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

 

Pictures Of Media: Call For Photographs For Reimagining Journalism

In August this year Freerange Press is launching its next big book. This time we are gathering the best writers and thinkers in the country to look at the changing media landscape in New Zealand. To illuminate and give voice to the writing we want to include around 25 excellent photos. We want these photos to document the different aspects of how journalism is made, how it used to be, and how it is changing. More>>

Safer Internet Day: Keeping Safe Online More Important Than Ever

Tuesday 9 February marks Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day is designed to create awareness about the importance of Internet safety and encourages positive use of technology - with a strong focus on young people. More>>

ALSO:

We Have The Technology: Zephyrometer Up And Moving

“The needle’s stoppers had to be repaired because of the extra impact caused by the balance not being correct. We also added an extra 300kgs counter-balance – made from zinc coated steel triangle plates. These adjustments will now stop it bending low over the road in high winds.” More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Day: Treaty Of Waitangi - Found In Translation

To celebrate the Society of Translators and Interpreters's 30th anniversary, over 90 translators will work together to translate the English and Māori versions of the Treaty of Waitangi into 30 languages... More>>

ALSO:

Northland Development: Trust Applauds $4m Government Funding For Art Centre

Today's announcement of central government support, made by Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce, provides a key step forward in funding for Whangarei’s Hundertwasser Art Centre & Wairau Maori Art Gallery. More>>

ALSO:

Memorial: 85th Anniversary Of 1931 Napier Earthquake

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye will today attend the 85th anniversary afternoon tea for survivors of the 1931 Napier earthquake, to pay tribute to the heroism, kindness and generosity shown by many during this and more recent emergencies. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news