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Disappointment at Playcentre missing out again

23 August 2005

Greens very disappointed at Playcentre missing out again

The Green Party is very disappointed that Labour has again left Playcentre out in the cold with its proposal to extend free early childhood education, Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

Labour yesterday announced that, if re-elected, it would extend its provision of 20-hours-a-week free early childhood education to children at private centres. Members of the New Zealand Playcentre Federation were excluded from the original community centred scheme, despite being a not-for-profit service.

"The priority for taxpayer money must be in community based, not-for-profit early childhood education, rather than boosting the profits of private companies," Mrs Turei says.

"There is no justification for providing a subsidy to private early childhood education centres and leaving out a parent-led, high quality, non-profit service like Playcentre.

"Playcentre caters for over 15,000 children and provides training and support for parents that not only develops parenting skills but can also lead to employment. Playcentres are required to have qualified supervisors, as other centres are, either with a diploma in Teaching Early Childhood Education or a Playcentre qualification, which is NZQA accredited. The highly parent-active philosophy of Playcentre means that whole families and whanau are supported. This is what the Government should be promoting, not subsidising international companies with chain centres.

"All children should be supported into early childhood education. Playcentre is a long-standing, high-quality provider and its children should not be discriminated against. Playcentre requires an adult-child ratio of at least one to five, a much stricter requirement than the Ministry dictates. The commitment of parents and families to Playcentre should be supported not punished," Mrs Turei says.


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