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

 


Budget will increase what parents pay for early childhood ed

15 May, 2014

Budget will increase what parents pay for early childhood education


Budget 2014 will push up early childhood education charges for parents, and cause standards to fall in many centres, New Zealand’s largest representative body of licensed early childhood centres said today. (15 May, 2104)

Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds said the Budget was the continuation of the Government’s long-standing policy of ‘revenue cuts by stealth’.

That policy was ‘all about relentlessly cutting per-child revenue to early childhood centres in a manner that was obvious to centres but hidden from parents’, Mr Reynolds said.

‘In today’s Budget, for example, they say they have increased the non-salary part of our funding subsidy by 2.5%.

‘This sounds impressive until you realise that salaries are the lion’s share of costs and this increase is only about 1% overall.

‘1% is below inflation, and thus we have yet another funding cut in drag.’

Add this to what was done in Budgets between 2010 and 2013 and you got a clear picture of a Government determined to cut revenue to early childhood centres and shift costs to parents, Mr Reynolds said.

In 2010, for example, centres that had achieved more than 80 per cent qualified staff lost the additional money they got for having 80 to 100 per cent qualified staff. In 2012 subsidies were frozen and not adjusted for inflation. In 2013 Government completely withdrew funding for professional development to help new teachers into full registration.

And once again, in 2014, the Government had failed to fund education and care centres for the extra money that kindergartens received to meet the costs of negotiated pay increases for teachers.

The cumulative result of ‘funding cuts by stealth’ was centres losing ‘at least tens of thousands of dollars of annual funding a year’ and facing, yet again, a ‘horrible choice’ between increasing fees for parents and lowering quality.

Almost all had already done both, Mr Reynolds said.

Many had replaced qualified staff with the unqualified. Most had slashed professional development for teachers. Some had cut teacher-child ratios. And many had cut non-essential services.

And the impact of Budget 2014 would see ‘the long process continue’.

This process had been especially brutal for stand-alone centres that could not access the economies of scale of groups of centres, Mr Reynolds said.

There was also increasing unease in the sector that Government was too focussed on its 98% participation target and insufficiently focussed on ‘the reality that too many of our most vulnerable children are being fobbed off with low-quality early childhood education that will make little or no difference in their lives’.

Home-based or play-group-style services in which children were minded by unqualified staff were not the same as centre-based services in which they were educated and given the best start in life by qualified teachers, Mr Reynolds said. And it was ‘just wrong that those children most in need of high-quality early childhood education were also those most likely to be in low-quality services.

The Early Childhood Council has a membership of more than 1000 centres. About 30% are community-owned and 70% commercially owned. These centres care for tens of thousands of children from one end of New Zealand to the other.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Review: Howard Davis On Olivier Assayas' 'Personal Shopper'

Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper is stylish, mysterious, and very strange indeed. It manages to be both ghost story and suspense thriller, yet also a portrait of numbed loneliness and ennui , held together by an peculiarly inexpressive performance from ... More>>

Howard Davis: Never Too Old To Rock & Roll - Jethro Tull

As Greil Marcus recently observed in an NYRB review of Robbie Robertson's autobiographical Testimony, in rock and roll there is always an origin story. In the case of Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson, he claims to have been influenced by his father's big band and jazz record collections and the emergence of rock music in the 1950s, but became disenchanted with the "show biz" style of early US stars like Elvis Presley... More>>

October: Alice Cooper Returns To NZ

It was March 1977 when Alice Cooper undertook his first ever concert tour of New Zealand – and broke attendance records. 40 years on and this revered entertainer continues to surprise and exude danger at every turn, thrilling audiences globally! More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: The Contemporary Relevance Of Denial

Denial has all the hallmarks of a riveting courtroom drama. Based on a 1996 British libel case that author David Irving brought against Lipstadt, the movie has been criticized as flat and stagey, but it nonetheless conveys a visceral clarity of vision and sense of overwhelming urgency. More>>

Obituary: John Clarke Dies Aged 68

Andrew Little: “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am devastated by John Clarke’s death. He taught us to laugh at ourselves and more importantly laugh at our politicians.” More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Colin McCahon's 'on Going Out With The Tide'

Curated by Wystan Curnow and Robert Leonard, On Going Out with the Tide features major works that have been assembled from public and private collections across New Zealand and Australia. It focusses on McCahon’s evolving engagement with Māori subjects and themes, ranging from early treatments of koru imagery to later history paintings which refer to Māori prophets and investigate land-rights issues. More>>

Howard Davis: Rodger Fox Gets Out The Funk

By now a living New Zealand legend, band leader and trombonist Rodger Fox has performed with some of the biggest names in the jazz business, including Louie Bellson, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, David Clayton-Thomas, and Joe Williams, to name only a few. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news