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National calls halt to new childhood regulations

Paula Bennett MP
National Party Associate Education Spokeswoman (Early Childhood)

3 September 2008

National calls halt to new early childhood regulations

Restrictive new regulations and criteria for the early childhood sector will not be introduced on 1 December if National is in government, says National's Associate Education (Early Childhood) spokeswoman, Paula Bennett.

"Labour's raft of new regulations typifies this Government's prescriptive, interfering, nanny-state approach.

"National is today making a promise that, if we are in government, we will delay the introduction of all new regulations and criteria for six months while we take stock, and consult with the sector and parents.

"Some of these proposed new regulations are causing great angst with ECE services as they fear they will seriously impact on their financial viability and some of them are simply unnecessary".

Examples of regulations causing concern include;

* Gym crèches being required to have a 'learning plan' for children attending while their caregiver exercises.

* Compulsory sleep rooms even if centres do not need or will not use such a facility, nor have the space to build one.

* A requirement that nannies must do a 'written risk assessment' every time they leave the house. For example to pick other children up from school.

* The removing of the regulation requiring all household members in a home-based care environment to be clean of any convictions against children.

"Bulldozing these regulations through before Christmas is unacceptable.

"The EFA and ETS are proof that Labour's legacy is that it does not listen.

"It is more concerned with political expediency than sound, consultative, and considered government".

ENDS

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