Sky-High Management Salaries in Early Childhood Education Sector

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Funding Not Going to Teachers and Children.
October 6, 2019.

Is it acceptable for an ECE company to cry for more public funds to enable it to pay teachers adequate salaries when its CEO receives $550,000?  

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden earns $471,049 for running our entire country – still that might not be a fair comparison because no one becomes a prime minister to make money.

Another comparison then is Ministry of Education chief executive Ms Iona Holsted who earns $590,000. She is responsible for a huge staff within the ministry, managing ECE, primary, secondary and further education monitoring three crown agencies and providing advice to the Minister of Education.

The Evolve Education 2019 annual report shows its CEO was paid a base salary of $450,000 and a recognition payment of $100,000.  It has 13 senior managers, including one on just over $390,000 and three on between $220,000 and $360,000. A total of $472,000 was also paid out in director’s fees. 

Evolve Education has 128 centres and 2,244 staff. Evolve’s directors and senior executives rightly expect fair remuneration for their professional skills, but the amount of expenditure on upper-management remuneration alone means a lot less taxpayer funding is available to be spent at centre level.

Their most important employees, professionally qualified teachers, without whom the business would sink/ collapse, are paid less than their peers in kindergartens and primary and secondary schools

Evolve Education is represented by the Early Childhood Council industry group which is calling on Government to give it more funding. Evolve Education is the only share-listed company in the industry group and therefore must publicly disclose remuneration (including performance based payments and any benefits such as a car and an apartment)

Every commercial/private early childhood service provider should be required by the Ministry of Education to publicly inform parents and staff of distributions to owners, directors’ and employees’ remuneration and benefits.

UPDATE

The Ministry of Education needs to ensure that the right controls are in place so funding intended for teacher salaries is passed to teachers.

Why? Listen to a 2021 interview with a board member of the industry group who says funding not going to teachers/ giving no commitment to use funding according to the government’s stated intention.

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