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New Zealand's teacher shortage has hit preschools, with a workforce survey indicating a third of centres struggle to fill vacancies. A survey of the Early Childhood Council's (ECC) 1200 members showed a significant shortage of qualified staff has developed in the past 18 months. One in three centres has at least one vacancy, and the average time needed to fill a role has increased to 97 days from 72 days last October.
Gems Educational Childcare centres have some unique ideas on how to secure the happiness and loyalty of their teachers, including their annual team challenge, whereby they allocate a set amount of cash for the challenge, set teams, and sometimes a theme. The idea is to create a resource that is needed, useful and beautiful for their environment. There is of course, in true Gems style, a focus on the natural, up-cycling and recycling.
They have found that this is a great event - fun, competitive, purposeful, creative and an amazing reflection of their teams. It brings the team together, working in their own time to design, accumulate materials and assemble their resources. Reflective of their children’s needs and interests they are resourceful, creative and most of all fun.
To flourish, children need to feel safe and secure. As well as the relationship with their primary caregiver, the environment is critical for them. A child thrives at home, so the team have made Gems a natural extension of home for them. This is central to their underlying philosophy, so for more information on childcare, daycare and farm schools please go to http://www.gems.net.nz .