Te Rito Maioha urges Govt to fix early childhood funding

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood NZ fully supports early childhood teachers’ calls for pay parity in a day of action this weekend and says it’s an urgent issue which impacts thousands of New Zealand tamariki and families.

“The Government’s actions so far have fallen way short of what’s needed to create pay parity for early childhood education teachers or kaiako,” says Chief Executive, Kathy Wolfe.

“Decades of inadequate funding have made it difficult – in many cases impossible - for early childhood education employers to pay their kaiako at the same levels as their kindergarten colleagues, who’ve had pay parity for 20 years. ECE employers want nothing more than to be able to pay their teachers what they deserve for their valuable and skilled mahi.”

Kathy Wolfe says the urgent shortage of ECE teachers is hugely driven by pay inequity and impacts thousands of New Zealand tamariki and families.

“69% of all the children enrolled in licensed early learning services are taught by early childhood education kaiako. That’s more than 131,000 children whose parents and whānau depend on ECE kaiako to give their tamariki the best possible beginning to a life of learning. It’s a wonderful career with a vital role in our communities,” says Kathy Wolfe.

“ECE teachers are trained, skilled, and indispensable members of New Zealand’s education workforce. Those who graduate from Te Rito Maioha’s early childhood education programmes are qualified with degrees, postgraduate qualifications and diplomas, educated to a high academic standard along with practical experience.

“ECE kaiako who have the same qualifications, same experience and do the same work, deserve to get paid the same as kindergarten and primary teachers.

“We urge the Minister to fix the ECE sector funding model and secure sufficient funding in Budget 2022 to implement long-overdue pay parity for all early childhood kaiako.”