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Parity for Kindergarten Teachers & families

Media release from Early Childhood Council

Contact: Sue Thorne, Chief Executive Officer Ph 027 4483 215

"Pay Parity for Kindergarten Teachers disadvantages working families"

The Government's own officials, the Minister's own industry advisory group and New Zealand's largest early childhood provider organisation warned against the serious flow-on effects of funding one type of early childhood service at a higher rate than others. Yet the Minister has persisted with funding pay parity for teachers in kindergartens and not the rest of the early childhood sector, in the face of this wall of advice. Trevor Mallard seems bent on driving a political dogma that refuses to value parental choice, that is hamstrung by an anti-business bias and that is allowed to be fuelled by poor advice from the primary teachers union.

The parents and children who use childcare centres are the losers in these ill-considered polices. Yet these are mainly working parents who are the backbone of our economy and our future. It is shameful that this Government has not acknowledged in any of its policies the vital importance of these services in the economic and social infra-structure of this country. The amount spent on early childhood in New Zealand, as a proportion of GDP, puts us 3rd to last in the OECD countries. With that sort of investment, you can see where we are headed and even the small amount that is provided seems squandered in poor political judgement.

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