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Childcare policy driven by blind ideology

Hon Tau Henare National Party Associate Education Spokesman

3 May 2006

Childcare policy driven by blind ideology

Labour and United Future have once again chosen ideology over commonsense in the early childhood sector, says National's Associate Education spokesman, Tau Henare.

The Education Amendment Bill, which was passed last night, makes way for a raft of micro-regulations covering almost every aspect of early childhood education.

An amendment designed to restrict those regulations was defeated.

Mr Henare, who has responsibility for early childhood education, says the amendment provided a chance for commonsense to prevail but Government parties weren't interested.

"Once again, Labour and its friends at United Future have proven that their early childhood policy is more about bureaucratic control and micromanagement than positive outcomes for under-fives.

"These ridiculous new regulations mean that early childhood teachers will spend less time teaching and more time battling red tape.

"It's so ridiculous that centres that hold mobile computer courses based out of vans will now have to get consent form from each parent every time the courses are held, because they are not strictly on the centre's premises.

"That's a whole lot of paperwork that diverts time and attention away from the children.

"The nature of early childhood education is that it must be flexible and practical. As any parent knows, that's the only way to deal with toddlers.

"This legislation shows that Labour is totally out of touch with families," says Mr Henare.


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