Every Child is Worth it - NZEI launches new push for end to ECE freeze

7 November 2016

NZEI Te Riu Roa has today launched a major new early childhood education campaign, demanding a commitment in Budget 2017 to restore quality teacher funding, and end a six-year funding freeze

The campaign - Every Child is Worth it- is the beginning of a sustained new push to restore funding to ECE in order to improve quality, rather than just increase participation in Early Childhood Education.

“NZEI members believe every child deserves the best early childhood education New Zealand can possibly provide, and a great start in life.” NZEI President Louise Green said.

“But instead of aiming for the best quality early childhood education, the Government has cut funding for qualified teachers, and starved the sector of funding as it focuses on its target of 98 percent participation in ECE.

“The upshot is, not all children are getting the rich, early childhood education that can help set them up for life. ECE teachers think every child is worth it.”

Since 2010 additional Government funding for ECE has been based on increased participation only, meaning services have faced real-term cuts to their core per-child funding.

At the same time, the Government has cut funding for services that employ 100 percent qualified teachers, forcing many centres to take on unqualified staff, raise parent fees, or increase teacher to child ratios to cope.

“It's irresponsible to drive more children into ECE, while driving down the quality,” Ms Green said.

“All the evidence shows that ECE is only beneficial for children if it is high quality, and that poor quality ECE can cause children harm. Our kids are worth the best.

NZEI is seeking a firm commitment from the Government to:

  • restore core per-child funding to the level it was before the funding freezes in 2010, adjusted for inflation.
  • restore funding for services with 100 percent qualified teachers.

For more details on the campaign go to: everychild.org.nz
For more information

For more information:

Louise Green 027 4889875

Leah Haines, Communications Advisor 027 268 3291