Kindergarten committed to 100% qualified teachers
Delegates attending the New Zealand Kindergartens (NZK) annual conference held in Wellington this weekend were unanimous in their commitment to 100% qualified and registered teachers in kindergartens.
They called on government to reinstate the target for all early childhood education centres to employ 100% qualified teachers, and to reinstate funding to support services to reach and maintain that target.
NZK is the umbrella organisation representing twenty nine kindergarten associations covering 430 kindergartens nation-wide and is committed to providing high quality education for all young children.
“Kindergarten employs qualified teachers because we know they make a significant difference,” said Clare Wells, NZK Chief Executive. “The research is unequivocal – quality early childhood education has long term social, cultural and economic benefits for children, their families and the nation. Qualified teachers are a key indicator of quality.”
Currently, early childhood education centres receive government funding at different rates, depending on their proportion of qualified teachers. Those employing 100% fully registered and qualified teachers, like kindergarten, receive the highest funding rate. The budget cuts announced in May will see funds taken away from services where more than 80% of teachers are fully qualified. This will affect over 2,000 services and includes all NZK affiliated kindergartens.
“Almost all funding to kindergartens comes from the government and as a not-for-profit service, that funding goes directly to supporting high quality education in kindergarten,” says Clare Wells.
“It is baffling that the government sees fit to slash funding to the sector at the same time as it prioritises increasing participation in early childhood education and lifting school achievement. If the government genuinely wants to achieve these goals, it would make sure there were high quality services in every community.
“We know investing in early childhood education is a significant investment in our future.”
For more information, please contact: Clare Wells Tel: 04 495 3744 Chief Executive
Mob: 0272 955 044 New Zealand Kindergarten Inc www.nzkindergarten.org.nz www.greatstart100.org.nz