Govt Should Come Clean on Real Costs of ECE Cuts
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is challenging the government to come clean on what cuts to early childhood education will really mean for young children and their families.
It is now clear that the government blatantly mislead parents over its promise not to touch the 20 Hours ECE policy. In parliament the Education Minister confirmed that the top subsidy for 20 Hours ECE will be reduced from February next year as part of funding cuts to centres and services which employ 80-100% qualified and registered teachers. It also admitted that parents will face increased costs of $20-40 a week.
NZEI Vice President Judith Nowotarski says the true costs to some parents could be higher and centres and services face some tough choices ahead.
“It could mean passing on the costs to families with young children who don’t yet qualify for 20 Hours ECE, or passing on the costs to families with 3 and 4 year old children who attend for more than 20 hours a week.”
“Centres may also be forced to replace qualified staff with unqualified staff, stop providing professional development for teachers, cut back on capital and building improvements or be forced to rely on parents for fundraising,” she says.
Cuts to early childhood education are an attack on children and families and the Education Minister’s repeated comments that having 80% qualified teachers is a good enough standard, are offensive.
NZEI urges the government to come clean on the true cost of the Budget cuts to families and what they will mean in terms of reducing the quality of early childhood education into the future.