Early Childhood Education Spokesperson
16 March 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Government target doesn’t ring true
John Key’s new zeal to see increased participation in early childhood education is at odds with recent suggestions from
one of his Minister’s that babysitters could look after the children of working parents, Labour’s spokesperson on Early
Childhood Education, Sue Moroney says.
“One of Mr Key’s just announced ‘targets’ is to see more pre-schoolers in childhood education.
“If he is genuine about that then presumably he will immediately rule out the controversial recommendation from his ECE
Taskforce to cut the universal subsidy for 20 hours ECE,” Sue Moroney said.
“I’m not holding my breath, however. Just last week the Government suggested babysitting networks might be the solution
to childcare for job-seeking solo parents.
“All the evidence shows that it is quality ECE that makes a difference to children's lives, yet here we have a Prime
Minister not only suggesting the opposite, but set to give the green light to a proposal likely to result in even more
prohibitive fees and less participation as well.
“And let’s not forget it was also John Key’s government that ditched the target of 100 per cent qualified staff in
teacher-led ECE services, thus risking the quality of ECE learning and the potentially transformational benefits
children can get from it.
“Labour understands the importance of quality education and the importance of having top quality teachers or
Playcentre-trained parents delivering that education. Each dollar invested in ECE returns at least $11 in long term
benefits to the country
“Unfortunately it appears the government puts no credence on that,” Sue Moroney said.