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Concern at funding cuts for new parents

Hon Tau Henare
National Party Associate Education Spokesman

28 June 2006

Concern at funding cuts for new parents

National MP Tau Henare says the decision to cut funding for home-based care for new parents is “remarkable” amid growing concerns about the safety of some children at home.

He is commenting on reports that the Parents as First Teachers (PAFT) scheme, which provides home-based support for new families, is about to be cut to 63 families in Central Hawke’s Bay because government funding has not kept up with rising costs.

Mr Henare, who has responsibility for early childhood education, says PAFT is the type of programme that people use to prevent bad things happening to children.

“Support for families in the home, right from day one, is an essential element to happy and healthy babies and competent parents.

“This comes in the same week as funding cuts to another key family support agency – PlunketLine.

“PAFT works – it has been in operation for more than 10 years and has enjoyed the support of both National and Labour-led Governments.

“The programme probably wouldn’t have saved Chris and Cru Kahui, but the kind of support it provides goes a long way towards ensuring our babies are safe and well cared for at home,” says Mr Henare.


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