Media Releases

NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes increase to pay parity funding

14 Dec 2022

NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes the 4.5% increase to pay parity funding for ECE centres announced by the Ministry of Education yesterday, but for full pay parity to be delivered the funding system needs an overhaul.

The currently low levels of opt-in to pay parity for early childhood teachers make it clear that much more needs to be done to ensure it is delivered across the whole sector.

Currently 34% of ECE providers have indicated they will opt in to the Government’s extended pay parity funding rates, designed to close the pay gap between ECE teachers and their kindergarten counterparts.

“While the extra funding should encourage more providers to opt-in to pay parity, this is done on the back of a broken funding system,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford.

““In order to deliver pay parity to deserving kaiako across the sector, the funding system for ECE needs to be overhauled. Future funding needs to be transparent and set to ensure parity right through the pay scale, including management.”

The announced increase comes after strong advocacy from union members and others in the sector calling for funding levels that allow centres to deliver quality ECE.

“ECE kaiako have waited too long for pay parity, and while the increased funding announced yesterday is welcome, we encourage the government to move faster on its commitment to delivering parity to all ECE kaiako,” Mr Rutherford says.

According to the Ministry the additional funding could increase the opt-in rate to 40%, meaning pay increases for approximately 1,000 additional teachers.

The new funding rates will be available from 1 January 2023.