ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


Early Childhood Teacher Pay Parity Campaign

ECE Teacher Pay Parity Poster


The new Equal Pay Amendment Act 2020 provides us with an additional avenue to pursue pay claims. This Act has received Royal assent and comes in to force on 6th November 2020. This Act allows individuals, not just unions, to put in equal pay claims. Individuals can appoint someone to represent them. There is a very clearly arguable case for qualified and certificated teachers working in ECE to have pay parity with all other teachers. 

David Haynes is willing to act as the representative for any teacher to handle their individual claim.

  • Don't worry about fees - there will be no fee or charge to you.
  • Employers should not fear the process. David intends to work collaboratively with employers to get the government to fund pay parity.  

David is preparing a claim that seeks a minimum of kindergarten teacher (KTCA) rates for all certificated teachers working in ECE. The claim includes additional pay elements from the recent Teacher Aides’ settlement. David will also be asking for any settlement that results from this claim to be backdated.

QR code for the ECE Teacher equal pay claim

If you would like to proceed with a claim for pay parity under the new Equal Pay Amendment Act, please register your interest and David will be in touch with you. 

Tap here to go to an online registration form 

Or scan the QR code to access the online form

Go to the full story here to learn about the background and for more information 

"Early Childhood Teachers to use new law to get pay parity."

 Melissa Dol NZ teacher in Hong Kong2

To find out the current pay rates for kindergarten and non-kindergarten ECE teachers go to an article on Pay Scales, Wages and Salaries for Early Childhood Teachers - tap here.

The Pay Parity official campaign page on Facebook page is at:  

Find out what low pay means for retaining qualified teachers in NZ in this article by Melissa Dol: Forced to take my ECE qualification and experience overseas  

Below is a lot of material and links to relevant articles (scroll down the page to view all)

No teacher should be paid less than another teacher with identical qualifications and meeting the same professional requirements because they work in ECE.  But it's a fact that ECE is not valued highly and teachers who work in ECE can be paid less - a lot less.  It must not stay this way.  It is time to stop taking for granted the goodwill and the kindness that teachers have for children and families, and make sure that they are no longer underpaid and undervalued because of the age of children and what licensed publicly-funded early childhood service they work in. Together, with your help we can change what might seem impossible, and make the impossible - possible. (Quote: Dr Sarah Alexander, 14 July 2019)

2019 teacher pay event flyer small fileChildForum got the ball rolling for a political and sector focus on achieving pay parity for ECE teachers.  It organised the first national meeting in July 2019 in Wellington. At this meeting NZEI reps tried to get Sarah Alexander and ChildForum attendees to support its pay equity campaign (pay based on gender) and argued that pay parity (pay based on being a teacher) was not achievable. So, we realised it was up to us to work to generate interest, and do the research and thinking for pay parity. We formed a small pay parity steering group, and worked to transform thinking and create a sea change, thereby getting the issue of pay parity to the top of the political agenda.

Pay Parity Poster same pay scale as kindergarten schools

NZEI reacted by ramping up its fair pay and pay equity campaigns. It also did not like James' pay parity petition run on Action Station and tried to interfere, however the petition gained more than 15,000 signatures. In November last year the Education Minister said "pay parity" on national television.  Before then almost the only people saying "pay parity" were ChildForum. We are pleased to see NZEI now saying pay parity.  It does not matter if NZEI claim credit (and victory) for getting pay parity on the political agenda. We all must work for the good of early childhood education. We would like to acknowledge David Haynes (a steering group member) for his skills and dedication to this cause, and for beavering away on complex matters (including regulations and kindergarten funding entitlement).
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari taku toa, takitini e (Success is not by the work of one, but by the work of many)


Teacher Pay book

Key Facts   

1. The Ministry of Education has the ability to implement pay parity now. It could use the mechanism of salary attestation to ensure teachers are paid at pay parity rates and it can do this as soon as the next funding round.
2. There are ECE service providers who agree to be accountable for matching wages to pay parity rates to receive funding at the same level as kindergartens.
3. The effects of an absence of pay parity for many ECE teachers is harmful to the quality of ECE for children and outcomes.
4. Government has a dominant influence on what teachers are paid in all ECE services, including privately-owned services.
5. The question to ask is not how much it will cost to fund pay parity, but when will the use of teachers as cheap labour to make cost savings in ECE, end?
6. The ECE teacher remuneration 2020 survey results show significant pay disparities. The report can be found at
7. Continuing to provide funding for ECE teachers to have pay parity only if they are employed by a Free Kindergarten Association is an unbalanced and unjust approach. The Kindergarten Regulations 1959 upon which a free kindergarten was defined as distinct from other early childhood centres do not exist anymore, all kindergartens now hold all-day licences just as other early childhood centres and teachers are required to hold identical qualifications and meet identical professional requirements. No kindergarten is publicly-owned – all kindergartens operate under the private ownership of community-based associations just as many other early childhood centres do.

The Pay Parity Petition Petition - find out more and see who signed

Expert testimony for Parliament's Education and Workforce Select Committee considering the petition for Pay Parity

The names of ECE services who support Pay Parity for their teaching staff

The ECE Pay Parity Book - read online or print a copy  

Open Letter by teachers to Prime Minister Hon Jacinda Ardern and to Hon Chris Hipkins 

See also:

Now there is political will for pay parity. It is incumbent on the Ministry of Education to advise government and do the work that needs to be done to see that pay parity is delivered. 

We are now prompting and working with the Ministry to make sure it does its job.

Read:  Evidence for the Ministry of Education to Use in Advising Government
Read:  Minutes of our meeting with the Ministry of Education 

 See articles by different people, campaign updates, and more below

Title Created Date
Early Childhood Teachers to Use New Law to Get Pay Parity 04 October 2020
2nd Meeting with the Ministry of Education on its work towards achieving pay parity for all ECE teachers 17 September 2020
Synthesis of Evidence on Pay Parity and Early Childhood Teacher Pay for the Ministry of Education 17 September 2020
Videos on the topic of ECE teacher pay, work conditions, and the effects on children of high staff turnover 09 August 2020
Pay Parity Campaign Update – June 2020 09 June 2020
Help get pay parity for ECE teachers put into law - how to easily and quickly do a submission 01 February 2020
Pay Parity Campaign Update – November 2019 06 November 2019
The Pay Parity Campaign: What’s Happened in our First Week? 08 October 2019
NZEI’s 11% Campaign – It Sounds Great, but What’s Inside the Package? 03 October 2019
Exploitation of Teachers Working in ECE - What the government can do to end this 27 August 2019
Unqualified teaching staff exploited 10 August 2019
Like chalk and cheese: Pay Equity and Pay Parity an analysis of different paths to get better wages and conditions 09 August 2019
David Haynes: ECE Teachers - Pay Parity or Pay Equity? 08 August 2019
Cost Analysis: Can centres afford to pay teachers more? 26 July 2019
National Survey Results: Sector views on ECE teacher wage rates set by the Ministry of Education and on pay parity with teachers in primary schools/ kindergartens 23 July 2019
Bethany O'Hagan: "Ask an early childhood teacher why there is a teacher shortage and we can tell you" 21 July 2019
Karen Girvan: "The pay realities for teachers when moving from a kindergarten setting into another community ECE setting" 21 July 2019
Hugo van Stratum: Pay disparity, profit making, fair treatment and advocacy for a unified pay scale 21 July 2019
Janet Dixon: "Investing in teachers is investing in children - our future leaders" 20 July 2019

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