A new lobby group for privately owned early childhood centres wants more money from the government to pay teachers better and achieve pay parity with kindergarten, primary and secondary school teachers.
The newly formed group 'Advocates for Early Learning Excellence' says it represents nearly one quarter of the ECE sector.
Currently all providers - whether for profit or not - are funded to provide 20 hours free early childhood education, and at least half of their staff must be qualified ECE teachers.
Spokesperson for the new group Michelle Pratt, owner the New Shoots Early Childhood Centres in Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, says it is hard to find qualified staff and low decile areas in particular are suffering under the current funding system.
She talks with Lynn Freeman, along with Chief Executive of NZ Kindergartens, Jill Bond.