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National supports Early Childhood Strategy

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

15 July 2005

National supports Early Childhood Strategy

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says his party endorses the key goals of the Early Childhood Strategic Plan and the funding that goes with it.

Speaking to the Childcare Association conference, Mr English said National will continue with funding increases to early childhood centres for quality care and education, and with budgeted increases in the childcare subsidy.

He also told the conference that National did not support 20 hours free care in community-owned centres.

"This is a toddlers' lottery. Parents should not be told by Labour what centres they should use.

"Parents need choice so they can work around their hours of work, location cost and staff that they like. Labour's policy applies to only one in ten under-5s, so it's not fair, either.

"National will offer a rebate of one third of parents' out-of-pocket costs up to $5000.

"The rebate covers costs incurred in any type of centre, as well as informal care. It will help parents with their costs and increase their choices," Mr English said.

Ends

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