Post-graduate qualifications welcomed
NZ Kindergartens (NZK) welcomes the announcement that early childhood teachers will now be given the opportunity to attain a post-graduate qualification in early childhood education teaching.
“We welcome the inclusion of early childhood as a post-graduate teaching qualification,” said Clare Wells, Chief Executive, New Zealand Kindergartens. “Qualified teachers in all educational settings, including early childhood education, are key to ensuring effective leadership, quality teaching and learning and positive educational outcomes for all children.”
Among registered teachers, about twenty percent teach in early childhood education settings, meeting the same ethical and professional expectations as their colleagues in the compulsory schooling sector. A post-graduate qualification for ECE teachers ensures ECE teachers maintain qualifications parity as well.
“The government is focused on ensuring a seamless education pathway for children aged 0-18. It is essential that there is parity in teacher qualifications across the education sector to support collaboration, shared understanding around pedagogy, curriculum planning and assessment, and positive transitions for children and whānau, said Clare Wells.”
The announcement is timely. The Minister of Education’s Advisory Group on Early Learning and ERO have both recommended improving the implementation of the early childhood education curriculum Te Whāriki. Offering ECE teachers a post-graduate qualification will support leadership in the sector around current teaching theory and practice.
New Zealand Kindergartens
New Zealand Kindergartens (NZK) Incorporated, Te Pūtahi Kura Puhou o Aotearoa, is the umbrella organisation representing twenty-six regional kindergarten associations covering over 430 kindergartens and early childhood education services. Nationwide kindergartens provide services for nearly 32,000 enrolled children as well as support for their families and whānau. We are committed to working with parents, communities and the government to offer high quality services, with 100% qualified teachers, which meet the unique needs of children and whānau.
NZK provides services to all families. Almost two-thirds of kindergartens are in low and middle income areas. After nga kōhanga reo and correspondence school, kindergarten has the highest percentage of Māori children attending (22%), and among Pasifika children, kindergarten has the highest percentage attending alongside education and care services (8%). Almost twenty per cent of early childhood education enrolments in communities with a Ministry of Health deprivation index rating of 10 (the most socio-economically deprived communities) are in kindergartens.