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Nothing to Celebrate in Kindergarten Week

Nothing to Celebrate in Kindergarten Week

Wednesday, October 10 2001 Donna Awatere Huata Press Releases -- Education

The Government has placed preschool education at the bottom of its agenda, leaving New Zealanders with little to celebrate in kindergarten awareness week, ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"Only eight per cent of the Government's increased funding for education will help the early childhood sector this year. That's because our youngest kids, who can't vote, simply aren't a priority for this Government.

"In twenty-two months, Education Minister Trevor Mallard has made just eight announcements regarding early childhood education. In the same time, he's made 24 official statements about sports.

"The Minister made an empty promise in a newspaper to make pre-school compulsory, yet answers to my Parliamentary Questions show the only advice he has received on the subject was from Treasury, explaining that it would be very expensive.

"Kohanga reo, kindergartens and playschools are doing an excellent job. This week, the hard-working, underpaid workers in this sector should be proud of themselves.

"However, as New Zealanders we should all be ashamed by the lack of initiative from our Government.

"The money wasted on Air New Zealand, Mr Anderton's Bank and the gigantic Super Fund could make our pre-school education the best in the world.

"Instead, we are slipping behind and failing our youngest kids," Mrs Awatere Huata said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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