Early Childhood Report Is Utter Rubbish
Thursday 1 Nov 2001
Today's report on the early childhood sector belongs in the garbage can, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata said today.
"This document isn't worth the paper it's written on, let alone the thousands of taxpayer dollars that have been wasted. Calling the people who put this together a 'working group' is a joke - all these bureaucrats have done is launch a selfish attack on privately-run early education centres.
"The bigotry and ignorance espoused in this report is staggering.
"If the Government adopts a single recommendation of this ridiculous report, they will drive a huge wedge between the wealthy that can afford pre-school and the poor that can't.
"Cost is the biggest barrier to access. These recommendations are guaranteed to increase the cost of providing services, and that's going to put pre-school out of reach for the poor.
"Independent early childhood centres are opening up opportunities in poor centres. It is offensive to recommend a moratorium on new centres.
"The entire increase in participation in early childcare in the last decade was a result of 130 percent more children enrolling in privately-run centres. Enrolments in state-owned centres actually decreased by seventeen percent. Yet this 'working group' consisted almost entirely of state-owned bureaucrats and academics.
"Kids have been forgotten by the committee who put this report together. Mr Mallard must reject every recommendation. New Zealand's parents will fight tooth and nail if these opportunity-denying recommendations are implemented by the Labour Government," Mrs Awatere Huata said.