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National outmanoeuvres Labour in ECE

14 July 2008

Media Release:

National outmanoeuvres Labour in Early Childhood Education

QPEC welcomes the National Party announcement that their ECE election policy would extend the 20-free-hours per week to cover children attending Playcentres and Kohanga Reo.

Under Labour most of these parent-led ECE providers have missed out on the 20 free hours because they do not have qualified teachers on site. This has been a serious flaw in Labour’s policy because it has denied support to high quality parent-led programmes. So often the parents providing these programmes are at the heart of community-building efforts in their local areas and this should be encouraged.

We would encourage Labour to match National’s policy in this respect.

Aside from this positive development the National Party’s ECE policy is a softly-softly copy of Labour’s policy. This is of serious concern to QPEC because both Labour and National are driving our children into the hands of rapidly growing corporate providers of ECE such as ABC and Kidicorp. These companies are growing fat on government subsidies as Labour makes no distinction between community provision and corporate provision of ECE.

We see no place for profit-driven provision of ECE at taxpayer expense.

QPEC would welcome policies to remove subsidies for private ECE centres and use the money to rapidly expand public provision in our low-income communities where it is most sorely needed.

ENDS

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