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April 1st no joke for pre-school providers

April 1st no joke for pre-school providers

Monday 28 Feb 2005

Deborah Coddington - Press Releases - Education

In what must be the cruellest April Fools trick ever, Labour has decided 1 April is the final day for early childhood centres to comply with a raft of complicated recording, reporting and record-keeping rules, ACT Education spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"The Ministry of Education couldn't get its act together in terms of finalising these rules until mid-February, yet the already overburdened individuals at the coalface of early childhood education are being given only six weeks.

"This is the latest savage blow from Education Minister Trevor Mallard, who appears determined to crush the early childhood sector," Miss Coddington said.

"He's already dictated that all 'persons of responsibility' must have an NZQA qualification in early childhood teaching - even if they have a primary teaching degree and years of experience.

"Then he brought in mandatory registration for early childhood teachers, plus new employment law changes.

"This year the Government is bringing in national ID numbers for our pre-schoolers. Last week I was contacted by several playcentres who have to spend up to $1,000 for permission to erect things like shade cloths.

"Of education spending, only about five percent goes on our under-fives, yet those years are the most crucial in terms of a child's development.

"Labour has blown more than quarter of a billion dollars on just one so-called Maori university in one year, yet it couldn't care less about many children who'll never make it to the gates of tertiary education.

"The early childhood education sector was once a fine example of funding following the child and parents having choice. The Labour Government, with its we-know-best attitude, is destroying the choices for many families. It should just, as the kids say, butt out," Miss Coddington said.

ENDS

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