Dr Sarah’s Observations on Funding and Pay Issues

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About Dr Sarah’s Observations.

Right now, there are a lot of issues in the early childhood education and care sector. In this publication, early childhood expert Dr Sarah Alexander provides information and a lens through which current issues can be seen and understood. “I have started this free publication with the aim of distributing what I’ve learnt and how it applies to current ECE issues to reach a wider audience.”

Publication will be as a pdf document approximately every 3 – 4 weeks (monthly).
This is available for anyone interested in ECE, including journalists, policy advisors, political leaders, parents, teachers, service owners, and children’s organisations.

There is considerably more information than can fit into this publication.  Those wanting more detailed information and data can find extra material and add comments and questions in the members’ area:

Latest Dr Sarah’s Observations


Dr Sarah’s Observations,12 June 2023, key points:

  • The effects on each type of ECE service and teachers from the primary teachers’ pay settlement.
  • There is a new base salary scale for pay parity. Also, see here the further increases at Steps 7 – 11 that are to come in.
  • Inequities:
    • The ministry allows teacher-led centres to keep funding intended for manager pay if their manager is not a certificated teacher.
    • Outside of kindergarten associations, the ministry does not peg the pay of ECE teachers to school teachers and this not what a petition of more than 14,000 people called for.
    • The ministry is covering the cost of Teaching Council fees for beginning teachers in kindergarten assns and for renewal of practising certificates in Primary Schools. Why not do this for all and stop disadvantaging teachers in other ECE services?
    • Persons Responsible are required to be certificated teachers. Their responsibility is similar to that of an area school principal whose salary is based on roll size.
    • Primary school teachers only are getting a lump sum payment of $3,000. This payment is on top of salaries/wages. This effectively renders pay parity as not pay parity for ECE teachers.
  • A centralised pay system is being implemented for Kohanga Reo. In the rest of the ECE sector it would make life easier for service providers and give consistency in pay to teachers if government paid what services owed to teaching staff directly – i.e., if ECE services were added to the Education Pay Roll – Edpay
  • The Funding Review by the Ministry of Education has been superseded by the Budget 2023 announcement of the same funding as kindergartens to all other education and care centres that paid their staff on the full KTCA pay scale.
  • As a result of the funding review should the ministry separate funding into operational and salaries, it will still not address the financial disadvantage experienced by smaller ECE services over larger ECE operations with their economies of scale.
  • There is no sense of protection for the qualification of ECE teaching in the Funding Review.
  • There is no plan for how the Ministry will ensure that services don’t churn through staff as they become experienced and cost more in salaries.

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