Labour has today shown what an alternative Government would mean for quality education, by promising to restore funding for Early Childhood Services so they can employ qualified and trained teachers.
“Labour’s promise to restore funding for services that employ 100 percent qualified teachers, will be an enormous relief for teachers and services who’ve struggled to maintain quality after the current Government cut their funding in 2010,” NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart said.
“This will have real tangible benefits for New Zealand’s children.
“It will make it easier for really high quality services to stay afloat, and will encourage all other centres to employ qualified professional teachers who know how to nurture children’s learning. It’ll also mean services will be less likely to go cap in hand to parents.
“In 2010 The National Government cut funding to kindergartens and other services that only employ qualified teachers, leaving them to ask parents to pay higher fees, or cut back elsewhere to cope.
“It also lowered the ratio of qualified staff required in each centre to just 50 percent, from a goal of 100 percent under the previous Government. Meanwhile, the per child per hour ECE subsidy has been frozen since National was elected in 2008.
“At the moment many children are getting a high quality ECE from qualified professional teachers, but some children aren’t.
We say every child is worth the best.
All the research shows that high quality ECE has a powerful positive impact on a child’s entire life. A low quality experience, on the other hand, can be detrimental to a child’s development.
“This is a wonderful first step from Labour. The promise to end the ECE subsidy freeze is welcomed, but the funding needs to be fixed by adjusting the subsidy rates for the value that’s been eroded by inflation since 2008,” Mrs Stuart said.
For more information: www.everychild.org.nz