Child kneeling at the top of a slide.

ECE Voice

Early childhood teachers do an incredibly important job.

But their pay lags up to 52% behind kindergarten and primary teachers with the same skills, qualifications and responsibilities. That's not OK.

If we want Aotearoa to be the best place in the world to raise a child, valuing all of the teachers that work with them is a great place to start. We're asking the government to act now and fix the gap.

The asks

We're working towards better pay and conditions across the board in the ECE sector. 

  1. Livable wages for all ECE kaiako and support staff that reflect their expertise and the importance of their work.
  2. Lower ratios and more non-contact time to ensure tamariki get the attention and support they need.
  3. A Fair Pay Agreement for the sector, outlining minimum conditions as negotiated between kaiako and employers.
A group of members in #LOUD4ECE t-shirts and facemasks.

The first 1000 days are the most important

Aotearoa should be the best place in the world to raise our children. The early years play a key role in children's brain development, and early childhood teachers greet children at the beginning of a lifelong education journey.

There’s a lot of important stuff happening in the brain during the first 1000 days. The future of our physical, cognitive, emotional and social development is deeply affected by our early experiences. At the heart of these experiences are the relationships children form with their parents, their first teachers and their Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings.

ECE teacher with a group of children standing in front of her.

ECE teachers deserve more

Right now, there’s a crisis in ECE. Low pay and underfunding mean thousands of teachers are leaving the profession every year. There’s a critical shortage of qualified ECE teachers. We’ve got more of our children in ECE than ever before, but there are 55% fewer people training to be ECE teachers than 10 years ago. We aren’t keeping and attracting great teachers.

Despite being just as qualified, ECE teachers are paid up to 31.8% less than their colleagues in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. ECE teachers are asking the Government to urgently invest in our youngest children. We urgently need to fix the pay gap and fund services to provide quality care and education.

Sign up to the campaign

Value early childhood education? We need your voice! If you agree, join your voice with ours and let’s fix the pay gap in early childhood.

Related campaigns

Take a look at our current campaigns and find out how you can get involved.