Dunedin parents will be hit by ECE changes

Published: Fri 21 May 2010 05:37 PM
Dunedin parents will be hit by ECE changes
Parents of children under three in Dunedin early childhood education centres will be hard hit by the Government’s Budget and face an increase of $42.50 per child per week, Labour MP for Dunedin South Clare Curran said today.
Labour has called a community meeting to discuss the ECE Budget cuts on Monday. It will be attended by Dunedin’s Labour MPs and our Early Childhood Education spokesperson Sue Moroney.
“The Budget cuts will hit working families who rely on quality childcare. The impact will be enormous throughout the economy as parents weigh up whether they can afford to have their children in childcare,” Clare Curran said.
“These fee increases will more than eat up any tax cut received by parents. On top of that they will face increases in GST, ACC and increased inflation.
“In Dunedin, there are more than 8000 children enrolled in ECE services. Parents with children aged three and four will also be hit as fees go up across the board and centres are forced to employ lesser qualified staff to remain viable.
“The Government’s tax swindle Budget is failing to invest in New Zealand’s future. National has clearly broken the promise they made to parents that they would keep the 20 hours free ECE and make no changes to it.
“Budget 2010 cut over $250 million out of ECE which will result in higher costs for parents and lower quality education for their children.
“When inflation and a rise in early childhood education (ECE) fees are taken into account, the average family, with 2 children will be at least $55 a week worse off.
“Currently ECE centres are encouraged to have 100 per cent registered teachers, but from early next year, the funding rate for registered teachers will be lowered and will be given only for up to 80 per cent of a provider's registered teachers.
“The result is there will be little incentive for providers to have more than 80 per cent registered teachers.
“Just before the Budget was announced, both Anne Tolley and John Key attended the NEiTA teaching excellence awards.
“I also attended the ceremony alongside St Clair ECE teacher Karen Brown who won an excellence award.
“It’s ironic that the PM and Minister of Education attended a ceremony that celebrated excellence in teaching, and hour before they announced cuts which would compromise excellent teaching.

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