Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Government should not use quake to reduce ECE

Government should not use Canterbury earthquake as ‘cover’ to reduce revenue for early childhood education


03 March 2011 For immediate release


Voices in the early childhood education sector are expressing concern the Government may use the Canterbury earthquake ‘as a cover behind which it makes additional revenue cuts for early childhood centres’.

Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds said today (03 March) he was ‘concerned by the nature of some news items in which the Minister of Finance is reported as using the earthquake as an argument to cut funding for a wide range of budget items he was wanting to cut before the earthquake’.

Recent Government revenue cuts had seen early childhood education fees for the families of about 93,000 children increase by an average of $10 to $50 a week per child. They had also forced centres to reduce both the proportion of qualified teachers on their staff and their teacher-child ratios.

Early childhood centres and the families they serve had therefore ‘done our bit for Government savings’, Mr Reynolds said, ‘and we will not be wanting to do it again any time soon’.

The Early Childhood Council was working hard with Government to support early childhood centres in the Christchurch region and ‘fully supported the idea there would need to be New Zealand-wide sacrifices to help the people of Christchurch’, he said.

‘The principle, however, should be this. However immense the task, the Canterbury earthquake recovery will occur over a finite period of time. And the Government should not use the earthquake as cover to make the permanent spending cuts it was wanting to make before the earthquake.’

A recovering Christchurch would not be helped by a depleted early childhood education sector, Mr Reynolds said.

Money invested in early childhood education provided essential support for families under stress. It prepared children for school. It enabled employers to attract employees who would otherwise be unavailable for work. And it offered a high return on investment by reducing future public spending on crime, justice, remedial education, unemployment and welfare.

American research by Legal Momentum had found, in the United States, that every dollar spent on quality early childhood education saved taxpayers up to $13 in future costs, Mr Reynolds said.

Many in the early childhood sector believed however that the National Government had been planning ‘for some time’ yet-to-be announced cuts in early childhood education revenues, and there was ‘a substantial risk they would now use the earthquake to justify these’.

The Government has linked the earthquake to a diverse range of potential budget measures including the axing of large infrastructure projects, the part-selling of state-owned power companies, and cuts to funding for both Working for Families and interest-free loans for students.

The Early Childhood Council is the largest representative body of licensed early childhood centres in New Zealand. Its 1,100 member centres are both community-owned and commercially owned, employ more than 7,000 staff, and care for more than 50,000 children.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news