Government cuts cost ECE $260 million this year
24 March 2017
New research shows the Government has cut $260 million a year off funding for Early Childhood Education, as NZEI Te Riu Roa launches a pledge to restore funding and quality to the sector.
The research, conducted by Infometrics on behalf of the NZEI, shows how the Government has shaved $260 million from ECE this year alone - the equivalent of $58,000 a year in funding from every ECE centre in the country. The cuts are caused by the Government axing funding for centres that only employ qualified teachers and by failing to adjust per-child funding for inflation since 2010.
"An extra $58,000 in funding would make all the difference to centres struggling to stay afloat, or looking to hire cheaper untrained teachers to cope with the funding shortfall," NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter said.
"Research is very clear that ECE can have profound, life long positive impacts for a child but only if group sizes are small and children learn from qualified, dedicated professionals who know how to nurture their learning. Yet funding for this kind of quality has been specifically targeted by the Government and cut.
"At the launch of our Have a Heart pledge yesterday we heard from parents and teachers about the impact the cuts are having on children and about how parents are saying ECE is an issue that they're prepared to vote on.
"MPs from Labour, the Green Party and NZ First sighed up to the pledge to restore funding and quality in ECE to the level it was, before the Government's cuts began in 2010. We challenge all MPs to show children they're worth it and sign the pledge too.
"Though the Government keeps saying its spending more on ECE than ever, that money is solely for the extra children who are enrolled. Its time for the Government to be honest about the cuts its making every year to real core per-child funding.
"The fact is, while some children are getting a great ECE from qualified, professional teachers, some aren't. That's a tragedy for those children, and a massive lost opportunity for the country," Mr Goulter said.
The Have a Heart Pledge, can be found at everychild.org.nz
The Infometrics research can be found here