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ECE Sector Confidence Survey 2019

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Chris Hipkins Minister Early Childhood Education

The latest and only pre-Budget survey of the early childhood sector has found that the government has a lot of work to do if it is to convince the sector that it cares about young children’s education and care. This finding from our ECE Sector Confidence Survey 2019 just ahead of the Government’s release of its annual budget.

ECE Sector Confidence Survey 2019

Report prepared by Dr Sarah Alexander.
See also a Stuff article “Teachers just trying to survive

More than 200,000 babies and young children are cared for by the sector in over 4,000 services.  The sector has been struggling for some time to cope with multiple issues including child safety, teacher well-being and retention, and funding – which sadly are ongoing and getting worse. 

Following the 2017 election of a new Labour-led coalition Government there was fresh optimism and an expectation of change.  Pre-election pledge cards had been signed as part of NZEI’s ‘have a heart’ campaign by the now Prime Minster Jacinda Arden, Education Minister Chris Hipkins, Minister of Finance Grant Robertson, Associate Minister for Education Tracey Martin, and Associate Minister for Finance James Shaw. These and many other politicians pledged to restore funding for 100% qualified teachers, reduce teacher to child ratios and reduce group sizes.

But there are signs now that hope is fading and disappointment in the Government is setting in. 

While the Government has stated that Budget 2019 will focus on improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders, many of those within the early childhood sector are not expecting to see improvement any time soon.

The picture many respondents gave was one of just trying to survive.

Problems of funding, staffing, pay and conditions, and supporting children with their care and learning needs are significant in the sector.

The survey shows that what helps most is when service managers / owners are able to focus on people rather than primarily on money. When things are going well there is a good team culture, parents and community provide support and positive feedback, and teachers / educators enjoy professional development and growth. It would seem that happy teachers go hand in hand with happy children and happy parents and families.

See also another report from this survey – on should salary attestation rates be increased and affordability.

Nine hundred people were surveyed. Fifty-two percent of the respondents came from privately-owned early childhood centres, 26% from community-owned, and 11% from free kindergartens. The sample was therefore roughly representative of the sector, and the mix of private – community services. The remainder of the 900 came from services such as home-based ECE, hospital-based ECE and parent-led or were people for example who worked in early intervention and in teacher education.  

Sector sentiment toward what the government is doing in ECE

The proportion of respondents who could not say or were neutral toward government efforts has dropped from 32% to 21%. This drop may be because the Labour-led coalition is around mid-way through its term and has released its draft 10-Year Strategic Plan for ECE and therefore more people are prepared to give an opinion on the government’s action in ECE.

The percentage of respondents who think the government is going in the right direction has crept up slightly from a year ago to 30% from 26%. 

However, respondents still generally feel that the government is not moving in the right direction for early childhood education. The net percentage has declined from negative 16 a year ago to negative 19 now.

TABLE 1.  Sector sentiment toward what the government is doing in early childhood education


% Right direction

% Wrong direction

% Can’t say or neutral


Net % confidence in the government














You would think that this finding points to the government having a lot of work to do to convince the sector that it is taking the right actions for early childhood education. But this presumes that the government actually cares enough to want to do this.   

Does the government care? At present it would appear not. As one respondent explained:

“It just feels like we are losing ground against a tide of privatisation, longer hours for parents working, less family time, the cost of living for families and teachers. I had high hopes when the Government was elected but since then there has been little action. The Strategic Plan outlines some very positive statements but then the timelines are so far out. ECE has had no support over the term of the previous government and the privatisation agenda has damaged community based, small private owners and kindergartens.”

This could change if Budget 2019 includes a substantial injection of funding into early childhood education and care, thereby answering any doubts the sector has in the Government.

“Although I feel that the government wants to move in the right direction, I believe they don’t have the funding or processes and support in place to effectively reach the goals they are working towards.”

However, there is also a perception that the government is failing to get to grips with the needs of the early childhood sector and is not getting adequate advice or understanding the best evidence.

“I think the government is not focused on the real issues that face the sector. Some of the current decisions being made will actually create other detrimental impacts to our sector that have not been considered or acknowledged by government.”

“Pasifika thrive on language, cultural and community based ECE services. The proposed policy changes will suffocate the Pasifika families and community. There will be no changes for Pasifika education low achievement, high crime rate and high unemployment rate in the future – No change at all, [and], it will escalate the worse for Pasifika communities.”

Expectations for change

Compared with the same time last year, fewer expect to see improvement and more expect that the situation for the early childhood sector will only worsen. Table 2 below shows that in 2018 with the Labour-led coalition government in power, 23% of respondents believed they would start to see improvement in the sector. But now only 12% are expecting there to be improvement. The 36% who expected things to worsen has jumped to 46%.     

TABLE 2.  Expectations for change in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector over the next 12 months


% Improve

% Worsen

% Stay the same


Net % who expect improvement


























Respondent’s explanations for the negative outlook included:  

“I don’t expect any major change until the next election which is hard as it’s not looking good for us financially.”

“Will there be any money or enthusiasm left for ECE by the time negotiations with doctors and primary/secondary is finished? We always seem to be the after-thought.”

“ECE is always at the bottom of the pile in Education. Primary and secondary will wipe out the pool of money with their strikes and in the end ECE will be left with nothing.”

“Due to nothing being done now, there will be no change in the next 12 months and teachers will not be able to continue in these working conditions.”

“National was bad enough but Labour just does not appear to be interested.”

“I feel that we are the forgotten sector.”

“Because the government doesn’t care about ECE.”

“We seem to be less important to the government in the world of education.”

“It will take longer for strategic plan benefits to eventuate, and meanwhile the longer we are short staffed and short funded, the worse things get.”

“Because everything moves slow, e.g. extra support for children with additional needs – where is it?”

Therefore, it would appear that reality and disappointment with the government is setting in. Putting out a draft 10-Year Strategic Plan for Early Learning is clearly not enough in the eyes of the early childhood education sector.

The government has a lot of work to do, if it is going to convince the early childhood sector that it is serious about improving the wellbeing of young children, adequately funding, and supporting quality early childhood education and care.

What is not going well in services

Respondents in the ECE Sector Confidence Survey 2019, were asked what if anything was not going well. Their replies are quoted and summarised below. 

Many problems were raised and many were of a major nature. Reading through the responses you may get a sense that a main focus in on trying to survive. Such a situation for services to be in is not ideal for the wellbeing and education of vulnerable and young children.

a) Management

  • The owners are expanding and therefore will have less money for teacher pay rises.
  • Lack of investment in staff and centres.
  • Offering incentives to families when using our service means the income is affected, which impacts on staff wages, the ability to buy resources, and the amount available for PD.
  • My team teacher is overseas recruited, hasn’t got a clue and refuses to have an open mind to our NZ way of ECE teaching – my manager is afraid to interfere in case of a resignation.
  • Massive corporate centre that doesn’t care about children or staff. Profit over quality.
  • Too many people at the top of the organisation not qualified and are from business backgrounds.
  • Centre owners not having to be trained.
  • Managers lack of knowledge of ECE.
  • Lack of strong leadership.
  • Profit interest only.
  • Poor management. Lack of human resource skills and employment law knowledge by management.
  • A manager who is ill equipped and unqualified to lead us.
  • Has become a money-making for-profit organisation. Too many children. Not enough room space, teachers to support.
  • PAPERWORK!!! Little to no support from our head office.
  • Having to aim for a profit.
  • The whole thing is been run for profit.
  • Maximum ratios to maximise profit.
  • We are only projecting a small profit ($5k) next year but as a community-led that’s not what we’re about.
  • Money and profit over quality.
  • Profits not going back into the centre. Staff, all qualified, being paid extremely low wages.
  • Lack of leadership and accountability within governance and management.
  • Our manager.
  • Expectations from whanau and management.
  • Trying to be profitable in a not for profit organisation which then impacts on children and staff.
  • Focus on budget rather than tamariki.
  • Team morale. Management constraints on expectations.
  • Higher management’s lack of support.
  • I feel unhappy that some services are run really unprofessional with no confidentiality, and with inconsistency in their supporting of staffing and this is not monitored to guide them. i.e. one person given 3 days bereavement leave for a godmother passing and then another kaiako only entitled to 1 day with an uncle passing. I am not happy either that a board can consist of a husband and friends!!!  This particular service has had no strategic plan for 2 years and very poor leadership, no planning meetings and staff meetings just stop.  This is not okay for a community-based service.   
  • Retaining staff. Owner is from overseas and won’t listen to experienced teachers.
  • Lack of understanding of management.
  • A people pleaser manager. Staff get away with a lot.
  • A team of four fully qualified experienced teachers has been broken by management decisions and transformed into one fully registered, one subject to confirmation, one student and one unqualified with a manager, who although qualified is office based and offsite 70% time.
  • Management and leadership structure with no accountability.
  • Untrained people owning and running centres.
  • Ratios, funding not used appropriately, bad working conditions for teachers.
  • They are in it to make money and are therefore working to minimums: group sizes are able to be too big; teacher pay is far below what it should be.
  • Lack of external support, we are on our own.
  • Management not listening.
  • Poor management.
  • Manager not ECE qualified.
  • Work for a franchise so its money making.
  • There are new graduates who are committed to high quality ECE however they are soon faced with the realities of for-profit ECE services who challenge quality.
  • I have just finished an 8-day residential training and some of the stories of what is happening for teachers and children are heart-breaking.

