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Teachers face ramped up fees

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/04/2017

Teachers are being asked to pay ramped up fees at the same time as the government slashes the amount its spends on supporting child care centres, an early learning lobby says.

It comes as annual teacher registration fees could be hiked from $73 to $170 under a proposal by teachers' representative body, Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (Educanz).

The fee has typically been covered by child care centres on behalf of their teachers, Early Childhood Council chief executive Peter Reynolds says.

But early learning centres would not be able to do that for the increased fee because they had already been hurt by numerous funding cuts since the government's 2010 Budget, Mr Reynolds said.

"These cuts had slashed more than $90,000 a year from an average 50-child centre budget," he said.

"Many early childhood education centres were in no shape to endure either further funding cuts or further increases in user charges."

If centres passed the fee onto teachers to pay, it could cost jobs in expensive cities, like Auckland, where they are already under pressure from high rents and living expenses, Mr Reynolds said.

Educanz, which is funded by teacher fees and the government, said it had proposed the registration hike because the fee had not risen since 2010.

The council must also become self-sufficient from July 2019, when government funding runs out.

"Without an increase in fees, the council will face a $9.595 million annual shortfall," it said.

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