Funding, resourcing and pay parity still a matter of grave concern for ECE centres

Auckland, NZ, May 29, 2023 – Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading all-in-one student management and parent engagement software platform, Discover by Xplor, has released key local findings from a study into the Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector.

The research, which surveyed childcare centers across New Zealand, looked at the perceptions, challenges and opportunities in early childhood education with the aim of providing valuable insights and resources to help close the gaps in the ECE sector.

Additionally, the study assessed the current use of technology to support day-to-day tasks in the ECE sector and the amount of time being saved by childcare centers.

Key report findings:

  • 88% of respondents said they need more sector funding
  • 68% of respondents want to see more qualified teachers coming into the industry
  • 52% of respondents who are meeting pay parity still want to see further improvement
  • 50% of centres not meeting pay parity had higher levels of stress and anxiety around income, pay and finances
  • 85% of respondents believe technology helps the sector operate more efficiently

Richard North, Chief Operating Officer of Discover by Xplor, said, “The report findings reiterate the key challenges currently facing the ECE sector and the need for robust support from the government, policymakers and sector stakeholders.”

“More funding is the top area of improvement respondents would like to see in the ECE sector, followed by more qualified teachers coming into the industry and pay parity. With nearly nine in 10 respondents saying they need more funding, it’s clear that additional resources, equipment and staff salaries must be allocated to the sector.”

Interestingly, despite 81% of respondents indicating that their centers have achieved pay parity, they still consider more funding, an increase in qualified teachers and further improvements in pay parity as the top three areas needing improvement in the ECE sector. Moreover, 67% of respondents believe their centers are spending a lot of effort to achieve pay parity, highlighting the significant need for improvement.

The research indicates that whether centers are meeting pay parity or not, they are experiencing immense stress and anxiety levels, with staff absences due to sickness being the most-cited cause. Other areas causing stress for centers are workload and being short-staffed.

The study also uncovered there has been a positive step towards changes in the sector, with workers noting improvements with non-contact workload. Early childcare center staff feel supported with tasks such as administration and compliance by using technology to automate day-to-day tasks.

“The report findings indicate 85% of survey respondents said that technology is helping them operate more efficiently. However, a call for a streamlining of compliance processes is needed before true changes will be felt across the industry,” said North.

On average, using technology to manage time-intensive administrative functions such as staffing, reporting and compliance checks has resulted in a total saved time of more than 17 hours per week. This frees up time for more direct engagement with children in the center and for parents who prefer face-to-face updates on their child’s development from teachers.

North concludes, “The study results show that the key to improving the ECE sector is an increase in funding and support from the industry. Without this, childcare centers will continue to be impacted by the lack of resources, equipment and staff salaries, affecting the quality of education provided to our children.”

“Ultimately, children are our future and investing in them is laying the foundation for a better New Zealand to come.”

Notes to Editor

This study presents an extract from a comprehensive research study that began with a cultural trends scan and analysis using the STEEP framework, providing a solid foundation for the research. To collect data for the study, a 10-minute quantitative survey was sent to current and prospective clients of Discover by Xplor. The survey received responses from 100 respondents, providing valuable insights into the ECE sector. The study was conducted between December 1 and February 19, 2023. The information gathered from the survey responses was analysed and used to provide an ECE sector snapshot in New Zealand.

About Discover by Xplor

Discover by Xplor is a modern, cloud-based childcare administration management product that makes childcare simple by providing smarter, easy-to-use systems that eliminate wasted administration time. Managing inquiries and marketing, enrolments, waitlists, room transitions, rosters and ratios, visitor tracking, HR, tablet-based attendance, payments from bank feeds, invoicing, and all other aspects of day-to-day childcare administration—Discover is also certified by the Ministry of Education for the New Zealand market. Discover was acquired by Xplor Technologies in 2021. To learn more, visit:

About Xplor Technologies

Xplor Technologies is a global platform combining SaaS solutions with embedded payments and Commerce Accelerating Technologies. Xplor provides enterprise-grade SaaS solutions for SMBs in “everyday life” verticals: Education, Fitness & Wellbeing, Field Services and Personal Services – and a global, cloud-based payment processing platform. Xplor Technologies serves over 78,000 customers that processed over $36 billion in payments, operating across 20 markets in 2022.

Xplor Education serves 9,200+ childcare services across Australia and New Zealand through its Xplor Education, QikKids and Discover by Xplor brands. To learn more, visit:

Article by Xplor Technologies

First published: May 29 2023

Last updated: May 21 2024