Pay Equity claims heaping pressure on early learning centres

16 November 2020

The Early Childhood Council is warning that pressure caused by multiple Pay Equity claims will affect children’s early learning, and centre viability.

The majority of ECC members surveyed support pay equity for teachers, but coming in the midst of COVID-19 recession, the timing of this claim is being criticised by many in the sector, with the government already committed to delivering pay parity.

Hamilton early learning centre manager Dave Gibson warns that running an early learning centre just got harder. “Times were very tough before, they just got harder. Centres are trying to maintain the best quality care and teacher / child ratios, while operating on razor thin margins.”

“Owners and teachers are passionate about giving the children they care for the best possible care, but the stress these claims will place on centre owners and managers is going to be horrendous. We’ve already seen many community centres go under, and many are going to hit a breaking point,” said Mr Gibson.

“There’s little argument teachers deserve to be paid fairly, but these claims at this time are going to make life very difficult. Just the lawyers’ fees required to enter a legal process will put some centres out business. Just who is going to win here?” said Peter Reynolds, ECC CEO.

“We’re calling on those fronting these claims to consider the timing of what they’re asking for, and for the government to monitor this situation and their role in it very carefully,” said Mr Reynolds.

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