November 12, 2004
NZEI Rejects Taxpayer Subsidy Of Early Childhood Profits
NZEI Te Riu Roa, which represents early childhood teachers, rejects the National Party’s plans to alter the government’s provision of 20 hours of free education a week to three and four year old children.
The free education will be provided at non-profit community-owned early childhood education centres from January 1, 2007. National leader Don Brash said today that he would take the taxpayers money that is funding the free education and make it available to private profit-making early childhood centres.
“NZEI rejects this proposal
because it could lead to our taxpayers’ money being used to
boost the private centres’ profits or to buy land or other
assets that would belong
to the centres’ owner, not the community or government,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa, National President, Colin Tarr.
“By providing the funding to non-profit community owned centres the government is ensuring that every cent of our taxpayers’ money is being used to deliver free quality education to three and four year-olds.”
“This is a far more efficient and effective use of our taxpayers’ money as it ensures the maximum return on our investment.”
“Don Brash says private early childhood education centres are being discriminated against by the government.”
“This ignores the fact that the government is already providing millions of dollars to private centres to improve the quality of the education for their children by helping them employ qualified teachers, reduce their group sizes, or lower their child:teacher ratios,” says Colin Tarr.