Prompt action needed over ECE quality concerns

18 December 2017

NZEI Te Riu Roa says the government needs to take prompt action to raise the quality of ECE services, after a survey found that 27 percent of early childhood teachers would not place their own child in the centre they work in.

NZEI President Lynda Stuart said the sector had been criminally underfunded by the previous National Government, which froze per-child ECE funding from 2009 and de-funded centres employing 100% qualified teachers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins were among the many Labour, NZ First and Green MPs who signed NZEI’s ECE pledge before the election.

MPs pledged to:

  1. Restore funding to ECE that has been cut over the past six years
  2. Reduce teacher to child ratios and group sizes
  3. Restore the goal of 100 percent trained teachers in ECE

Ms Stuart said the parties now in government had committed to improving the quality of ECE, and there was no time to waste.

Ms Stuart said quality early childhood education set children up for life, but too many services were forced to comprise on quality because of low per-child funding and government funding that only covered up to 80 percent of the staff being qualified teachers.

“The government has committed to funding services that employ 100% qualified teachers and we look forward to seeing details on that soon. However, restoring per-child funding and reducing teacher-to-child ratios and group sizes are also essential to a quality ECE experience for children,” she said.

Bookmark and Share