ECC asks Labour to extend school commitments to early learning

15 September 2020

The Early Childhood Council welcomes the stability and continuity promised in the Labour Party’s Education Policy released today, and asks for benefits for schools extended to early learning.

“We’d love to see initiatives for schools such as the commitment to improving Learning Support and Te reo Māori flow through to early learning – these would have a huge effect on our youngest learners’ trajectory as they advance their education journey.”

“We also challenge the Labour Party to review community-owned centres’ facilities to determine upgrades required, to match what’s been promised for schools,” said Mr Reynolds.

The ECC supports the Labour Party’s continued focus on:

  • Establishing the Early Learning Action Plan, which has gained broad buy-in across the sector
  • Committing to achieving teacher pay parity
  • Committing to reinstating the 100% funding band – provided it’s practical and accessible for as many centres as possible

“It’s great to see the ECE teacher shortage being addressed through access to the international recruitment package, changes to the Person Responsible requirements and the temporary increase in Discretionary Hours.”

“To achieve Teacher pay parity, community and privately-owned centre rates must mirror, then increase to catch up to kindergarten and school rates. We support the commitment to achieving parity but need more detail on timing to help manage expectations for centres and their staff – it’s not going to happen overnight.”

“However - we believe the broken funding model must be urgently addressed. After a decade of cuts, many centres are close to the edge. To help them remain viable and ensure children are at the heart of what we do, we must clearly link quality to funding. This is at the heart of many issues in early learning, and a full review would take the handbrake off,” said Mr Reynolds.

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