- The outlook for early childhood education in NZ
- Is the government taking things in the right direction? How?
- Increased subsidies - the top priority for Government spending in Budget 2018
- Labour outlined that it would increase funds for 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education by $33 million for June 2018 – June 2019 so will it? What does National say about this? What does the early childhood sector think about this?
- Matariki: Time to begin to look at getting ready for celebrations next month
- Call for research papers - NZ International Research in ECE Journal
- Lunch and rest breaks - what early childhood staff are entitled to
1. The outlook for early childhood education services
A net 13 percent of people say it will get worse for early childhood education over the next 12 months. (e.g. "Labour shortages will become extreme. I don't expect any significant grant increases" and "More and more centres being built - complaints are not dealt with - cutting corners to be competitive")
This is significantly fewer than in 2014 and 2013 when a net 56 percent and 46 percent thought things would worsen for the sector.
Some say it is going to get better for ECE, but more see no change at least not for the next 12 months.
There is less pessimism and people are generally more hopeful and optimistic.
2. Is the government taking things in the right direction? How?
Those that think ECE is being taken in the wrong direction said things like:
- We are the forgotten sector of education. They throw us an old bone as a token and expect us to be grateful for it.
- They are talking as if all businesses are raking in the profits, which may be true for very large corporations but not small single centre owners. I am worried that they are going to lump us all together.
- To get to the right direction we need to be on par with others in the sector, we need to not be forgotten.
- We need our teachers to be registered, I agree, but we can’t afford to pay them a wage that is sufficient for the amount of work that they achieve.
A couple of the many reasons people gave for giving their vote of confidence to the government were:
- Scrapping universal standards, COLS, the old cohort to school system etc... All good moves. Looking forward to increase in ECE Funding in budget.
- Their policies prior to being elected.
- At least they are potentially going to review childcare funding rates.
And those who couldn’t say gave reasons that included:
- Too soon to tell if money will be enough to fix.
- Because they say one thing, don’t commit and change their minds.
- Because other than talking about a strategic plan, no moves have been made.
3. Increased subsidies the top priority for Government spending in Budget 2018
More people rated 'an increase in subsidies' to early childhood services as a priority and more gave it a high priority rating.
The next four top rated priorities were:
- Improve adult-child ratios in centres.
- 100% qualified teachers in teacher-led services.
- Reduce group sizes in teacher-led centres.
- Bring all early childhood teachers under the State Sector Act, along with giving Playcentre better support.
4. Labour outlined that it would increase funds for 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education by $33 million for June 2018 – 2019
But the Education Minister told ChildForum that allocating more money to spend on implementing election promises such as 100 percent qualified teachers, reducing group size, and improving ratios is not a decision that can be easily made.
Nicola Willis, National’s spokesperson for ECE, says that any delay in Labour delivering the commitments for early childhood education that it campaigned on will be viewed as a breach of faith by the sector.
“Labour were able to deliver on their expensive tertiary fees-free policy within their first 100 days of office so this is a matter of priorities,” she said.
5. Matariki: Time to begin to look at getting ready for celebrations next month
6. Call for research papers - NZ International Research in ECE Journal
Manuscripts are now being invited to be submitted for consideration for publication in the next general issue of the New Zealand International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal. Submissions must be received before or by 5 September 2018.
The journal publishes research results, critiques, methodological papers and theoretical articles relating to children’s education, wellbeing and care in the early years (from conception and up to eight years of age).
Research relating to teaching and learning, pedagogical approaches, early intervention, parenting, child health, child safety, child development, and teacher/parent education are particularly welcome. Papers examining a research method, an aspect of methodology, or contributing to the development of theory are also invited.
7. Lunch and rest breaks - what early childhood staff are entitled to
There is a huge variation of break times across the sector, ranging from two 15-minute rest breaks and one hour-long meal break, to no rest breaks and a half hour meal break.
So what are early childhood teachers entitled to when it comes to break times?
There is some confusion when it comes to break times due to the fact that, since 2009, there has been a major change around break times which some teachers may have not been aware of and employers themselves may know not what their responsibilities are in this regard.
1. Legal entitlements for breaks
2. What does this mean people working in early childhood services?
3. Types of agreements
4. How important breaks are
5. Negotiating contracts
6. Further information and resources
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