b) Staff recruitment, retention and ratios

  • They work on a centre ratio not per room. Can have 30 plus tamariki but still only have 2 teachers on.
  • We are not going that well. Qualified staff are leaving for various reasons. Child numbers are too high for staff breaks.
  • Not great. It is difficult to find good educators for home based.
  • Lack of staff is still an issue. We have all had to do extra hours and take turns on 10-hour shifts.
  • Using office lady to help staff centre! Struggling to staff day to day financially and can’t afford the trained staff we have.
  • Teachers starting families and we lose ECE qualified and certificated teachers who do not want to return to high stress jobs!
  • We did have a settled and stable team up in to last week. Now if am struggling to get applicants for our positions. We also lost an awesome male teacher to the building industry as we couldn’t afford to pay him any more money.
  • Teacher to child ratio.
  • Running with minimum legal ratios.
  • Staffing.
  • Traffic (bottleneck in main entry road) prevents staff from farther away from applying.
  • 50 is too many children, and not enough stable qualified teachers.
  • Teacher retention, with so many centres Auckland wide needing staff.
  • Not enough teachers to create the difference for young children, i.e. to scaffold’ to nurture’ to’ give one on one attention’ to intervene on damaging behaviours.
  • Low numbers of applicants. Teaching Council requirements for IRLTS stopping qualified teachers from being registered.
  • Funding and finding good educators.
  • Getting enough qualified staff.
  • Finding new team members when needed.
  • The shortage of staff and qualified relievers and division of labour which makes current staff overworked.
  • Over stretched teachers.
  • Lack of teacher, relievers.
  • Staffing issues, inappropriate teacher-child ratio, provision for EIS.
  • Lack of staff despite being over ratio.
  • Finding quality qualified staff.
  • Getting a qualified relieving teacher in an unexpected situation such as staff illness.
  • Not enough teachers.
  • Lack of teachers, good teachers.
  • Getting the correct staff.
  • Trying to find kaiako, there is such a shortage at the moment.
  • Staffing and ratio.
  • High child ratio to teachers.
  • Struggle to find registered ECE teachers when we need them.
  • Many registered teachers want to change to be a relief teacher and it makes us very difficult to put right ratio throughout daily practices.
  • Over ratio for children frequently.
  • 1-5 ratio for under 2’s not good enough.
  • High staff turnover rate.
  • Attracting qualified staff.
  • Not enough people in the centre – in Auckland.
  • Having adequate amount of staff.
  • Retaining good staff.
  • Finding new staff, especially qualified, is next to near impossible.
  • Attracting qualified staff to our rural area.
  • Staffing.  It is critical!  Centres will be forced to work to minimum ratios because they are unable to find good teachers, or will be forced to employ not-as-good teachers.
  • Getting quality staff to replace those who are leaving the industry or short term – i.e. Maternity Leave.
  • Finding qualified teachers.
  • Lack of relievers available.
  • Lack of experienced members to support the new members.
  • Staffing – finding and keeping teachers, as well as adapting to teachers wanting part time hours- trying to provide consistency for children, families and the team.
  • Staffing.
  • We have 18 staff on the floor at any one time and a high proportion of them are relievers due to permanent registered teachers taking leave for one reason or another.  Our children are the losers in this scenario.
  • Not the people out there, to fill positions.
  • Staffing- availability of qualified teachers.
  • Filling vacancies for qualified staff.
  • Qualified staff recruitment.
  • We cannot source quality teachers.
  • Unavailability of relievers and quality staff to fill roles or maternity covers.
  • Finding qualified staff.
  • Finding qualified and registered teachers.
  • Getting good qualified staff and being able to afford to keep them.
  • High staff turnover, inconsistent reliever.
  • Child teacher ratio.
  • Staff not enough qualified teachers. Due to requirement for teachers with English as a second language.
  • The lack of qualified relievers and teachers available.
  • Recruitment and retainment of quality teachers.
  • Finding qualified ECE teachers.
  • Struggle to find quality staff.
  • Finding qualified staff to join us as we grow.
  • Staff retention.
  • Keeping Education Support Workers.
  • Retaining staff.
  • ECE teachers as Visiting Teachers very difficult to get.
  • Finding quality qualified teachers.
  • We cannot retain qualified staff – in fact finding staff at all. Huge pressure to meet 80% mark and sick staff being called back to work. High ratios in most rooms – no non-contact time allowed for qualified staff as we cannot go off the floor. We are paid extra to do it at home but that is unfair for staff with young children.
  • Hiring quality staff, we cannot find the people we want.
  • Staff are leaving and aren’t being replaced for 7 months and still counting. We constantly have relievers, at least 2 covering permanent positions every day. That leaves permanent staff to carry out care routines and no one leading a curriculum rich programme.
  • Getting qualified staff.
  • Finding team members.
  • Finding staff.
  • Ratios and non-contact time.
  • Employing fully qualified teachers leads to a huge funding gap and places stress on us to be able to be viable.
  • Finding registered teachers.
  • If one of my teachers left, we would struggle to replace them due to the lack of quality teachers out there, this is a constant worry.
  • Retention of staff & finding good quality new teachers.
  • Access to certified teachers.
  • Big shortage of trained relievers.
  • Recruitment of quality staff.
  • Trying to get non-English speaking educators to study and pass Level 4 ECE is difficult.
  • Staffing.  We have been advertising for almost 1 year for 2 registered teachers. 
  • Staffing is lacking, even with a ratio of 1.6 I still feel we don’t get time worth the children to engage is serious conversation etc.
  • Staff turnover, retaining qualified teachers. Too much opportunity in the community.
  • Teacher shortage & increasing teacher costs.
  • Finding qualified experienced staff who stay.
  • Finding good registered teachers.
  • Finding GOOD QUALITY staff.
  • Finding relievers and part time qualified teachers.
  • Poor staff to toddler ratios.
  • Teacher child ratio.
  • Not enough staff working through lunch breaks on floor.
  • Ratios.
  • Ratios and finding qualified quality staff.
  • Ratios.
  • Lack of qualified teachers.
  • Staffing and child ratios.
  • Inadequate teacher/ child ratios, high staff turnover.
  • No relievers available.
  • Staff. Only want to relieve no responsibility, too much paper work.
  • Finding staff/relievers when staff are absent so non-contacts can still be done etc.
  • Not enough qualified teachers in the pipeline.
  • Staff retention. 
  • Ratios.
  • Gaining qualified staff.
  • No relievers & low staff.
  • Attracting teachers who are fully qualified.
  • Finding qualified staff.
  • High group numbers, not enough non-contact time.
  • Lack of quality educators wanting to join due to the uncertainty of homebased after the recent Ministry of Education homebased review.
  • Struggling to find qualified teachers & rolls are dropping.
  • Lack of qualified staff as we are working at the bare minimum. I personally don’t think that’s quality!
  • Finding qualified ECE teachers.
  • Staffing! Qualified and quality staff.
  • Finding qual teachers.
  • Huge lack of qualified and experienced teachers.
  • Poor teacher retention as it is not seen as a worthy career!
  • Not enough good qualified teachers to fill jobs available. Also when a new centre has sudden growth in enrolments but can’t meant the demands of staffing it.
  • Being able to hire new staff -takes a long time.
  • Getting qualified staff.
  • Staffing. Small rural community in a district means it’s hard to find to the right people for the centre.
  • Recruiting staff, keeping the centre as a viable business.
  • Ratio, can’t get staff.
  • We cannot attract new staff so if someone leaves it will be very difficult as we are a small centre.
  • Shortage of quality qualified Kaiako.
  • Ratios for babies and toddlers, this is a crucial age group that requires a lot of attention.
  • Relievers and staff … very hard to find relievers at all and finding staff that are quality is getting harder and harder.
  • Staff recruitment.
  • Ratios and unqualified teachers.
  • Number of children and not enough staff.
  • Ratio for two-year olds.
  • Staff sickness. Ratios for under 2s. Staff turnover.
  • Not enough qualified staff.
  • Insufficient staffing.
  • Ratios, lack of staff.
  • Stretched ratios.
  • Ratios.
  • Ratios and class sizes.
  • Ratios and funding.
  • Staff child ratio stretched to limit.
  • Ratios.
  • Ratios and pay rate.
  • The ratios.
  • Ratios, group sizes, paper work versus non-contact time.
  • Staffing.
  • Staffing, ratios.
  • Staffing and ratios.
  • Adult-child ratio.
  • Lack of qualified teachers.
  • Child/Teacher ratios.
  • Qualified staffing.
  • Teacher shortage, not enough pay, 80 percent hard to hit.
  • Staffing.
  • A few teachers have retired from teaching so we are having to find new staff.
  • Getting great qualified staff…very little available.
  • Retention/ recruitment of quality teachers.
  • Struggling to get quality qualified ECE teachers.
  • Finding staff.
  • Lack of qualified staff.
  • Still having to deal with low ratios at times.

