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Govt out of touch with parents, children

Hon Bill English

National Education Spokesman

23 July 2004

Govt out of touch with parents, children

The Government has lost sight of what of the importance of parents in making decisions about early childhood education, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

An Education Review Office report released yesterday finds that almost one in four early childhood centres will fail to meet stringent new qualification rules to be introduced at the beginning of next year.

"These regulations mean that hundreds of early childhood educators with years of experience will be shut down because they didn't sit the right exams 15 years ago," says Mr English.

"It also means that the survival of play centres and köhanga reo will be in doubt because they are run by parents rather than teachers.

About 40,000 children will be affected.

"This report confirms this Government is completely disconnected from the real world of parents and young children.

"Parents don't have the luxury of organising their lives around Labour's politically correct views of childcare.

"Their decisions will be based on where their kids are safe and happy, what it costs, whether it's on the way to work and whether it's open at the right hours.

"Quality is not always linked to qualification, parents know good centres from bad and are in the best position to decide who will be there to look after their children when they can't be," says Mr English.

ENDS

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