concern: the poor working conditions teachers face in some centres, corporate greed, staff turnover being a key indicator of poor quality, teachers being underpaid, and applicants who are cheaper - not qualified and not experienced being preferred by centre owners.  

Teachers want to work at good centres, centres with good working conditions, a great culture, and that value professionalism and qualification.

See the full story

 

What can employers and owners of early childhood services learn from this? 

From around December each year and through to March hundreds of newly qualified and enthusiastic early childhood education teachers are looking for work around the country so consider employing a graduate.

Look at why staff are leaving and why you are not getting applications from qualified teachers sufficient to fill vacancies: is it the pay that is being offered?  is it the reputation of the service? how well are staff respected and supported? 

"The quality of team leadership provided in an early childhood service and the atmosphere of warmth and collaboration and mutual respect present can influence a person’s decision as to whether to accept a job offer.

"For supervisor/head teacher/management positions clear lines between governance and management are essential as is respect of the supervisors/head teachers/managers expertise.

"How well the board functions, or to what extent the manager feels trusted by the owner, and allows the manager to get on with his/her job will make a difference as to whether a manager chooses to stay or move to a more personally fulfilling position."

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