 c) Pay and conditions

  • We are understaffed everyday work ridiculous shifts starting at 5am and finish at 7pm.  We don’t get as many breaks like kindergarten teachers.
  • Workload is getting way out of hand. Stress levels are high. Having 2-year olds in a kindergarten without changing ratio is not working. Staff burn out is real. Unappreciated staff are feeling like all they are doing is ground control.
  • Bullying, unpaid expected working hrs, break times, demand in work load.
  • As the second qualified ECE kaiako things are full on it quite often find myself doing the job of two people. Things are not good I feel like the wishes and request of the families put us kaiako as risk and under undue distress and a heavier work load.
  • We struggle with retaining qualified staff. People get burnt out.
  • Expected to do things because it’s part of the job. Lots of outside of work hours work required on top of teacher registration.
  • I am beginning to move away from the sector like many other teachers in my position who have been burnt badly in so many areas by a few people within it, so only relieving at the moment.
  • Manager demanding rotating shifts, more hours than agreed to when contract was accepted, lack of non-contact, no relievers so feel bad asking for time off.
  • Three staff have left in past four months. One on ACC relating to childcare work – back issues.
  • Not so good. We are one of the 39 kindergartens that have been tranched and therefore have unequitable working conditions to our counterparts.  Expected to do the same for less time.
  • Stretched at times not enough hours in the day for paperwork requirements.
  • The ECE service where I worked recently for 10mths I didn’t like the way the manager harassed teachers and belittled their work. I’m sure he is breaching the law but I didn’t have the right support.
  • Teachers leave because of working conditions. Regular and timely morning and afternoon tea/toilet breaks are rare.
  • Hygiene.
  • Teachers unable to take time off when sick due to lack of relievers.
  • Paperwork getting overlooked due to being on the floor with children.
  • Pressure on kindergarten staff to work without term breaks. Teachers are concerned for children’s health and well-being. They will be working longer then school aged children.
  • Teachers wellbeing at an all-time low.
  • Teachers overload.
  • Ratios, paperwork, full registration support.
  • Need a cap on the number of educators for visiting teachers.
  • Non-contact time not enough. Large group size.
  • Work demands and stresses.
  • There needs to be more sick days. Some days are run on ministry ratio which means lack of quality teaching and care.
  • Relievers and support for teachers when on leave.
  • Staff non-contact.
  • Work load. Unrealistic and involves a lot of unpaid work.
  • Low moral within the sector. Teachers feeling undervalued, burn-out, no trust or autonomy, increased workload in terms of appraisal, planning, assessment and evaluation. 
  • Little non-contact time, increasing demands on paperwork, burnt out staff
  • Takes a long time for referrals for difficult children then teachers worn out because they are so hard to manage.
  • Physical environment hard on teachers.
  • Staff’s mental health.
  • Teachers do not enjoy a work/life balance – we all do work at home or in weekends potentially leading to burn-out.
  • Staff burn out.
  • Staff burnout, workplace bullying.
  • Quality of leaders. Bullying.
  • Bullying, lack of communication.
  • Bullying and bullying and money grabbing from owner.
  • At the centre I just resigned from – work place bullying by my employer :-(
  • Work place bullying.
  • Bullying towards good teachers and pretty much blaming them for every little thing that goes wrong in the centre.
  • No support from association with harassment from teachers.
  • Teachers are tired and feel under pressure.  Need more time to work on their craft and improve practice. 
  • Staff over worked; time poor to ensure quality education is given.
  • Very long hard hours.
  • Overwork.
  • Space.  Indoor days are stressful and chaotic.  I don’t understand why the legal requirement is for so little space per child.
  • Ratios especially having such high number of high needs children. Teacher burnout.
  • Lack of flexibility around leave.
  • Work pressure re paperwork.
  • The current teachers are stretched under all the documentation demands.
  • Underpaid, bad working conditions.
  • Lack of motivation from staff. Not enough non-contact time. So much ‘out of hours’ PD/Meetings/Parent Evenings/Inquiries/Appraisals etc
  • Staff workplace injuries, staff personality clashes.
  • Our centre manager does an amazing job providing a top ECE service on the smell of an oily rag. However, this costs her health and energy levels.
  • Paper work is growing and time in which to do it stays the same. Stress is huge!!! Not worth my physical and mental well-being.
  • Teachers are getting stressed with the amount of paperwork. All professional development lecturers have different ideas and it confuses everyone.
  • Not enough time for teachers with less relievers and teachers for paper work which is too stressful for teachers leading to disturbed emotional health.
  • Group numbers keep growing with centres getting bigger. It is nothing but more stress for staff and children.
  • Low pay, no wage increases = burnout and teachers looking to find work that makes them feel valued.
  • Pay rates, hours, workload, work/life balance, having to attend meetings, attend pd and do appraisals outside of work hours, the amount of non-contact time is not enough for the amount of work required resulting in teachers and managers under stress.
  • High turnover, which results in burnout for the few that have stayed at the centre. We also struggle to get registered relievers in, and so sometimes you end up working when you feel sick.
  • Time. Never enough time and mentoring a diverse range of personalities.
  • Challenges that continue to come through the doors and a lack of qualified support to manage and keep the teaching team fit and healthy in all ways of being.
  • Pressure from associations in form of more paperwork for head teachers.
  • Teachers finding it hard to cope with the expected paper work overload, having to give up more and more personal time to manage their school work (they compare people who have jobs with higher rate of pay and don’t have to give up their family/personal time to complete job related requirements.
  • Lack of passion from staff, due to being overworked and underappreciated. Poor pay, poor conditions.
  • Staff are exhausted due to the teacher shortage and using relievers.
  • Too much work having to done at home, and expectations of giving up evenings and weekends for centre maintenance, parent evenings, meetings, fundraisers.
  • Lots of paperwork low hour rate high expectation from supervisors.
  • Workload increase to meet $ targets.
  • Not enough time off the floor to complete admin etc I’m a centre manager, just resigned can’t handle the pressure anymore… no support from centre owner 95 % if my day on the floor!!
  • Lack of support, lack of money, teacher burn out.
  • The ratios don’t work in a mixed age centre and they need to improve now not in a few years.
  • Being told that I’m lucky to get two hours noncontact a week.
  • High stress due to ratios and high number of children with high needs and no extra support.
  • Large group size and ratios (legal but very challenging for staff and children). Teacher exhaustion is constant.
  • The demands of the job, the increase in responsibilities (paperwork) and little or no recognition.
  • Parent expectations, teachers not feeling appreciated by parents, lack of money to spend on resources.
  • Noise levels due to licence numbers.
  • Paperwork and not enough time to do it.
  • High staff turnover, company focused more on quantity of kids than quality of caring.
  • Ratios, workload, teacher appreciation.
  • Lack of time to complete learning stories and other paperwork.
  • Paperwork requirements with no time off the floor to do it.
  • Lack of non-contact.
  • How staff are treated.
  • Lack of support.
  • Over worked, stressed teachers.
  • Support for our teachers mentoring currently its a joke.
  • Lack of adequate non-contact.
  • No support for the teaching staff.
  • Ratios and staffing conditions, safety.
  • I feel so undervalued. I work hard and work in my own time to make sure I’m an effective teacher for the children I teach.
  • The teachers are tired, overworked.
  • Not enough non-contact time & PD.
  • The money is not worth the amount of work expected of teachers, especially when we are not getting regular release time, I do 90% of my (non-contact) work at home after hours, unpaid.
  • Overworked – we do everything – we are cleaners, nurses, dieticians, mental health workers, etc.
  • Group size too large.
  • Not enough non-contact time.
  • Too higher ratios and not enough qualified kaiako in our over 2’s. Far too much paperwork! Very stressful career path :0(
  • We are prioritising what important to do our best for our tamariki and whanau while ensuring our own wellbeing.  We are having to take leave without pay to ensure we are okay while fighting for what our children and families need. It’s a tiring time.
  • Our centre following suite of private centres and removing themselves from the collective…. therefore, guaranteeing teachers can be under paid and undervalued and it’s all legal.
  • The few hardy and dedicated teachers are looking towards better paid positions elsewhere e.g. we recently lost a fully qualified teacher who is going to pick kiwifruit.   She will get $5 an hour increase in her new position.
  •  We are all on a low wage in comparison to 1 to 10 adult-child ratio centres.
  • Attracting lots of interest from new grad Asian teachers who need x$ to stay in NZ. This amount is more than NZ born qualified teachers. Lack of pay equality.
  • I struggle to stay in ECE getting paid $22 an hour after years of experience.
  • The wages and work load. I’m currently unqualified and I’m on minimum wage but do the same work load as registered teachers.
  • Doing my post-grad degree: it be great to have pay party with primary and kindergarten.
  • Serious lack of pay. We should be paid the same as primary at least our work is just as important if not more.
  •  The level of value, that is placed on our work teaching, by outsiders or the board who decide wages.
  • Wanting to pay teachers more but not able to unless I put up parent fees.  Thereby increasing pressure on parents.
  • Staff and not the right pay for the right experienced staff.
  • Teachers are moving on a lot faster to chase a bit more money.
  • Low income for teachers for such a physical and mental job.
  • Keeping teachers due to pay.
  • Pay rates and recruitment difficulty.
  • Pay equality with primary and secondary Kaiako.
  • Low pay rates.
  • We teachers receive a very poor salary.
  • Low pay.
  • Remuneration to keep good staff. 
  • No wage rise or remuneration increase in 10 years but increase cost (certification) job requirements (paper work and practice-based evidence.)
  • Pay rates.
  • Staffing, so difficult to find qualified staff. It is a constant worry for me as an owner.  I am a stand-alone small centre. I pay my staff well and look after them but there are only so many wage increases, I can give them.
  • Staff wage.
  • Low wages.
  • Our pay is rubbish – my son earns more than me working at duty free, I earn just above the living wage – for 3 years of study and two to get registered it’s not reflective of all the hard work we put in.   
  • Pay rates.
  • Pay and conditions for teachers.
  • Pay for qualified teachers.
  • Amazing support staff not paid enough.
  • Inadequate rates of pay to retain qualified teachers and improve ratios.
  • Not being able to pay staff better wages/salaries.
  • Qualified staff wanting to be paid more and are prepared to bully owners into giving them what they want, as they know that there is a shortage of teachers.
  • My hours are only paid for 4 hours including meetings and learning stories and my sessions only run for 3 hours so I do a lot of volunteer work/hours. My pay is not great either considering I have responsibility, and paper work like any other ECE centre and I have a Diploma of Teaching.
  • Pay rates.
  • Not getting a good wage.
  • Poor wages and conditions.
  • I don’t feel like my daughters’ caregivers are paid enough for the wonderful work that they do.
  • Why pay big money for degree when so little above the average wage.
  • Low wages led to staff dissatisfaction.
  • Unrealistic pay scale, unmanageable work load.
  • Not being able to pay these amazing teachers what they are worth.
  • Low wages.
  • Not being paid enough – not taken seriously.
  • Not enough money to pay living wage. You can earn more cleaning motels!
  • Inadequate pay.
  • Teachers pay vs work load, no help for teachers who are doing Refresher courses.
  • Not having a pay raise for a few years due to business not affording it.
  • Money to pay staff what they deserve.
  •  No pay increases for the last 5 years.
  • Teachers wages – A lot of teachers are just making ends meet.
  • Not enough staff and underpaid.
  • Pay and ratios.
  • Rates of pay.
  • Pay, not enough paid non-contact time.
  • Working conditions for staff.
  • Not enough money or pay for hours worked outside of normal day.
  • The duration and money spent to become qualified.
  • Not being paid an adequate wage for experience and years of service.
  • Ratios and pay rate.
  • Pay!!!
  • Low teacher pay.
  • Attracting lots of interest from new grad Asian teachers who need x$ to stay in NZ. This amount is more than NZ born qualified teachers. Lack of pay equality.
  • I struggle to stay in ECE getting paid $22 an hour after years of experience.
  • Underpaid staff.
  • Wages. It would be great if teachers are appreciated by remuneration too because living in North Shore, Auckland is too expensive.
  • Wages.
  • Work is mostly casual or fixed term contract and poorly paid due to being unqualified despite being in training.
  • Teachers being over worked and under paid.
  • Pay rate.
  • Wages need to be better.
  • Lack of pay rise.
  • Low pay for permanent experienced staff in leadership role.
  • 20-hour staff contracts.
  • Biggest problem is working as unregistered teacher and less money.
  • It is not okay that there is no pay increments and that I can have the same qualification and registration and be paid more in the kindergarten sector.  Kindergarten and ECE are providing the same service now days and this gap in pay needs addressing immediately.
  • Paying low wages and that means people will clean motels before working with children as the pay is better!
  • Hard to keep pay rates competitive due to lack of funding increases and trying to keep fees down to an affordable level.

