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Quality of early childcare compromised

Hon Bill English

National Education Spokesman

4 August 2004

Quality of early childcare compromised

National's Education spokesman Bill English says the quality of childcare offered in hundreds of early childcare centres will drop as they struggle to meet the Government's tough new staffing regulations. Official papers obtained by Mr English show the Ministry of Education has advised the Minister that it's management strategies will be "inadequate" to deal with the 250 to 400 centres at risk of closure.

These closures will take place as a result of a new Government policy regarding teacher qualifications that comes into place on 1 January 2005. "The closure of 400 early childcare centres will put 13,000 toddlers out on the street," says Mr English.

"But the Government is sitting on this silly policy and doing nothing to prevent the uncertainty that parents are facing and the worries that they have about the disruption that closures will cause. "Parents will have to watch much-loved and experienced teachers who know their children get kicked out of childcare centres to be replaced with newly graduated 21-years olds who have the right qualifications but no experience.

"Many more than 400 centres will have to put new graduates into positions of responsibility just to stay open. "Trevor Mallard seems to think parents can turn their lives upside-down to fit in with Labour's politically correct ideas about the care of our kids. "He has to face facts about what's important to parents and their children, and change the policy," says Mr English.


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