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Kawhia first victim of Labour's childcare cull

Hon Bill English
National Education Spokesman

4 October 2004

Kawhia first victim of Labour's childcare cull

A case brought against the Secretary of Education by Kawhia pre-school is a sign of things to come, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

Kawhia Early Childhood Learning Centre has launched proceedings in the High Court challenging a decision to close the centre.

"We can expect to see more and more of this kind of furore next year when Trevor Mallard's unrealistic registration requirements come into force," says Mr English.

From 1 January next year, All Early Childhood Centres will have to adhere to a strict new qualifications regime that requires supervisors to have a three-year early childhood teaching qualification.

Answers to written questions show that as many as 350 centres are faced with closure when these requirements come into effect.

"Kawhia has a teacher with a primary teaching qualification but the Minister doesn't regard that as sufficient.

"When I asked him in the House about the crisis facing the early childhood sector, the Minister said 'there is discretion and flexibility in licensing matters," says Mr English.

"The Minister will need to use this discretion to avoid more closures of early childhood centres which will affect thousands of children.

"The education of thousands of young children is at stake because of the bureaucratic shambles this Government has created," says Mr English.

Ends


11970 (2004). Hon Bill English to the Minister of Education (31 August 2004):
According to the latest advice received by him what is the number of Early Childhood Education services at risk of closure, inlcuding the number of services likely to close, because of 2005 targets for registration of supervisors?

Hon Trevor Mallard (Minister of Education) replied: Figures produced by the Ministery of Education show that between
280 and 350 services may have some difficulty meeting the qualification and
registration regulatory requirements for persons responsible (due to come
into effect in 2005).

The Ministry is working with these services on a range of initiatives to address these issues.

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