There is to be a national meeting on funding and early childhood teacher pay on Sunday 14th July 3pm - 5pm in Wellington.
Early childhood education has long been considered the Cinderella of the education sector.
The time to change this is now!
It is time for the value of early childhood education to be recognised - starting with addressing issues of early childhood teacher pay.
Early childhood teachers are not babysitters. They are education professionals. This is the case in all teacher-led services, including home-based, kindergartens, hospital-based, and all early childhood centres.
Early childhood teachers are required to undergo the same level and rigour of training as teachers who work in the primary and secondary school systems.
After completing a degree in teaching they must meet the same standards of practice as primary and secondary teachers for a practising certificate.
Early childhood teachers work not only with children but also closely with parents and whānau. Working with young children is intellectually demanding and physically hard work, requiring tremendous knowledge, skill, sensitivity and care.
The early foundations of learning for children are vitally important to get right. Quality teaching is the key lever for improving outcomes for diverse children (Ministry of Education Best Evidence Synthesis, Sarah Farquhar/ Alexander, 2003). Relationships and trust in the adult are central to quality. No child should arrive in the morning at their service to find their key teacher or primary caregiver gone due to low pay and/or bad work conditions.
Therefore, we must pay our early childhood teachers at least equivalent to teachers of older children in schools; and early childhood teacher wage levels should reflect the often greater number of child contact hours and days required to be present at work (longer terms and/or lack of school holiday breaks).
We need to be able to stop asking early childhood teachers to sacrifice their earning, their well-being and their own family's well-being to subsidise the cost to government of early childhood education. It is not right to be needing to ask early childhood teachers to accept low wages so parent fees can be kept low, or so that shareholders or owners will earn more, or so that the saving in wages can fund new services and expansion.
Links to some news stories and articles you may be interested in reading:
- Rise in ECE centre teacher minimum pay rates (attestation for higher funding)
- Current pay rates and scales for ECE teachers, head teachers, managers/ supervisors
- Get the facts on the ECE teacher shortage/ turnover
- Giving more funds to kindergartens than to other services unlawful
- Budget 2019: Does it support wellbeing in early care and education?
New information/ data will be made available at the meeting on Sunday 14th July. Numbers are strictly limited for the meeting so don't delay booking your place.