› Children wash their hands at Porirua’s Pasifika ECE service Etu Ao.

Laying the foundations for learning

NZEI Te Riu Roa has a proud history as a strong voice for early childhood education.

We are the union for early childhood teachers and support staff working in early childhood services including centres, kindergartens, kōhanga reo, language nests, home based services, and Te Kura (the Correspondence School).

We advocate on behalf of New Zealand children under five and their families, and for the 22,500 early childhood teachers working with them.

NZEI Te Riu Roa has a proud history in working with the community to improve quality in early childhood services, including

  • fighting for qualified teachers
  • good ratios
  • pay parity with other teachers
  • professional conditions for staff
  • adequate funding
  • regulations for good environments for children
  • accessible affordable services in every community.

We negotiate a range of collective agreements covering around 6,000 ECE teachers and support staff, and assist other members with individual agreements and issues.

In early childhood education sector one of our main collective agreements that sets the standard for quality ECE and positive staff-employer relationships is the Early Childhood Collective Agreement (ECECA). You can download the ECECA and also a quick guide to the ECECA for employers.

Students undertaking initial teacher education and starting out in teaching can get involved with New Educators Network, a support network for students and beginning teachers, which organises a variety of professional development and networking activities.

We actively campaign with parents to improve the lives of children and families so that every child gets a good start in life.

The Every Child is Worth It early childhood campaign is about all of us fighting to protect a quality public education system which is fair and equitable, based on collaboration and trust and where every child’s learning needs are met.