d) Funding / financial operation

  • The biggest issue for us is the understanding of our service and what we do. We don’t just work in the ECE centre in the hospital. We work within the wards with children. Funding needs to be much better given the kind of work we do, making it more accessible for all paediatric patients.
  • Lack of funding.  We will have to make budget cuts. Probably reduce staff ratios, and provision of free lunches. We are in a low socioeconomic area and our families cannot afford to pay fees.
  • Funding to support teachers PD. We have had to reduce attendance at the majority of courses, becoming selective. Being careful with overtime and also not achieving pay increases for several years. We cannot put increases onto families at the moment.
  • We are struggling with the changes about to be implemented and no funding rate increase.
  • Wages has reached 76% on gross income and even basic r and m has been deferred for years.
  • Struggling with funding! In debt, which is such a shame we feed 40 children a day which is paid for by equity funding. But Association is in debt and this will continue to get worse.
  • We have managed well the last five years but increased wages with no government help is eating away at our running costs – we are not for profit and financially I run a tight ship but I have tightened spending in every possible area – there seems nothing more I can do  – I am really despairing for our future now.
  • Not enough income, no qualified teachers, minimum ratios aren’t safe.
  • Scraping by. We need funding returned to where it was years ago.
  • We are a centre attached to a Teen Parent Unit.  We are unique and sometimes don’t fit the one for all model.  We are in deficit as we need higher ratios for our most vulnerable children and parents. We are dealing with behaviours, housing issues, domestic violence, social behaviours etc.  This is where a lot of our money gets spent.  Our building is run down.  Funds are tight.
  • Poverty in our communities.
  • We are a community based non-profit centre and we are constantly struggling to make ends meet.
  • That the program is only 85% funded.
  • The proposed Government decision to not fund Au Pairs as they are not qualified. I am a qualified visiting teacher and this will ruin my career in home-based care.
  • How teachers are funded.
  • Low funding for 2-year olds especially makes it hard. The income is low when we are top heavy with 2-year olds, but still have to pay the same amount of staff. Low funding in general.
  • Can’t afford to increase wages and keep fees affordable.
  • Homebased not being paid the same as other services, difficulty in finding carers and visiting teachers.
  • I believe that the home-based services should have a higher funding rate to help the parents with their fees or increase the ratio up to 6 children (at a time so the educator can have a decent income).
  • Lack of funding for over 5 with Learning Support. Children of all ages are missing out because they do not fit the criteria.
  • Is funding, to be able to support our tamariki with resources, equipment and having the time to document their learning experiences at Kindergarten.
  • As part of a Kindergarten Association we are having to increase our child contact hours and lose non-contact hours to try and remain in business.  This will impact on our quality teaching and will mean that our youngest children in the community will be spending longer hours ‘in care’.  This is not what is best for our children.  They need a good balance of high-quality education along with ‘down time’ in a home environment. Teachers need support and good non-contact times to ensure they can be the best they can be as teachers. 
  • Compliance costs and no funding increases so we can actually afford to give well deserving staff a pay rise.
  • Balancing our books and sometimes finding relief teachers.
  • Funding for teen parent and ratios for our centres.
  • Government funding. 
  • Increased wages expenses without any significant increase in funding.
  • Lack of funds, financial struggle to keep afloat for a non-profit community ECE.
  • Fundraising for improvements to our centre.
  • Good teacher & adult to children ratio plus reasonable salary = deficit every funding period, every year. The licensee is quitting.
  • Sustainability financially if providing quality care and education.
  • Not enough funding not enough teachers.
  • Small private centre struggling to manage on current funding and affordable fees.
  • Funding for staffing, both in wage rates and ins staffing numbers. 
  • Not being able to pay them what they are worth.
  • Money, Budgets and workloads.
  • My rent has increased by $40th due to the land lord being able to charge per licensed child!! greedy landlords!!
  • The funding is ridiculous and we are having to cut back on important resources for tamariki year after year as money becomes tighter. 
  • Funds – low socio-economic group puts a huge strain on the business financially.
  • Funding rates too low.
  • Low funding/finances – we have struggled since 2011.
  • Cost of fees for parents. Teacher wages.
  • Affording to stay open.
  • Lack of additional funding.
  • Lack of finances to implement what is expected.
  • Funding, funding, funding. Availability of qualified teacher and particularly relievers.
  • Funding.
  • Lack of funding to achieve goals.
  • Funding rates hindering financial growth to purchase new equipment etc
  • Funding verses ratios verses right staff.
  • Getting good staff, money, quality ratios are getting harder due to minimum wage increases and no increases in government funding to cover.
  • Significant funding increase needed to ensure we can pay our team the hourly rate they deserve.
  • Funding model is flawed for centres based in vulnerable communities.  Increasing participation is not supported by an increase in funding.
  • Funding.
  • Lack of money for everyday things.
  • Finances.
  • Affording excellent teachers without the funding being adjusted to match what teachers are now asking for to stay in permanent work.
  • Paying staff better rates without putting pressure on parents regarding fee.
  • Funding.
  • Lack of funding.
  • Lack of funding and historical shortfalls mean that they can’t support individual kindergartens as well as they would like to.
  • Poor funding, 20 ECE applied only over 3year/ they should increase over 2 funding as MoE demanding 1:5 ratio (2-3 years).
  • Financial sustainability (and therefore job stability), having to make changes that are not in the best interests of tamariki because funding is not enough to sustain our service. New privately owned (for profit) centres opening in areas where there are already enough service providers.
  • Lack of funding, loss of conditions, high workload.
  • Funding for qualified staff and the pay scale for unqualified staff.
  • Lack of funding.
  • Finances – lack of adequate funding and increasing costs (especially staff).
  • Funding for homebased services and in particular 2-year-old funding and tamariki that turn 5years should still get 30hours a week funding…funding needs to go up in homebased and especially 2-year olds.
  • Affording to pay 100% qualified teacher workforce – no money left to do [property upgrades.
  • Funding,
  • Lack of money to fund a top-quality centre.
  • Lack of funding from the government causes our service to be less focused on children’s learning and development and more focused on meeting regulations and ticking boxes.
  • Resources to support tamariki and provide early intervention so they get the full benefit of support.  Our Association does its best with budget limitations.
  • Funding.
  • Finances and qualified staff.
  • Need more funding.
  • Funding.
  • We lose funding through children arriving late and leaving early – the funding mechanisms are not working for our community.
  • Lack of funding.
  • Our under 3 area has been running at a financial loss for the past 5 years even with reasonably full rolls. This is with 1:4 under 2 and 1:5 2-year-old ratios. Funding is not adequate for this age group. We cannot raise fees any further, in fact we have recently dropped our fees due to competition for other centres. We had to cut back on teachers’ non-contact time to try and cut back on running costs.
  • Financial, we do have better ratios which is fantastic for tamariki but not so for a business.
  • Funding. As a community-based Centre, we are now starting to apply to other funders things like playground equipment and often we get turned down because we’re ‘government funded’.
  • Trying to find funds for professional development and resources.
  • Lack of funding.
  • We are facing unfair treatment by the government, with unneeded funding cuts and no evidence to back up the justification for this.
  • Finances and lack of support.
  • Not having the funding to better provide for the Tamariki and staff needs – having to miss out on betting our environment, resources and not having quality ratios due to not being able to pay teachers/have budget to afford the teachers or resources etc.
  • Lack of money to fund staff.
  • Being able to replace or buy new resources.
  • Funding levels.
  • Being able to pay the teaching team what they deserve due to being privately owned and no funding increases.
  • Funding.
  • Lack of funds and no pay rises in sight.
  • Lack of money – not profitable, not able to pay staff better.
  • Funding to pay teachers a good wage according to the city I live in, not according to the medium of which all teachers are being paid- needs to increase.
  • Increase in overheads such as staff wages and limited increase in funding.
  • Funding- we run on a shoe string and are not for profit.
  • Lack of funding increases.
  • Funding to maintain ratios which support learning for children as opposed to MOE ratios which do not.
  • Extra money for resources and making the environment look better.
  • No equity funding for all kindergartens.
  • Our building is getting old and we don’t have the funds to maintain it. This also brings morale down.
  • Limited funding has the potential to limit what the centre wants to achieve in terms of curriculum, resourcing, learner support, and working conditions.
  • Everything is harder. Margins are nearly negative. Funding and claw back still of funding is punitive especially forms; services aspiring for high quality, some of the last services able to barely do it. Mass production has severe limitations not high quality.
  • Parent/whanau debt recovery.   It is taking far too long to process WINZ applications and if the end result is not what the parents expected they are faced with a debt that they had expected to be cover by the subsidy.   We do take steps to have parents contribute to fees whilst waiting for WINZ approval but that is not always successful – so this is an ongoing problem bought about through the inability WINZ to process business in a timely manner.
  • Funding lack of it.
  • Not making ends met – downward spiral of profits over past 3 years now in a deficit position.  How long will the centre survive?
  • ECE funding. Wages have gone up, funding for children aged 2-3 is half of other funding and when is there going to be an increase to funding.
  • Not enough resources and crappy pay.
  • Being able to offer staff the hourly rates they deserve and keeping costs down without passing them on to the families.
  • Enrolling Fee-Paying Children.
  • Money- we charge very low fees, and are struggling financially. We are a non-profit community organisation.
  • We have very good child/ teacher ratios so staffing costs are already high and its hard to keep up with the ever-increasing demand to pay more when we don’t get sufficient funding increases. 
  • Rising cost of wages not matched by funding.
  • Not enough funding. Centres now losing money and not able to balance books.
  • Funding levels.  Balancing income vs expenditure.
  • Funding not keeping pace with inflation and min wage increases.
  • Finance- we go through periods where we have to reduce staff hours and tighten our belts.
  • Lack of ongoing consistent government funding over the past decade.
  • Will there be any change to funding community based ECC, they are closing due to financial issues?
  • We are now in the position, after 10 years of a funding freeze, where we are beginning to struggle financially.
  • We are a lower socio-economic centre and parent fees are seldom paid even when offering ‘deals’ i.e. 15 hours for $15.00 for under 2-year olds.  20 hours ECE has seriously undermined the respect that parents have for Early Childhood teachers and in areas like our Centre operates in, this is shown by parents and caregivers wanting free childcare regardless of their child’s age.    
  • Unless subsidies rise, I can’t pay staff their true value.
  • Lack of funding to increase wages and replace resources and be able to save for big projects.
  • It is getting harder to make the same amount of money go further each year. There is more pressure on management to fundraise and apply for funding grants and to keep a tight rein on expenditure.
  • We cannot afford to pay our teachers a decent pay rate.
  • Really tight budgets.
  • Trying to value teachers and give them the support and resources with limited funds to do so…. teachers wanting pay increases but in a small centre only just breaking even there is no room to move and to support our teachers.
  • Finding staff, expenses and legal requirements keep increasing.  However main income provider the government hasn’t increased.
  • Tight budgeting, minimal staff pay rises, increased expectations.
  • We have more outstanding debts from parents, who just think that they shouldn’t have to pay. A lot of admin time is spent trying to recover monies owed.
  • We are on a tight budget. We are only able to make ends meet. As we are non-profit organisation, we are lucky that we can prioritize what’s best for our children.
  • Staff costing is around 79% of our income – this is leaving no funds for replacement of resources, staff P.L.D. and wage increases.
  • I own a small childcare centre – and every funding round I am going to my bank asking for more money ($35k) to help get me through. And all of my money is going on wages! We don’t have any money to upgrade our resources. I have tried to cut back areas for spending, but there is no more room to do this, as I need my staff!
  • Money!
  • Trying to balance ever-increasing costs with affordability for parents
  • Paying our staff what they deserve! We are looking at increasing our fees slightly in order to be able to continue to pay staff a great wage.
  • We haven’t been able to give pay rises for so long as we can’t sustain the increase & are very worried that we will lose staff because of this.
  • Funding, parents not paying/can’t afford to, losing children to 20 free hours from 2 years.
  • Financial can’t pay staff what they are worth.
  • Funding and $$$$$$$$$ impacts the quality we can realistically provide.
  • Lack of funds to properly pay teachers for non-contact work.
  • Finances.
  • Funding!!! Tax. Can’t pay it.
  • Not enough money for resources.
  • Unfunded 2-3-year olds.
  • Funding.
  • Not enough funding.
  • Managing budgets, release time to do the work, communicating with business makers rather than educators.
  • Low funding, hard to staff, time to meet documentation expectations.
  • Funding, over 2 model doesn’t work.
  • Finances.
  • Funding and making the money go to the right places.
  • Lack of funding.
  • Funding for 100% trained.
  • Finances which enable everything else.
  • Lack of funding.
  • Money is tight at times,
  • Government funding!!
  • Lack of funding and teachers’ low wages.
  • The money to hire staff to have the extra pair of hands.
  • Labour government promised better funding for ECE but hasn’t delivered. In fact it was a budget that Hekia would of been proud of. It was a disgrace.
  • Funding is the biggest issue and that is why we pulled out of the collective but can’t afford to pay staff their worth for the amazing job they do.
  • Funding is low and as a non-profit centre with low income families it is a major struggle to make ends meet.
  • No funding to support the increase in wages for qualified teachers as well as minimum wage/living wage rises. No room to increase fees. Meeting qualified staff rates when teachers are sick or on annual leave and recruitment took 5months.
  • Knowing that we can’t just throw money at things, so my team are expert gardeners, fixers, social workers, cleaners… all after we’ve done a full day of teaching. Until the view changes that we matter as much as the day of the education sector, not much else will change.
  • The $$ amount per child needs to be increased in order for us to continue as a not-for-profit community kindergarten.
  • Funding for resources.
  • Money.  Don’t have to pay tax this year because made none last year.  Same wage for 10 years and working 60 hours as owner.
  • Lack of funding. Lack of extra money for equipment
  • Finances – teachers need paying more, need to employ more to cover the extra breaks required, employment law gone nuts, relief difficult to find, parents want everything for free so there are no chances to put fees up as parents will go somewhere else.
  • Financial support – from government to be able to pay wages, access PLD, and comply with all requirements.
  • Lack of funding needed to sustain services and provide care and education for vulnerable children, parents often not paying fees.
  • Inequality between kindergartens and care and education facilities. Also rise of big business in eve at the expense of privately-owned one-off centres and community-based centres who struggle without the economies of scale big companies achieve.
  • We are going to struggle to stay afloat as minimum wage increases have occurred again, which means other staff wages need to increase, but we have not had an increase in funding.  Costs are rising but funding does not increase to match this.
  • Financial strain on kindergarten is devastating.
  • Not well we are being restructured due to a lack of funding.
  • Lack of funding within this sector makes improvement difficult.
  • Need to bridge gap for tamariki whom turn 5yrs and choose to remain in ECE until legal school entry age of 6yrs, funding should at least cover 30 hours a week.
  • Not going well.  We are now moving to open during the holidays.

