What does the issue of staff to student ratios mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?
In my experience, the minimum ratio of 1:5 for under 2s is grossly inadequate. It is a very real struggle to meet even their basic physical needs in a timely manner with the care they deserve most of the time, let alone be able to provide the kind of quality experiences and teacher attention they require for healthy growth and development in their infancy and early toddlerhood.
It is desperately sad to think we may be harming a whole generation of infants and toddlers who are in group care with these minimum ratios.
Also, including 2yr olds in the 1:10 ratio of older children is inappropriate and doesn’t recognise that toddlers are in a unique and sensitive stage of development which requires the skillful, and timely, support of sensitive adults, which is often impossible in ratios of 1:10. The higher needs of toddlers in the group can also impact on the older children – whose needs are often less urgent – too, as they suffer a lack of teacher attention.
What will it take to fix staff to student ratios?
Improve minimum ratios to 1:4 for 0-2yr olds, 1:6 for 2-3yr olds and 1:10 for over 3s.
When we fix staff to student ratios, what impact will that change have on you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?
All children will have the levels of teacher attention they require for their particular needs at each broad developmental stage for healthy growth and development.