Push For More Qualified Early Childhood Education Teachers In New Zealand

Saturday 30 July 2022, 4:45PM
By Premium SEO NZ


New Zealand has been battling a general teacher shortage for a number of years. While this shortage impacts all school phases, it is particularly pronounced in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) phase. That’s because while older children can better navigate disruptions associated with shifting teachers and class sizes, younger children are more adversely affected by a lack of consistency and structure.

Many ECE centres are also finding it difficult to replace teachers exiting the profession. The result is larger class sizes, with remaining teachers having to take on more stress and greater workloads as they are now required to do work that should have gone to a new replacement.

One reason why ECE centres are struggling is that there are limited student-teachers entering the field. Teaching as a profession, in general, has seen a steady decline, year on year, with other fields offering seemingly better opportunities and pay. The pandemic led to a further sharp rise in teachers leaving the profession, as many did not wish to return to in-person instruction, or found employment in other sectors.

All is not hopeless, however, as NZ still performs well across its education phases when compared to other nations. NZ has also proven to be dedicated to stimulating and supporting ECE, as the nation understands the critical value its successful foundation plays in a child’s development and later adult success. As such, calls are being renewed to promote ECE qualifications, with affordable and comprehensive student programmes being offered in ECE in Auckland as well as other cities across the country.

The hope is that as a new generation of ECE-qualified teachers enters the field, current burdens placed on teachers will be relieved, and the profession will see a general positive uptake, which could promote further growth and better education outcomes for learners.