ECE teachers press their case

Health Minister David Clark. Photo: ODT
Health Minister David Clark. Photo: ODT
Meetings with Cabinet ministers took place yesterday as early childhood education teachers pressed their case for pay equity with kindergarten and primary school colleagues.

In Wellington, the teachers presented a petition to Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

They urged him to restore early childhood education (ECE) funding, deliver on a pledge that early childhood education needed 100% qualified teachers, and improve child to teacher ratios.

New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI) members were also active in Dunedin yesterday.

About 10 ECE teachers met Health Minister and Dunedin North MP Dr David Clark about 2.20pm before Dr Clark was taken on a tour of the Dunedin Hospital Early Childhood Centre by NZEI representative Erica Farry.

Several ECE teachers and centre directors spoken to yesterday by the ODT were concerned that ECE teachers were earning a lot less than similarly qualified colleagues in kindergartens and schools.

Ms Farry said yesterday's meeting with Dr Clark had been constructive.

She said ECE teachers were providing a vital early educational foundation for young people, but did not feel valued, because of the big pay disparity.

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