ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
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Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal

 

Staff Pay and Workforce Retention: Results from the 2020 Early Childhood Education National Survey - Q8: What difference working in a kindergarten makes?

Article Index

QUESTION 8: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE IN THE PAY OF QUALIFIED AND CERTIFICATED TEACHERS IF THEY WORK IN A KINDERGARTEN FUNDED FOR PAY PARITY COMPARED TO ANOTHER ECE SERVICE THAT IS NOT?

Answer
The average hourly pay of qualified and certificated teaching staff working in kindergarten and non-kindergarten services in their first year of teaching was found to be roughly comparable, but differences in pay between the two groups emerged and increased following the first year of teaching.

The average pay of first-year certificated teachers in non-kindergarten ECE was $23.32 an hour (range $18.00 - $33.00, median $23.00).  At the time of this survey, a first-year certificated teacher in kindergarten was paid $23.27 an hour or $25.35 an hour depending on qualifications under the KTCA.

The average pay of second-year certificated teachers in non-kindergarten ECE was $23.84 an hour (range $18.00 - $23.39, median $24.00).  Under the KTCA at the time of this survey, the pay rate was $24.26 or $26.34 an hour depending on qualification. This means that by the second year of teaching on average the pay of teachers not working in kindergarten was 0.42c or $2.50 less (depending on qualifications) than what they would have been paid had they been working in kindergarten.

By their fifth year of teaching, certificated teachers in non-kindergarten ECE on average earned $25.51 an hour (range $19.00 - $37.00, median $25.48). This was $2.49 or $6.27 less than in kindergarten. (The KTCA salary scale was $28.00 or $31.78 an hour depending on qualifications for a teacher in their fifth year).

In head teacher/ service manager positions teaching staff in non-kindergarten services were paid an average of $32.79 an hour – had they been in kindergarten they would have earned $40.69 an hour (a $7.90 difference)

Discussion
Government policy to fund kindergartens to provide pay parity with school teachers and not include other ECE services, clearly influences what many employers might decide to pay their teaching staff. Certificated teachers not working in kindergarten are financially disadvantaged by this, as evidenced by the growing gap in pay between themselves and kindergarten teachers the longer they stay in ECE.

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