Early childhood teachers must be qualified: Labour

Andrew Little.
Labour leader Andrew Little. Photo: file

At least 80% of teachers at early childhood centres will have to be qualified if Labour is in Government, the party said today.

Labour will also fully fund centres where every teacher is qualified - something which it says National has put an end to.

The ECE policy would require an investment of $193 million, which Labour leader Andrew Little said would be paid for by scrapping National's proposed tax cuts.

Ministry of Education data shows that about 74% of ECE teachers held a qualification in 2014.

Labour would require all ECE centres to lift the proportion of qualified teachers to at least 80% within three years.

Little said National had reduced funding for ECE centres which had 100% qualified teachers and frozen per-child funding rates since 2010. That had caused ECE fees to rise by 25%, he said.

``Labour will ... end National's funding freeze and in the future we'll increase funding rates to at least account for inflation each year,'' Little said.

Labour announced earlier this week it would ditch National's tax cuts - worth up to $20 a week - and channel most of the money into boosting Working for Families and subsidies for families with newborns.

It estimated that middle income families would be $48 better off a week under its Families Package, compared with $26 a week under National's $2 billion package announced in the Budget.

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