What does the issue of staff to student ratios mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

This term, due to low enrolments, our kindergarten management asked us to accept even the youngest two year-olds for all-day sessions – a big shift from our 3 – 4 yr old programme.

We have all worked hard, and used all our teaching skills. In spite of our efforts, we feel unable to provide quality care and teaching – not only for the two year olds, but also or the older tamariki. At times it feels unsafe.

Management failed to offer support with this big transition. We have had to find extra Teacher Aide hours from our existing budget – and that Teacher Aide support does not get close to covering the extra time required for settling, toileting, sleeping and other basic care needs of our two year olds. There must be a teacher/student ratio specific for this age-group.

What will it take to fix staff to student ratios?

Specific ratio for two year olds: 1:7 I don’t know how that would look in mixed age setting. Or lower ratio across the whole group.

When we fix staff to student ratios, what impact will that change have on you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

Calm environment, where kaiako can be responsive to care needs and able to offer a rich learning environment, suitable for all ages.

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