New data shows stark pay imbalance in early childhood education

25 February 2021

New data in a report released by the Ministry of Education today show the urgency of addressing the pay imbalances in early childhood education, says the sector's union NZEI Te Riu Roa.

"The figures released today show just how stark and unfair the imbalance in pay is across our sector, and how urgently we need to see the Minister's plan to deliver his election promise of pay parity in this May's Budget", says Virginia Oakly, Early Childhood Education Representative on the union's National Executive.

"For doing substantively the same work, ECE teachers are being paid on average 30% less than their colleagues in Kindergartens and primary schools.

"Early childhood teachers are skilled experts, who work every day to support our children's learning and development. Correcting this pay imbalance simply can't wait any longer."

The Ministry's Early Childhood Education Remuneration Report surveyed 9,500 sector participants from 774 services and centres between August and October in 2020. It found sector pay was highest in Kindergartens, where teaching staff are mainly part of union collective agreements, and where teachers have held pay parity with their primary school counterparts since 2002.

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