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Early Childhood Funding System Adds to Burden

Early Childhood Funding System Adds to Compliance Burden

The multitude of complicated recording, reporting and record-keeping requirements for the new early childhood funding system has the country’s 1800 education and care centres in a scramble to get up to speed by its implementation date of 1 April 2005.

The final version of the new funding rules was released by the Ministry of Education just two weeks ago.

Since then the early childhood sector’s largest support organisation, the Early Childhood Council, has been getting information out to its members to assist them to correctly implement the new requirements.

“We’ve already had over 500 registrations for our training seminars during February and March, making this the highest attended series we’ve hosted” said Sue Thorne, Chief Executive Officer, Early Childhood Council.

“This high turnout is quite simply an indication of how complex the new rules are and how concerned centres are about understanding them” said Mrs Thorne.

Additional compliance requirements place the greatest burden on smaller centres which are less likely to have separate administration staff dedicated to dealing with the paperwork.

The people doing the record-keeping are often voluntary committee members or owners who also work in their centres with the children.

The new funding rules come on top of recent changes to staff qualifications and the introduction of mandatory registration for early childhood teachers, as well as a raft of employment law changes.
With the introduction of national student ID numbers for preschoolers now also firmly on the Government’s radar, there is a serious risk of centres becoming overburdened.

“It’s important that the additional money invested in the early childhood sector actually ends up making a difference for children and is not gobbled up instead by excessive and unnecessary compliance requirements” said Mrs Thorne.

The Early Childhood Council represents the managers and owners of over 800 community owned and privately owned services throughout New Zealand.

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