Solution to ECE teacher shortage stuck overseas
Early Childhood Education is the latest sector to be hit by managed isolation holdups. Qualified early learning educators set to help solve New Zealand’s early learning teacher shortage are way down the list for spots in MIQ.
“The teacher shortage was critical before COVID-19. Not surprisingly it’s much worse now,” said Early Childhood Council Chairman Dr Darius Singh, who has 15 qualified and provisionally registered teachers waiting overseas (in the UK, Sweden, Philippines, Canada and South Africa) to join their new centre in South Auckland later this year.
Teachers ready to start jobs in New Zealand cannot arrive without an approved spot in MIQ, leaving them in limbo. Meanwhile, centres struggling to meet teacher / child ratios are forced to pay ongoing recruitment and temporary teacher costs, putting more pressure on their ongoing sustainability.
“We’ve applied for exemptions so our new team members can arrive and start their new lives and careers, but have been knocked back. The advice we’ve had from officials is ‘realistically – no chance’,” said Dr Singh.
“It’s frustrating for everyone – our new recruits have their lives placed on hold, while we’re screaming out for them to arrive. We’d hire New Zealand teachers in a heartbeat if they were available, but they don’t exist.”.
“We’re realistic ECE isn’t the only sector affected by MIQ resourcing – but desperately hope MIQ spots can be freed up for teachers who’ll have massively positive social and economic impacts as soon as possible,” said Peter Reynolds, ECC CEO