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Council’s Holiday Programme Cuts A Disgrace

5 April 2004

Council’s Holiday Programme Cuts A Disgrace Say Child Advocates

It is a disgrace that community centres around Auckland are being forced
to put up their holiday programme prices because the Auckland City Council has abruptly stopped their funding, says the Child Poverty Action Group.

“For families in which both parents have to work just to make ends meet, affordable holiday programmes at centres where they know their children will be safe and happy are a godsend,” says CPAG spokesperson Janfrie Wakim.

“For the council to take away much-needed funding on short notice is stingy and short-sighted, especially when it is too late for centres to apply for alternative funding, such as central government’s OSCAR (Out of School Care and Recreation).

“We are concerned that children who might otherwise have attended the programmes will be kept at home with unsuitable supervision because their parents can no longer afford to pay for them to attend the whole programme.”

Suburban Newspapers reported on 2 April that 17 community centres were told in March that holiday programme funding from the council would no longer be available for the April holidays or beyond. Seven other centres will have their funding cut after the April holidays. Some, such as Otahuhu’s Riverside Community Centre, have already been forced to double their daily fees to $8 per child, while others are considering raising fees next holidays.

“Funding from central government through OSCAR should be used in conjunction with traditional local council funding – this surely is the point of OSCAR, rather than allowing councils to cut back on their responsibilities,” said Ms Wakim.


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