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New early childhood regulations to be delayed

Hon Anne Tolley Minister of Education

26 November 2008

New early childhood regulations to be delayed

New regulations imposed by the former Labour Government for the early childhood sector will not be introduced on December 1, says Education Minister, Anne Tolley.

"In September, National promised that we would delay the introduction of the new regulations and criteria if we became Government. That promise remains under the new National-led Government.

"We will delay the introduction of the new regulations for six months while we review them and consult further with the sector and parents.

"New services will be licensed and existing services re-licensed under the current regulations while the new regulations are reviewed.

"I am well aware that these new regulations have caused great angst among ECE services which have feared the new rules will seriously impact on their financial viability. Many ECE services also believe that some of the regulations are simply unnecessary."

Examples of concerns include:

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

* Compulsory sleep rooms even if centres do not need or will 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 up other children from school.

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

"Pushing these regulations through at this stage of the year is unacceptable. We want safe learning environments for our youngest New Zealanders but we also want a regulatory system that does not place unnecessary burdens on services that play such an important role in the early development of our young people."


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