On Saturday 28th August according to:
- Radio Live there were an estimated 3,000 people
- Bay of Plenty Times - 2,000 people
- TV3 news - hundreds of People
- Sunline The Bay's First News - a crowd of about 400 people
participating in a rally in Tauranga to protest against cuts in government early childhood education funding.
Children were taken on the political rally. Should people who care for children support children's involvement in political protests?
The funding cutback will be felt by early childhood centres that are on funding rates for 100% registered teachers and 99 - 80% registered teacher funding bands.
It will not affect sessional public kindergartens as they will continue to receive funding at the 100% registered teacher rate. Playcentres, Kohanga Reo, and Home-based education services all receive an increase in funding, along with childcare centres that have less than 80% registered teachers.
The funding cut for registered teachers will affect the public kindergarten where one of the rally organisers is employed as her kindergarten operates a full-day license.
The majority of public kindergartens in NZ have chosen to change to the full-day model for this funding.
It will likely hit public kindergartens that have moved to the childcare model the most as these centres are on the 100% registered teacher rate which is currently $12.45 per hour per child receiving 20Hours ECE. After 1 Feb 2011 the rate will drop to $11.12 per hour per child. When you add up the number of children enrolled in public kindergartens operating all-day services, this equates to quite a significant drop in revenue received by kindergartens from the government.
Due to a fairly persistent staffing shortage many childcare centres have struggled to reach and to maintain a level of 100% registered teachers, and being required by the Ministry of Education to do regular staff counts means comparatively few are able to access to the 100% registered teacher rate. All-day centres with staffing levels of between 99% and 80% registered teachers are currently paid $11.52 per hour per child receiving 20 hours ECE and this will drop to $11.12 per hour from February next year.
What's the legal minimum requirement according to the regulations for the percentage of qualified and registered teachers a service must employ?
Sessional (part-day) public kindergartens for children are legally required to have 100% qualified teachers.
This is what the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, Part 2 r44 say about other 'teacher-led' services:
"50% of the required staff at a teacher led early childhood service to hold a recognised qualification, -
"1 member of the required staff of a teacher led early childhood service who is enrolled in a course of study, that, if passed, will result in the award of a recognised qualification within 12 months may be counted as holding a recognised qualification:
"a person who holds a recognised qualification and is rostered to work at more than 1 early childhood service may be counted as a member of the required staff at no more than 2 early childhood services to which the qualification requirements apply: "