Early learning not invited to MIQ lolly scramble

11 May 2021

The early learning sector has been excluded from MIQ spaces freed up for refugees, students, and construction and RSE workers.

“In the middle of a severe teacher shortage that’s putting early learning centres out of business, we’ve been left in the cold once again,” said Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds.

“Qualified, skilled teachers have accepted crucial roles and want to start new lives in New Zealand, but are twiddling their thumbs waiting for MIQ spots instead. It looks like they’ll be waiting for some time yet.”

Providers have been calling for Early Childhood Education teachers to be added to the skills shortage list well before the COVID-19 pandemic to relieve the teacher shortage.

Other solutions include temporary changes to funding rules, and funding recognition for teachers in their last year of study. But despite the worst early learning teacher shortage in living memory, the government continually refuses to pull these levers and give centres some relief.

“Why?,” said Mr Reynolds. “Immigration isn’t the only answer to this crisis, but while children are missing out on quality teachers, and centres are crippled by recruiter and temporary teacher fees, we think it’s worth a shot.”

“We’re one of many sectors affected by the border restrictions, but this has been frustrating early learning for some time. My message to the Minister is to give early learning a break, and take the first step to ending the teacher shortage.”

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