Media advisory: Early childhood teachers launch week of action to demand government fix pay gap

1 November 2019

Early childhood educators across Aotearoa are holding a week of action next week, 4 - 10 November, to draw attention to a funding crisis and an average 23% pay gap with other teachers who have the same qualifications and experience.

The week of action is part of the ECE Voice campaign, which aims to bring the voices of the entire ECE sector and the wider community together to call on the government to properly value early childhood education.

Find an updated list of local events around New Zealand here.

Virginia Oakly, ECE representative on NZEI Te Riu Roa's National Executive, says the week is an important chance for the entire sector to make some noise and put pressure on the government to follow through on their stated commitments to early childhood.

"The government says it wants Aotearoa to be the best place in the world to be a child. That won't happen unless we properly value early childhood education. The first 1000 days of a child's life are crucial. When we undervalue ECE, we're undervaluing children's development," Ms Oakly says.

"There is a funding crisis and a huge pay gap in early childhood that's just not okay. On average, early childhood teachers are paid 23% less than other teachers with exactly the same qualifications and experience. Next year that will blow out to 49% for some. That's just not right, and it won't lead to good outcomes for children."

"ECE Voice is about the entire sector, whether they're union members or not, coming together to say the funding crisis and pay gap are not okay. We're encouraging everyone to go to ECEVoice.org.nz and add their support for more funding and a plan to fix the pay gap."