e) Child numbers, occupancy and competition

  • We are struggling with child numbers and with a $4,000,000 childcare centre opening up in the middle of our nearest town, this may negatively impact our numbers more with parents opting for convenience.
  • Our roll is declining with the number of new centres opening in the area 100 placements and so on.  We are only a small 30 placement centre.
  • The number of private centres opening within our community.
  • Number of enrolled children dropped.
  • Cohort entry have made it difficult to manage school leaver number.
  • Enrolment numbers.
  • We are struggling to find new enrolments.
  • Incoming enrolments-not many.
  • I would say our biggest problem is encouraging parents to bring their children. We do offer 3 free days but we don’t offer meals or long hours.
  • We are having to compete against pop up centres that don’t have fully qualified staff.
  • Privately owned cooperation’s are offering children free enrolments and deals etc, and then not offering quality environments for the children.
  • Too many centres being built, just down the road.
  • Struggle to increase enrolments, too many childcare options in the same community.
  • Keeping families in small community centres when larger ‘corporate’ centres are offering 20hrs ECE free for 2-year olds.
  • Lesser number of child enrolments at present.
  • Too many services in the area – there are more than 12 within a 1 km radius. None are full.
  • Filling child spaces.
  • Attracting families, in an area with an overflow of services.
  • Enrolments children due to a lot of centres in area.
  • The lack of enrolments due to a large number of early childhood centres opening up recently.
  • Getting enough clients through the door.  Lots of centres in the area competing to get families.
  • Too many centres are being built.
  • So many new services opening when numbers don’t warrant them.
  • Low numbers due to competition in the area. 
  • Price wars as centres spring up everywhere. Lack of planning and oversight in some suburbs.
  • Competition from larger chain centres in close proximity to our centre. Being a community centre with limited resources and revenue we cannot compete.
  • Low occupancy.
  • We have a New Shoots centre opening early next year in Kerikeri where the other 13 centres are not full.
  • Too many ECE centres opening up and flooding the market. As a community not-for-profit kindergarten, it is hard to compete.
  • Child recruitment due to too many centres in the area.
  • Large centres constantly opening and marketing free hours and bring a friend etc, basing ECE choice on free money rather than what best suits the child’s needs.
  • Too many centres opening.
  • Retainment of children due to new bigger centres/companies offering free hours for all ages.
  • Less families attending our service due to society preferring parents to return to paid work.
  • Getting additional children, high need for day care rather than preschool.
  • Some parents would rather stay home with the child if they get more money doing so, but if they get more when the parents are in employment, this may improve.
  • Not enough children in our area and too many centres opening.
  • Not enough children enrolled.
  • Dwindling roll numbers.
  • Too many ECE centres in 1 area.
  • Getting new enrolments to join as there are so many centres around now.
  • Private centres in our area offering Free 20 hours for 2-3 years olds which we can’t compete with as we would then have to drop below Ministry ratios and our children would then suffer.
  • Centres opening close to each other, large centres are having issues filling space, funding dropped for 2 to 3 years children is not working. Business is in loss as rents are very high.
  • Enrolment numbers due to new centres popping up everywhere.
  • Too much emphasis on private sector, competitiveness so no one has full rolls so funding is affected.
  • Too many new centres meaning enrolments are down.
  • Too many centres opening up in close proximity.
  • More centres in area along with low birth rates 3 years ago.
  • Unmonitored levels of new licenses.
  • At the moment we are struggling financially having had 12 children transition to school over the last year. We are in the CBD which is only just beginning to revive.

f) Supporting children and families

  • Accessing services for vulnerable children and families. Anxiety and mental health issues for children.
  • The large number of children with extra learning needs (from poverty situations). Of a roll of 30 children, we only have about 3-5 that wouldn’t qualify to go on learning register being implemented. Speech & language levels very low & no outside agency support available.
  • Non-contact time in private childcare is limited.  There is not enough time for authentic and high-quality assessments of children.
  • 5-year olds being kept back by schools as behaviour issues very hard on ECE teachers as not all teachers qualified and have understanding of dealing with behaviours.
  • Lack of resources and funding for the children and families that need it the most.
  • We also have a lot of children with additional needs and do not receive a lot of support from early intervention specialists etc and many of our teachers have little training regarding additional needs.
  • Access to DECENT intervention. Therapists should be available now – not months and months down the track nor just before a child goes to school.
  • We are attracting children and families with additional needs without any extra support with 50% of our roll being identified having additional needs or being observed. This varies from special education, speech and language, foster children, referrals to CYFS or unstable home environments.
  • Managing challenging behaviour. Solo and blended families.
  • We need more resources for the centre, like professional development in biculturalism and for children with additional needs who need a one-on-one attention. It would be rich to have a support teacher for these children, to take the load off the other teachers.
  • Lots of High needs children, with no extra support teachers.
  • Access to support for people with extra learning needs.
  • Interaction with parents, as a coordinator I get to see children and educators. Parents are too busy to come to Whanau evenings as well.
  • We as teachers do not have the time of experience and are fearful for our own safety at times to be able to support and help the children and families who attend our service and in a timely manner. Sometimes it takes so long to get the help which is desperately required.
  • We are seeing more high need tamariki who’s behaviour and conditions consistently put others a risk.
  • Getting our children access to outside services.
  • Carry over of communication between workers.
  • Access to early intervention services.
  • High family needs.
  • Education Support Workers need them.
  • Lack of intervention services for children with learning difficulties and its getting worse.
  • Unable to access sufficient support for priority learners.
  • Specialist support needed for children under referral and not enough help available. So stressful and upsetting for children, families, teachers – it affects quality of care for whole centre as ratios are not taking these children into account. It is heart-breaking.
  • Lack of time to spend with children who definitely require more behavioural and learning guidance than others do.
  • Dramatic changes to welfare of children.
  • Baby farming.
  • More children that require extra support through Early Intervention and not enough support available.
  • Struggling to get support services on board fast enough.
  • Getting referrals seen to fast enough.
  • Early intervention support extremely hard to access and continually having hours cut or no child support staff to fill hours.
  • Irregular child attendance If it is cold, wet or they have no money for food tamariki do not come.
  • Availability of early intervention specialists, too hard to access them, not enough to go around.
  • Lack of external support from other services (early intervention or our public health nurse).
  • Low attendance mostly due to poverty of whaanau in community. Recurring illness and lack of transportation. Impacts funding.
  • Time frame of any referrals being followed up. The demand for service is huge for special need-based referral.
  • High need children, not enough time/help. This includes 2-year olds and children who have experienced trauma. 
  • Mixed age from three months to five years.  While we are within regulations it is not quality care for any of the children due to the teachers being too stretched.
  • Trying to access early intervention.
  • Lack of funding needed to sustain services and provide care and education for vulnerable children; parents often not paying fees.
  • Lack of support from early intervention.
  • My educator doesn’t work school holidays.
  • Wait time for early intervention.
  • High ratios with multiple children needing extra support and getting none.
  • Early intervention services, funding, ratios too high.
  • Access to early intervention, crowded environments.
  • Supporting parents to understand the value of Te Whariki.
  • Trying to access early intervention.
  • Lack of resources for support with behavioural issues and assessment by GSE.
  • Children that needs intervention teachers, also need teacher aide & speech therapists for develop mentally delayed children.
  • Support for children with learning difficulties/ behavioural difficulties.
  • Access to early intervention not easy.
  • As a kindergarten we have more and more 2-year olds enrolling yet we still have ratios of 1-10… this means we are simply managing tamariki and no longer teaching which makes a mockery of my training and expertise.

g) Staff quality

  • Poorly trained staff. We have lots of young girls with an unrelated degree being hired as teachers.
  • Not working with likeminded teachers who haven’t got a clue about our tikanga. Working with staff who do not have an open mind to learning new ways the NZ way. Shortage of NZ staff etc.
  • Attracting teachers with fluency in te Reo Maori.
  • I think it comes down to ratios and staff being paid poorly. None of them have time (or inclination) to really stop and engage meaningfully with children. The problem is that increasing staff on the floor, will not increase wages. I would like to see all staff, in every service do refresher courses on positive and empathetic guidance, EVERY YEAR!
  • Not enough money to attract competent teachers.
  • Ageing staff workforce. No young Pasefika staff with the languages to support future Pasefika ECE.
  • Staffing practices, lack of knowledge among centres/teachers in relation to appropriate child behaviour management.
  • Lack of quality ECE knowledge (including the ability for a Grad Dip 1-year upgrade when people have no other history or knowledge of ECE or have an international certificate in a completely non-relevant area).
  • I worry that we may end up in the situation of low-quality staff.
  • Hiring loyal staff either in country or out of country. Staff not wanting to do the work.
  • Finding good quality passionate teachers.
  • Some educators are not that focused and need lots of education from Programme Coordinators from compliance to learning and understanding.
  • Quality of qualified staff.
  • Private Centres do not like if teachers join the Union so they can pay them less. Younger people are employed in senior positions so do you think the younger people will rather employ their peers.
  • Quality consistent staff.
  • Finding outstanding teachers who truly love being in ECE.
  • Teachers that are poorly trained (it’s hard when you have to carry a teacher).
  • The adult learning so we can have the trained members to run the sessions.
  • Lack of good professional teachers.
  • Quality staff with passion are a thing of the past.
  • Poor quality teacher training.
  • Staff lacking proper qualifications.
  • Lack of experienced teachers due to them leaving because of pay rates.
  • Different beliefs about learning and teaching makes confusion.
  • Teachers that are only there for their pay, preferring to clean rather than care.
  • Poorly skilled staff. Poor training.
  • Finding quality or registered teachers willing or able to do the required documentation.
  • Not having enough quality kaiako with the right knowledge, know-how, passion and respect for those tamariki.
  • Attracting well qualified, passionate, genuine staff.
  • Lack of professionalism within the sector.
  • Lack of Quality teachers.
  • Lack of quality applicants for qualified registered teachers.
  • I really worry about the calibre of teachers coming through.
  • Lack of professional attitude.
  • Finding great staff that care enough about everything to do the job right.
  • A lack of experienced, kind, caring ECE qualified teachers.
  • Lack of professional, intelligent, enthusiastic and knowledgeable graduating teachers.
  • Teaching passion/qualifications. There’s too big of a difference between the course providers. Enough qualified teachers who are passionate about working with children not just doing the basic and picking up their pay. 
  • Training given to student teachers, there is so much missing now.
  • Need more PLD regarding assessments & planning.

