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Parents hit with huge extra costs

Parents hit with huge extra costs

The Government's tax swindle Budget fails to invest in New Zealand's future by cutting funding to early childhood education, Labour's Spokesperson for Early Childhood Education Sue Moroney said today.

"National has clearly broken the promise they made to parents that they would keep the 20 hours free ECE and make no changes to it," said Sue Moroney.

"Budget 2010 cut over $250 million out of ECE which will result in higher costs for parents and lower quality education for their children.

"Depending on what service type your ECE centre is, the additional cost per child may be in the order of $23 - $31 per week. Many families may not be able to meet these costs.

"Over 93,000 children and their families will be affected, as will more than 2000 services.

"When inflation and a rise in early childhood education (ECE) fees are taken into account, the average family, with 2 children will be $55 a week worse off.

"Currently ECE centres are encouraged to have 100 per cent registered teachers, but from early next year, the funding rate for registered teachers will be lowered and will be given only for up to 80 per cent of a provider's registered teachers.

"The result is there will be little incentive for providers to have more than 80 per cent registered teachers.

"The Government's decision to remove recognition for fully qualified centres moves to dumb down early childhood education and provide lower quality services.

"Just before the Budget was announced, both Anne Tolley and John Key attended the NEiTA teaching excellence awards.

"I also attended the ceremony and spoke to the early childhood recipients and the irony was not lost on them," Sue Moroney said.

This Budget is not just a Budget of broken promises and increased costs; it is a Budget of lost opportunities. That is a disastrous failure to invest in the future of our country, which is our children", said Sue Moroney.

ENDS

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