Teachers at more than 170 early-childhood-education centers in New Zealand are on their way to earning the same pay as regular school teachers, under a new collective-bargaining agreement reached between the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa union.
This year’s raises, which teachers began receiving last month, range from 2.4 percent to 12 percent. By 2008, when the increase is fully phased in, an average salary for a preschool teacher with eight years of experience should rise from $37,600 to $56,400, or about $38,970 U.S.
The pay increases are part of the $523 million the government is spending on early-childhood services in the current, 2005-06 fiscal year. The budget also includes money to help more teachers receive professional development in order to become fully registered, or certified.
Colin Tarr, the president of the union, said in a press release: “Research shows that the key to providing children with a quality education in their early years is to have them taught by qualified and registered teachers.”
A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2005 edition of Education Week