Rally at Hekia Parata’s office will protest against kindergarten funding cuts

Press Release – NZEI
A rally outside the Education Minister’s Porirua office early tomorrow morning will launch a nationwide Green Day of Action, as kindergarten teachers raise awareness about the impact of ongoing cuts to funding.

Delegations of kindergarten teachers will be visiting MPs around the country, while in kindergartens, teachers will be wearing green and organising all manner of green-based activities from play dough to finger painting.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski said kindergarten teachers wanted to start a conversation about reversing cuts to early childhood education teacher funding and for recognition and appropriate resourcing to match the critical leadership roles of Head Teachers in kindergartens.

The government has dropped an earlier goal of ensuring that all kindergartens and ECE centres be staffed by fully qualified teachers, and will only fund for 80 percent of teachers to be fully qualified at any kindergarten or centre. This has meant an average annual drop of $35,000 in funding per kindergarten, because kindergarten associations have continued to employ qualified teachers.

Negotiations for a new collective contract have stalled over qualified teacher funding and recognition of Head Teachers as the professional leader in the kindergarten.

Mrs Nowotarski said quality ECE set children up for a lifetime of learning and the government needed to listen to its own rhetoric about the importance of quality teaching and quality leadership

“The Education Minister frequently mentions the extra money that has been put into ECE since the introduction of 20 free hours for three-year-olds, but quality must not be lost in the push for quantity,” she said.

Rally details:
7.30-8am, Friday 6 December
Hekia Parata’s office, Level 1, 20 Parumoana St, Porirua

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