h) Regulations, requirements and government agency expectations

  • The constantly changing laws and legislation and legal requirements.  The sheer volume of paperwork, reporting etc that is required for both teachers and administrators.  For an independent kindy as we are, our staff wear many different hats and the extra stress is sometimes overwhelming.
  • Administration workload.
  • So much paperwork, bad pay, ratios, finding good teachers who love their jobs.
  • Ministry requirements not aligning well with Playcentre requirements.
  • We will lose many of our families if the Educators need to have a qualification. Many of our Nannies are older, so they don’t want to have to study at this stage, plus they have been Nannies for years. We will most likely lose our business.
  • Homebased qualifications becoming mandatory.  We will lose amazing educators, what a waste!
  • Worried about what is going to happen to tertiary sector training of ECE teachers.
  • When mums go on maternity leave, teacher registration should take in consideration child birth and raising and it should go towards their registration.
  • Ratios. We are centre wide licence so what looks good on paper doesn’t always work in the rooms.
  • Overload of evidencing – documentation – self-management requirements that all take away from quality time being spent with children.
  • Paperwork.
  • Not enough time to complete office work.
  • It was around the Safety Check and compliant. When I started this home based, I was the coordinator, the manager, the finance, the administrator and everything that makes the home based. I did the best I can to set up a home based because of my personal beliefs regarding early learning and caring and I witnessed and experience the struggles of our Pasifika families and those in low socio-economic families. I wanted to create a service that will help ease some of the struggles and worries of our families and to make sure that everyone that I’m serving will benefit from my small ECE home based, especially in regards to young children.
  • The paper work expectation from the Teaching Council for certification it’s completely over the top.
  • Too much focus on evidence, although I recently heard someone from the Teaching Council, talking about not have to provide so much evidence. The Teaching Council staff and MOE have begun to look at how they can bring a consistent voice to the direction they are on.
  • Having funding removed due to having untrained educators- the MOE has this wrong- qualified doesn’t always mean quality.
  • Keeping up with all the paperwork e.g. lock down policies, checks and balances.
  • Due to the proposed changes to the home-based sector our we may not be able to provide our families with high quality international au pairs as we have done in the past.
  • If they implement level 4 qualification, good services like ours will no longer be viable- that’s 400 children unable to attend homebased care.
  • Our profession not being valued and our voices constantly being ignored.  People above ticking boxes without much regard for those at the coal face.
  • Not being valued and recognised as the same as our kindergarten or primary school colleagues.
  • Additional paper work required by the MOE. We have moved digitally, however still required to print and get parents to sign numerous amounts of paper work every week.
  • Teachers registration and police vetting takes far too long!  This can often put a lot of pressure on others whom desperately need time off the floor to catch up with important paper work that we get put under the spot light when ERO comes through.
  • Recognition of the value of homebased educators.
  • Trying to up-skill our nannies and get paperwork required completed, this is always a struggle with expectations from the Ministry always increasing.
  • I would like to see lower ratios, but unless the ministry changes its requirements this won’t happen.
  • We will not be able to meet the ECE qualification requirements proposed by the Government, so ultimately this may mean we need to close down, or our service will not be funded any more and not as high quality.
  • The kindergarten model is something of the past now. These structural changes have impacted the quality of education and what’s best for children leading to changes that favour care models rather than education service models that align to the rest of the public education sector.
  • Meeting compliance requirements.
  • Not enough regulation and protection for children – there are some horrendous centres. Teachers are getting burned out too soon in their careers – the Ministry is not there listening to them or protecting them.
  • ERO and ministry of education expect the earth in incredible learning outcomes but aren’t willing to look after teachers.
  • Too much paperwork.
  • Lack of support, we are a small independently owned centre and as the manager I feel like I have no support, I feel the MOE is quick to provide us with extra paperwork etc however there is no follow through or guidance to support smaller centres.
  • The politicians have not idea!
  • Changes to Homebased are likely to result in the loss of great educators with not a lot of gain in return.
  • Frequent absence rule – because of the reasons above, absences can be high and then we get penalised and can’t collect approx. $10,000 worth of funding but we still employ staff!!
  • The funding for Au Pairs and them needing to have formal qualifications.
  • Police checks take too long to come back.
  • Adult education levels being unattainable by deadline dates set by NZPF/ MOE/ NZQA.
  • Accountability – legislative requirements are crippling.
  • Lack of time to complete all the legal paperwork.
  • Teachers whose second language is English are not given a chance to do level seven, the government need to put a fair tool for measuring English language competency as I see teachers who are New Zealand born with language difficulties as well.
  • Paperwork in way of reviews, planning, assessment, learning stories, teaching inquiry, too many documents in the sector.
  • Teacher registration process and changes. Very confusing messages.
  • Lots of little problems adding up, funding, quality staff availability, scoop of role of teachers growing with regulations, etc.
  • Little to no relievers, rules keep changing, technology always changing, ERO expectations have little regard to the realities of working with 40 children and 4 teachers. Having 2 years olds in a kindergarten setting. Little or no time to assimilate changes but the expectations continue to increase. Working in a deficit model – not catching us when we are good.

What is going well

Respondents were asked what if anything was going well. Their replies are quoted and summarised below.

Noticeable in these comments are references to management focused on people not on money, stable staff, good working conditions, a strong supportive team culture, being supported by parents and community, getting positive feedback, and a focus on professional learning and growth. 

Happy teachers seem to go hand in hand with happy children and happy parents and families.

a) Management

  • We have just won a major sustainability award.
  • We have had great ERO reports, have been regarded as a quality service, have 10 licences over the country, and in fact the MOE have used our model and recommend us as a good model to follow, have had ZERO compliance issues etc.
  • We have a great manager at the moment.
  • All day centre, senior management are trying their best to find teachers and offer incentives for teachers to stay.
  • Umbrella association support.
  • Support from wider school community.
  • Community engagement and support services collaboration.
  • We are able to maintain our connections and support for our Centre communities, through other resources.
  • Management real and understands.
  • We are a kindergarten and that means we are under an umbrella of governance from the association.
  • Supportive new committee.
  • Supportive team and management.
  • New management team!
  • I’m from a small ECE home based. Eighteen months ago, things were not looking good for us as a service, due to poor results found by ERO review, however, WE have worked tirelessly and consistently to improve our systems, structure and processes and things are improving so much.
  • Supportive umbrella organisation with good management practices, commitment to retaining 100% trained teachers.
  • Good management and happy staff.
  • I work in a centre where teachers are listened to, looked after and valued.
  • We have support from our umbrella organisation professionally. 
  • Day to day operation and we work on achieving our absolute best under the current circumstances.
  • We are always thinking of ways to improve our centre and this ensures we continue to move forward.
  • It’s ok but there is always room for improvement.
  • Management doing what they can do maintain conditions, even with gaps of qualified teachers.
  • Internal review.
  • Really well but not due to anything this government is doing.
  • We try to make things work.
  • Very supportive manager and team.
  • Good supportive bosses and community.
  • Things are going well in my centre. We have a good manager and an owner willing to spend money on resources.
  • Being private and having an owner who strongly believes in higher ratio, we are lucky enough to have a nice service for the children with qualified staff.
  • Leadership competencies.
  • Strong, adaptive upper management.
  • We have a fantastic manager who is aware and supportive of staff and their needs.
  • The service I teach at is known for better than required quality in ratios, environment and resourcing, and working conditions. A very good service to be part of.
  • In privately owned centre I am looked after well, the owners are doing well to retain the staff, our voices are heard when there is collective agreement around how processes need to work, great teachers and management who appreciate us.
  • Playcentre – Federation restructure is addressing the changes.
  • We consistently push to make improvements for children, families and staff.
  • Great management, good pay hours.
  • Have great managers.
  • Management is very good.
  • Supportive manager.
  • I now work for a privately-owned centre which is way better than (name of daycare chain). It was all about money and cramming as many kids in as they could
  • Association support.
  • We consistently have a board of trustees who are willing to make decisions for our children and staff to improve our service.
  • Culture of improvement.
  • We are small privately owned – we work our butts off, we are technically not very profitable, we insist on providing quality.
  • Passionate and inspiring manager.
  • Listening to community more.
  • Amazing manager.
  • Great company to work for.

