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More cynical vote-buying from Labour

More cynical vote-buying from Labour

Deborah Coddington
Monday, 22 August 2005
Press Releases - Education

Labour's decision to extend its 20 hours a week free childcare to private centres is cynical election year vote-buying, says ACT Education spokesman Deborah Coddington.

"Labour has spent the last six years whacking privately-owned early childhood centres, with Trevor Mallard labelling them 'Kentucky Fried Childcare'," Miss Coddington said.

"But with an election just around the corner, Labour has temporarily ditched its ideological bias against private providers in a desperate bid to bag a few more votes.

"Today's announcement reeks of hypocrisy of the worst kind, even by Labour's standards, and represents Labour's biggest U-turn in education since the school closures debacle.

"Mallard is still refusing to review his stupid new rules regarding re-training of teachers in early childhood education which has led to a massive shortage of teachers in this area.

"Under Mallard's watch, knowledge and experience counts for nothing. Early childhood centres have been forced to close because of the Minister's pigheadedness over teacher qualifications.

"That's why this latest election bribe will only benefit around 26,000 children instead of reaching out to the other 254,000 children who will miss out.

"It's also highly ironic that Labour now believes that when it comes to early childhood education, funding can follow the child and parents are capable of choosing what early childhood centre their children can attend.

"But ideological blinkers mean Labour can't extend that policy to parents of primary and secondary school children," Miss Coddington said.


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