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A career framework for kindergarten teachers

As part of the recent KTCA ratification, you asked for a group to develop a career framework—and that's happening! 

By December 2018 the working group will develop and design a career development framework in consultation with the sector.

What could career development mean for you?

There is a lot to think about! Do careers all progress upwardly or are you interested in sideways specialisations that deepen practice or take you to unexpected destinations? What might the Kindergarten workforce need now and in the future as communities change? What energises you about your work? Is a career self-organising pro-active experience or is it co-constructed with a mentor/leader? Are you transformed by your career or do you transform others along the way?    

A vision statement

The working party agreed a vision statement:

“The Ministry, NZEI Te Riu Roa, New Zealand Kindergartens and Early Childhood Leadership share a vision for a high status kindergarten teaching workforce that delivers high quality leadership, teaching and learning, that advances every child’s success throughout their learning pathway”.

The working party built on from this vision to come up with some important core elements to guide the career development work.

The elements

“We achieve this [vision] through developing and delivering an enduring, high status, high quality career framework for Kindergarten teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand, that:

  • honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our multicultural society
  • fosters adaptable attitudes towards individual careers, enabling career choices that work for teachers and employers aligned with teachers' professional passions
  • helps to create a positive public perception of careers in kindergarten teaching and leadership, building the value of this workforce
  • will be nimble, adaptable and innovative to meet future needs and opportunities
  • enables a diverse and inclusive workforce
  • facilitates the mobility necessary to get the right people in the right place
  • reflects the scope, complexity and expertise in teaching and leadership in the Kindergarten setting
  • is underpinned by robust and appropriate appraisal mechanisms, linked to (Education Council) professional standards and ethics
  • has clear and differentiated career opportunities for teachers and leaders (noting the role of the Education Council in setting standards for the profession) striking a balance between individual and system responsibility for career development
  • is underpinned by effective initial teacher education, clear expectations for professional practice and growth, with multiple ways in which to develop and demonstrate competence
  • enables kindergartens to work in collaborative ways across the system, for example in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, as a feature of the system.”

What's been happening: September 2017

The working group, made up of NZEI Te Riu Roa members, Ministry of Education staff and Kindergarten employers had their first meeting in July.

The first action of the first meeting was to agree a vision statement:  “The Ministry of Education, NZEI Te Riu Roa and employers share a vision for high quality leadership teaching and learning that advances every child’s success throughout their learning pathway.”  This vision will inform the shape of the work, the milestones and the way that the group engages with the sector. 

The second action of the group was to flesh out some principles that built on from the vision statement to guide the work i.e. the career development framework will:    

  • Be nimble, adaptive, responsive not reactive – The Ministry of Education drafted some conceptual principles that align with this principle:  will be adaptable to meet future needs and opportunities and facilitates the mobility necessary to get the right people in the right place to meet different challenges
  • Build value
  • Offer a balance between collective and individual responsibility
  • Enable a diverse and inclusive workforce
  • Be clear and transparent. Have clear paths/track at all stages. The Ministry of Education offered more draft conceptual principles: differentiated career opportunities for teachers and leaders, noting the role of the Education Council in setting standards for the profession
  • Support adaptive attitudes towards individual careers, enables and empowers people to follow their passions and make choices that work for them
  • Honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi and multi-culturalism
  • Is underpinned by robust appraisal processes and is linked to the Education Council’s professional standards and Code of Ethics.      

Who's representing you

The member representatives on the working party are:

  • Senior Teacher, Marion Dekker
  • Kindergarten Teacher, Heather Morton
  • Head Teacher, Sally Wooller
  • Head Teacher, Jo Wilks
  • Kindergarten teacher Beth Hunia

They are supported by NZEI Te Riu Roa Executive officer ECE, Charmaine Thomson. 

The NZEI Te Riu Roa Governance Group members are:

  • Virginia Oakly, National Executive ECE representative
  • Sandie Burn, Convenor, Early Childhood National Caucus
  • Shelley Hughes, Campaign Lead, NZEI Te Riu Roa

Who to contact

If you have any questions about the career framework, email us on