b) Staff recruitment, retention and ratios

  • Good ratios.
  • Trying as much as possible to have better ratio.
  • We are doing really well in community based. We are fortunate to have passionate committed teachers who have been teaching together for over 11 years now.
  • We have a stable team of professional, 100% trained teachers we have grown a fantastic culture where manaakitanga is a core value.
  • Teachers are committed to teaching and to the company.
  • Low teacher turnover.
  • I am employed in an Early Childhood service (single private centre) which has its philosophy based on quality education and care. 4 teachers on 25 children.
  • Good teacher: child ratios.
  • Low staff turnover.
  • Holding staff.
  • Stable team of teachers with low turnover.
  • We have found new staff who were needed.
  • We are able to access Equity Funding which supports employing extra staff to assist with improved ratios – which improves safety of other children due to some children having special needs and behavioural challenges.
  • Male teachers are getting more in ratio of males and females. 
  • The staff that have been here for a while are loyal and generally happy.
  • We do have a great team of teachers with great ratios (at the moment).
  • We have really good staff members, but are finding it increasingly difficult to keep them – both financially and from a career perspective.
  • Amazing because we have a pool of amazing unqualified that can back and support our qualified teachers.
  • The ratios.
  • Finally, a full qualified team after 1 year of not.
  • Good ratios.
  • Above qualified staff ratios.
  • Good ratio above min requirement.
  • Great team good ratio good owners who put children before profit.
  • Privately owned so great ratios.
  • Our teacher/children ratios are much better than the private sector as we are community run with parent input.
  • All our permanent staff are fully qualified. Our roll sits at 70% which allows for quality.
  • We have ok ratios, we have a functioning group of teachers.
  • We continue to have somewhat stable staffing.
  • I work in a community-based centre so ratios are very good.
  • Quality ratios at the expense of the bottom line.
  • We have better than legal ratios which is better for the children and teachers.
  • Great ratios.
  • Long serving stable staff.
  • Good ratios for under 2s and 2 – 3.5 yr old.  
  • We have two staff in year 3 training and 1 in year 2. Next year will see us 100% trained teachers for the first time.
  • We are awesome. Well-staffed and full.  But that all comes at a cost.  My staff are amazing but I have a great ratio too.
  • Stable staff at the moment.
  • Staffing has been difficult but hopefully this has settled again finding new staff to replace three that left at the end of last year due to illness, and moving onto other things. 
  • We have a great team but can only get to 80% funded teachers. 
  • Our centre still provides our rohe with a quality service by this I mean we are still employing 100% qualified teaching staff.
  • Team of stable staff.
  • We have a great team with low staff turnover, we staff above MOE minimums.
  • We are keeping good quality teachers at the moment.
  • The ratio is improving and there are more qualified teachers hired.
  • Staffing has settled a bit (we have a huge staff turnover rate, with over 11 people leaving in 3 years. We are a team of 10.
  • 100% qualified staff, but no reward for going above and beyond minimums.
  • Fully staffed.
  • The ratios are great.
  • Ratios better due to lower rolls.
  • We have great ratios in the nursery I work for. 1-3 I’m loving it.
  • Good staff ratios.
  • Great ratios 1:3 & 1:6.
  • Maintaining of quality ratios 1:3 and 2:7, Retainment of staff.
  • Consistent staff.
  • We still have 100% qualified staff.
  • Retaining current staff we seem to do ok.
  • We have good ratios as we are non-profit community based.
  • We are lucky enough to have a great teaching team at present who are still passionate about working with children but this is not sustainable and the team is getting spread thin.
  • This centre has great ratios but this can be hard to maintain when there are no relievers.

c) Pay and conditions

  • I have a job.
  • New pay rates to align with kindy.
  • There is plenty of work available.
  • Funding is a struggle but we are a kindergarten and under the collective so work conditions are ok.
  • I’m paid well.
  • Well its nice that us ESW’s are no longer on minimum wage.
  • I’m in a fortunate position where our centre recognises the hard work of kaiako and pays them accordingly as well as providing safe non-contact hours.
  • We are a fabulous centre, with great people who work hard and are rewarded well for what we do.
  • Work conditions.
  • Good pay rate, 8 days sick leave, 2 days domestic leave, 4 hours non-contact, not for profit organisation.
  • As part of a Kindergarten Association, conditions are good and fair.
  • Have changed to working for a privately owned small independent organisation with better working conditions.
  • I relieve for the __ Kindergarten Association and I have been very impressed with the level of professionalism at management level and also among the staff. Children always coming first. This is in stark contrast to my previous place of employment which was a small privately-run centre and where I was paid below the minimum wage for my qualifications.
  • Great wages, excellent working conditions.
  • We are able to maintain our staff who are certified as we employee them under the ECECA. We have above minimum requirement ratio’s and offer Professional development and generous professional time.
  • My service values qualifieds and have realized the need to offer teachers incentives and benefits. For some this is enticing and helps a lot with living costs. They also give 50% child care fees so this helps with teachers returning.
  • I am in permanent employment and paid well compared to my other peers.
  • Improvement in wages.
  • We now have the opportunity of a four-day working week and a focus on staff wellbeing.
  • We have 6 weeks holiday and this includes closing for 10 working days over Christmas. This gives everyone a break at the same time, and every child gets a break.
  • We have maintained our teaching team and standards but have a nil profit given the number of voluntary hours I put in.
  • High level of care towards staff well-being and work/life balance.
  • Relationships with fellow teachers is positive.
  • I work for a highly professional organisation, where we as ECE teachers are valued and supported.  We have pay parity with primary teachers and receive 8 weeks holiday per year.  Teachers also have 1 afternoon each week for planning and assessment. We have 100% registered teachers and a professional, loving team.
  • I have just changed jobs from a workplace where the manager attempted to bully me (until I told her to stop) to a centre where I am treated well. It is a lovely centre but quite new and struggling to build numbers and get policies & procedures working.
  • I feel valued.
  • I enjoy the staff I work with. 
  • The child-adult ratio of homebased is perfect.
  • We are lucky to have only 20 children and 3 qualified and registered teachers. We work for a fantastic organisation.
  • Maintaining a roll of 30- its a great group size.
  • Top quality teachers and maintaining our professional time.
  • I’ve left full time teaching, now just relieving (no paperwork).
  • Priority on health and safety.
  • 2.5 hours non-contact a week, low staff turnover, paid PD.
  • Now I have changed to [working in] playcentre over an ECE centre, things are great.
  • Working hours.

d) Parent and community support

  • The one upside is that the children don’t realise they are in appalling services. Children like to please, so end up behaving like the good little robots to churn out.
  • We provide quality care and education that is recognised globally with visitors coming to our centre every year.
  • Low parent complaints.
  • Happy parents thanking us on every occasion.
  • Parents are very happy and children are the core of what we do.
  • Our families are happy with the service we provide.
  • Positive feedback from families.
  • Whanau support hugely our expertise and professionalism.  They see the amazing/loving/respectful experiences we have with their tamariki and we are appreciated.
  • Parent support.
  • Majority of our families are awesome and appreciative of what we do.
  • Great community support.
  • The view of our community for the work we do is positive.
  • We have supportive families.
  • Great families who understand how hard our job can be.

e) Funding / financial operation

  • Well-resourced and staffed.
  • Paper work – having the money to pay for independent consultants to do the work.
  • We are fortunate to have equity funding here which we use to benefit our tamariki health and well-being, resources, excursions etc.
  • We are having to amalgamate to stay afloat….so our jobs are secure for the time being.
  • Government is subsiding the families to get children into Kindy and learn.
  • Parents willingness to pay the optional charge which then allows us to do some more of things we want to do for our community of learners.
  • Having SELO funding.
  • Going well, we are lucky to be community based not for profit.
  • SELO and Ka hui Ako support for ECE.
  • Business seems to be booming.
  • We are keeping our heads above water.
  • Small local run business.
  • Beautiful centre, excellent resource and flexibility. 
  • We exceed all expected minimums for quality.
  • We are super lucky with our centre – really wouldn’t change a thing.
  • Being not for profit, being able to provide lower ratios.
  • We are holding up but it has challenges to keep that going. Every $ must be accounted for.
  • A centre that values low staff ratios (1/7) by having a wage percentage of 80% of turnover.

f) Child numbers, occupancy and competition

  • Parents are loyal and we are attracting new families.
  • The vulnerable children are coming more often.
  • Targeting different groups, participation from low socio-economic areas.
  • More enrolments.
  • We are getting enough children.
  • Enrolments are great.
  • We have wonderful teacher/family relationships, we get a lot of enrolments through word of mouth.
  • We are luckily going well and have a good name with our families/clients.
  • We have good word of mouth referrals.
  • Our quality is still high and families that use and know our service are loyal and want to remain with us.
  • Pretty good. Fully booked, waiting list, parents and teachers are happy.
  • We are busy because we offer 30 hours free for children.
  • We are full and families are bringing their next children to start.
  • We are doing really well, our numbers are pretty good and have a waiting list, so there is definitely a need.
  • Our waiting list is full.
  • A growing service.
  • We have good occupancy rates.
  • Children are still being born and parents are still needing to go back to work to pay their bills.
  • High waiting list.
  • Good full rolls.
  • Good occupancy rates & stable staff team.
  • High enrolment numbers.
  • We have a full role with a 6-month waiting list, we do not need to advertise due to great relationships with our families and word of mouth advertising.
  • We have full capacity.
  • Most of the time our roll is full.
  • We Are full – with a license of 100 – low turnover for staff so something is going well
  • We have full rolls with a waiting list.
  • We are at capacity for children and have a full team of staff. 
  • We are currently engaging in renovations and carrying the cost of this (owned by a non-for-profit Trust) so there are some exciting things going to happen and we will be able to increase our capacity to promote attendance.
  • Steady enrolments.
  • Demand/occupancy.
  • Good level of enrolments (could be better but we have a lot of centres in our area).
  • Small private family owned, high ratios, full rolls great local reputation.
  • Full rolls long waiting list consistent permanent staff.
  • Members base is extending.
  • We are a new centre. Things seem to be going pretty well so far.
  • Rolls are full.
  • We continue to have a high demand at our particular centre of children wanting to attend.
  • We are having to turn away new families as we don’t have enough space.
  • Full roll.
  • Child numbers are up.
  • We are maintaining good attendance/occupancy.
  • Membership numbers are up.
  • Toll numbers.
  • Rolls are near full or 80% or more.
  • Consistent teaching team with a wonderful community of families and whanau that make up regular enrolments.
  • We have high occupancy, and very committed staff – not experiencing difficulty filling positions in all but one area of our region – the hard to fill is a long-standing geographic issue.
  • Numbers attending.
  • We are busy lots of word of mouth many people like our service.
  • We are settled and looking ahead.
  • Roll numbers up.
  • We have lots of children attending.
  • Loyalty of existing customers.
  • OK at the moment but getting increasing pressure from new centres opening who are discounting heavily and trying to poach families.
  • Enrolments.
  • High demand. Occupancy has been consistently high for several years now.
  • Roll is increasing despite competition.
  • Demand and programme still holding.
  • Targeted funding has helped families attend the centre.
  • TPF has enabled us to financially assist families to access ECE and to provide extra resources in areas of need.  It is just not sufficient to meet the needs of the families we deal with.
  • Our roll is always full and have great ratios due to working in a community-based centre.
  • We offer a fee-free service which is allowing vulnerable families access to ECE.  Government funding for our service is needed and appreciated.
  • We have very happy and loyal families who are very happy with the service and would highly recommend us.
  • We are full! Parents need us.
  • Full enrolment.
  • Our rolls are increasing.
  • Great occupancy and team.
  • Number of children.
  • Enrolment are up. Incredible years course is having an awesome impact.
  • There’s lots of children wanting to enrol.
  • Full capacity.
  • We are in high demand in our community with a full role and long wait list.
  • Good community reputation.
  • We have a full role and a wait list.
  • Roll is full for first time in a couple of years.
  • Occupancy.
  • Enrolments.
  • We are small and one off so we are building numbers.
  • We are the only centre in community. No competition.
  • Our numbers are good.
  • Waiting list is over flowing.
  • Roll / waitlist till end of the year.
  • Well, though we do have more competition from the increase in the number of centres.
  • Our strong Montessori philosophy has helped us gain an edge in a very competitive market
  • Our rolls have increased.
  • Good number of enrolments.
  • Full lots of children and families.
  • Offer free hours.
  • Full roll.
  • Occupancy is all going really well. 

