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NZEI Alarmed By Nats Education Plans

Media Release July 6, 2005

From NZEI Te Riu Roa For Immediate Use

NZEI Alarmed Nats Would Cut Free Early Childhood Education

NZEI Te Riu Roa is alarmed that the National Party would deny children and their families access to free early childhood education.

The party's leader Don Brash today announced that National would axe the Government's policy of providing 20 hours free early childhood education from 2007 and replace it with tax cuts for parents who are paying for childcare.

"National's policy is unfair because it discriminates against children who's parents are not working," says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.

"They don't get a tax break and their children are denied access to free early childhood education." "National's tax cuts will only benefit parents who are working and in particular those on higher incomes."

"It's far fairer to provide free education to all children and families who attend community based early childhood education centres," says Colin Tarr.

Research in the late 70s and early 80s into early childhood education, carried out by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, shows parents and early childhood service managers and teachers, don't want tax cuts to be used in the provision of early childhood education.

"Government funding should be directed to early childhood education services so they can improve access to early childhood education and ensure children receive a quality education by employing qualified and registered teachers," says Colin Tarr.

ENDS

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