g) Supporting children and families

  • Home based services are proving an excellent curriculum which has a truly individual approach, has a variety opportunity for implementing them comparing with the centre-based services.
  • The relationship-based child led practice is inclusive to all children and their whanau and shows that we are strong in our practice.
  • Parent involvement.
  • Providing high quality education for our tamariki and ability to develop a service curriculum to meet our community.
  • Quality care.
  • Our children are happy in their play.
  • We are doing very well, and really enjoy the diversity of care that we are able to provide for our families. It allows families to have choices and know that their language and culture will be kept alive. We also offer immense support to families and educators through various mediums, agencies, professional development, one on one consultations. We value the interests of children as paramount in our business and ECE sector.
  • Families love Playcentre.
  • Our centre is going well as reflected in the happiness and wellbeing of children and whanau.
  • Our centre is doing really well. Children are happy, parents are happy.
  • Low number of children hence children get more attention.
  • Seeing the differences that HIPPY makes to the whole whanau.
  • We provide choice to NZ families who chose not to put their children into preschool or Kindergarten.
  • I’m lucky that we are a special centre so therefore able to provide individualised support for each family.
  • Lots of fun activities, loads of regular and spontaneous excursions several times each week.
  • Amazing children.
  • Children and parents are happy, content and loved.
  • Parent teacher interactions, positive outcomes for our tamariki.
  • Early Learning Support for tamariki with additional learning needs at my centre, which is supporting better learning outcomes for tamariki.
  • Building relationships.
  • We are a community preschool centre, so have great family support, and are running some fantastic programs in the community.
  • Our curriculum, team, quality of educations and care.
  • We are a small community with a very supportive community so that everyone has access to an ECE centre that is safe, inclusive of all ages and nurturing.
  • Small centre with committed teaching team so strong relationships with families.
  • Great community involvement.
  • Our au pairs (with our teacher support and guidance) provide a high-quality service to our families who have chosen to have an au pair as it best suits the needs of their children and family.
  • A small community-based service who understands the community we work with.
  • Everything is going very well, lots of very educated parents, happy form a trusting, knowledgeable environment.
  • Uplifting of families and children.
  • Positive engagement with tamariki and their whanau, tamariki developing skills and knowledge, transmission of Te Reo Maori (for those educators who deliver in Te Reo Maori), participation, whanau engagement, local curriculum, celebrating te ao Maori.
  • Relationship building with whānau and tamariki.
  • Relationships.  Support for families.
  • We have identified what our children know and what they need to know.  We have built strong relationships with children and integrate literacy and numeracy into everything that they do.
  • Happy children and families.
  • Family and community.
  • We work hard in our community and have great relationships with our whanau.
  • Home based educators- are able to provide a service to families who want their tamariki in a home environment, which we know is the best environment for our youngest children.
  • Locally we are having some interest in ECE training which we are actively encouraging and will support in our Centre.
  • Relationships with children.
  • Good relationships are built. Children are happy.
  • We all working to help the tamariki learn.
  • Relationships with families and children.
  • Lovely building and community. That’s about all.
  • Parental involvement.
  • Quality of learning for tamariki.          
  • Relationships with whanau.
  • Happy whanau, confident and competent tamariki.
  • Our policy ‘all about children’.
  • The programme we deliver, the children are happy, loved and cared for.
  • Supporting second language learners.
  • We have a large out door area and a good community whom donate their time and services where they can to help maintain it.
  • Great relationships with families, great engagement with children.
  • Children are happy and learning.
  • Pleasantness to whaanau, effort to inform, effort to create activities for children to do.
  • I work in a Playcentre and we are achieving lots of goals for our Tamariki and their needs are being meet. We are able to do excursions and have parents learning and playing alongside their child.
  • Relationships between children, whānau and teachers because ECE Teachers are professionals who work over and above their job descriptions and pay to provide the best that they can for children and whānau.
  • Outcomes for children despite kaiako being paid rubbishly.
  • We are mixed licensed which I love…. our tamariki and whanau are happy.
  • Quality service/programme, happy tamariki/whanau,
  • Great access to Ministry support for children with extra needs, however this doesn’t happen as quickly as we need it.
  • Kids are great.
  • Child led play, whanau commitment and involvement, Te Whāriki on session.
  • Families and children are awesome to work with and you see changes happening.
  • Incredible Years Programme has given us more skills to support behaviour needs.
  • The children are just as beautiful.
  • There are some wonderful tamariki.
  • Great relationships with our parents and community.
  • Building relationships with whanau.
  • Children happy.
  • Happy children and families.
  • Dedicated teachers in a wraparound social service model.
  • The relationships with whanau.
  • In my context (Kindergarten) we have got very good at advocating for what we do, for being a voiced for our whānau and tamariki not just in the Kindergarten gate, but supporting them beyond that.
  • Strong networks and support with early learning services, we have a great group from learning support who go above and beyond to support our children.
  • Whanau focused and quality care.
  • Seeing specialist people coming into help children more.
  • Relationships between tamariki and their whanau.
  • Staff are good we focus on the children and the paper work gets done, we have many challenging children and to me as the owner they come first and the safety of the children and the teachers it’s not about excluding them it’s about helping them and the other children and families.
  • Our centre has a great team of teachers who all work really hard building a great relationship with children, families, and the wider community.
  • The love for the children.
  • The quality care we provide for our children.
  • Currently a good team who care and support the children in their learning.
  • Happy children.

h) Staff quality, professional and personal attributes

  • Student applications from a higher calibre of candidates.
  • Lovely and caring teacher, happy children learning things every day, giving cuddles and 100% trusting and loving our teachers back.
  • Amazing teachers.
  • I am a passionate teacher working in a small rural community centre.  I love working with the children.
  • Very loyal hardworking staff.
  • Great team who have a lot of heart.
  • The teachers are dedicated and competent.
  • Great teachers.
  • We are getting better at doing what we do.
  • Teachers are doing a fantastic job in the circumstances they are in currently.
  • Really well. We only have one teacher not up to quality.
  • Passionate, dedicate, caring teachers doing their best despite the environment. I work with wonderful colleagues.
  • Fantastic, fully qualified team.
  • We have 100% qualified teachers – A wonderful team of teachers.
  • The team are very committed and passionate about teaching and strive to support our tamariki and whānau with learning and also other needs that we can help with.
  • The high quality and dedication of the teaching team.
  • Commitment by the teachers to the children (passion).
  • We have a staff team who want to be in the profession for the children and are aware of the needs of the children and families they work alongside.
  • We have great staff.
  • Quality teachers.
  • There are a few hardy dedicated and passionate teachers.
  • Amazing teaching team. Dedicated and committed.
  • We have wonderful teachers.
  • We have a great team who support our educators.
  • Having dedicated and passionate teachers.
  • Teachers are passionate and hardworking.
  • Some educators are really dedicated and are providing the best service that anyone can endure.
  • We have great staff.
  • Lots of positives, we have a great teaching team and a wonderful learning community.
  • Committed and dedicated staff.
  • The mahi I’m doing is going well.
  • Teachers are amazing, can do the best they can.
  • Dedicated teachers.
  • Teachers passionate about their job.
  • Experienced teachers could be a great asset in supporting trainee teachers.
  • High quality staff.
  • Teachers are dedicated and still work hard and long hours in times that are far from ideal.
  • Passionate about our job, and this reflects in the practice; planning and assessment.
  • There is still some staff with passion.
  • The teachers are there for the right reasons but there is just not enough of us.
  • Teachers efforts are great to keep up with the provision of quality education.
  • I have a group of amazing, caring and dedicated teachers who want to provide the children in their care wonderful opportunities to play, explore, learn and develop relationships (just to name a few things).
  • Fantastic team of motivated staff.
  • Committed and experienced staff.
  • Dedication of the teachers.

i) Team culture

  • Our team is tight and we have each other’s backs.
  • Great team which gets us through.
  • Staff get on well and collaborate regularly.
  • Passionate team morale.
  • Team work.
  • Well working team.
  • Team work, planning, team commitment to philosophy.
  • A small team, flexible routines so we help get everything done.
  • Team gets on well.
  • Team culture is on the improve.
  • Great team.
  • Team approach.
  • Teamwork but we are all so fatigued.
  • Strong team, consistency.
  • We have a strong cohesive team who support each other and we bend over backwards for our families.
  • Great team of teachers, strong relationships, in depth planning and documentation
  • Working together as a team, because at the end of the day it is all about the children.
  • We have a lovely and positive team work environment.
  • Team works well together.
  • Good team that work well together.
  • The team works well.
  • Supportive team. Good relationships.
  • Collegial support.
  • Great teamwork.
  • Team culture is getting better.
  • A team working well together at slightly above minimum ratios.
  • We have an excellent staff and have enjoyed our TLIF project, which has brought benefits all round.
  • Chugging along with planning and mentoring.
  • We are a small (30 children) who has a great team of teachers who really are passionate about what they do. They have stated that they feel appreciated and valued which makes a difference.
  • Growth as a team in planning and responding to children’s learning and acknowledging identity.

j) Professional learning, development and teaching foci

  • Investment in teachers – providing more PD.
  • More awareness of gaining qualifications.
  • Getting educators up to level four is going well.
  • More professional development readily available.
  • Updated Te Whāriki, great learning opportunities for Kaiako.
  • We have training for educators which is working well. We also are able to monitor educators and children.
  • Lots of PD.
  • Greater inclusion both culturally and training of staff to manage special needs children.
  • I am pleased with kaiako growing knowledge of implementing Te Whāriki 2017 strengthen localised curriculum and whānau engagement.  I believe there are still centres to grow their leadership capabilities so that they are growing this within their service.
  • In-service mentoring and professional development.
  • Staff are supported and guided well.
  • Appraisal process, and developing leadership skills in the sector.
  • A priority on PD and appraisal reviews are informative with a focus on striving for and achieving set goals.
  • I feel well supported to keep teaching and learning.
  • Greater recognition of the benefits of nature based free play.
  • Loving the new Te Whariki and Codes and Standards.
  • Biculturalism.
  • Curriculum planning.
  • Teachers are working on their best practice, really looking at quality teaching.
  • Te reo Maori in our centre is evident and alive.
  • I’m at a four-year review with good conditions very supportive with great PD.
  • Focus on sustainability.
  • Our curriculum, the new revision is great, making us much more aware of our local curriculum.
  • We love our kindergarten. We are an enviro-school with way above the ratio of land per child, we have free roaming animals whom our children adore!
  • I have a great team of teachers whom I work with who can support me in my own personal learning journey.
  • I’m in a supportive, professional environment that supports me while I study my degree.

k) Regulations, requirements and government agency expectations

  • New qualifications for educators. 
  • Services that are not up to licensing standards are being shut down which is great!
  • Improvements are being made [at our centre] due to investigation from MOE.
  • Good recent ERO report.
  • We have had great ERO reports, have been regarded as a quality service, have 10 licences over the country, and in fact the MOE have used our model and recommend us as a good model to follow, have had ZERO compliance issues etc.


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