Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Accidents, Escapes Plague Early Childhood Centres


Accidents, Escapes Plague Early Childhood Centres

February 26, 2013

Palmerston North, NZ – As the government Select Committee draws up its report on the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, the Home Education Foundation (HEF) of New Zealand is calling on members of the committee and the public to consider the dangers of early childhood education (ECE).

“The Social Security Bill makes ECE compulsory for the children of beneficiaries,” says Mrs Smith. “But not only is ECE attendance linked with worrying social and even academic disadvantage, it may actually pose a threat to your child’s safety.”

The New Zealand Herald recently reported the story of Jaden Young, a toddler who fell and fractured his skull on his first day at childcare. The incident went unreported by the boy’s carer and it was not until 24 hours later that his parents noticed the swelling on his head and sought medical help. Now, Jaden’s parents are waiting to see if the blow will cause permanent harm to their “miracle baby”.

Jaden’s father Curtis told the Herald, “We watched Jaden every moment, of every day for his first year, making sure he was safe at all times. Yet the first day we left him under someone else's supervision, he was gravely injured."

The Young family will face financial difficulty keeping Jaden at home, but are understandably reluctant to let him out of their sight. “Ironically, if this family falls in need of government assistance, under the new Bill the Ministry for Social Development’s response will be to pack Jaden off to another daycare,” says Mrs Smith. “And this is what Paula Bennett calls ‘putting the right kind of care around families.’”

According to the ACC, the number of children below the age of 4 years injured in accidents at ECE centres has been climbing every year, from 1035 accident claims in 2010 to 1328 in 2012. Even more worrying, the Herald quoted one ECE teacher as saying that injuries were “chronically under-reported.”

But it’s not just accidents that plague ECE centres. Stuff.co.nz recently reported “Boy, 4, latest child left to roam.” Mrs Smith says, “From a 9-month-old baby left crying alone in a Porirua ECE after closing hours, to the 4-year-old special needs child who escaped from Mungavin Kindergarten and was found wandering the streets by a fireman, there are a worrying number of cases where children are neglected or simply lost by their carers.”

Mrs Smith says that this need not reflect badly on individual carers, but highlights the inherent flaws of the system.

“With so many little children to look after, it’s no wonder if some are neglected even by the most trustworthy carers,” she said. “But no carer in the world can be as loving and perceptive as a mother.

“Only a mother can give the love, care, and attention that every child needs. At best, even the most trustworthy carer is a hired stranger.”

At worst, says Mrs Smith, carers themselves might pose a danger to children. “The HEF heard from one mother who was sexually abused in state care as a child,” she said. “In her submission, this woman shared that facing the alternatives presented by the Bill—leaving her children to the care of strangers, or facing ‘benefit sanctions’—made her physically ill.”

Concerned New Zealanders should write, call, and visit their local MPs and the Select Committee, Mrs Smith urges.

Tell your friends. Make appointments to see the Committee members or your local MP.

“All parents have the right to choose a safe, loving environment for their children. Let’s not lose that right.”


The Select Committee members are Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges, Melissa Lee, Jan Logie, Asenati Lole-Taylor, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, Tim Macindoe, Alfred Ngaro, Rajen Prasad, Mike Sabin and Su’a William Sio. Letters to individual MPs should be sent to this address (no stamp necessary):

Parliament Office
Private Bag 18888
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Flyover Over: NZTA Not Appealing Flyover Decision

The NZ Transport Agency has decided not to appeal the High Court’s Basin Bridge decision, and says the High Court’s findings provide valuable clarity to help guide the development of future infrastructure projects throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

Developing Crown Land: Government, Auckland Iwi Reach Agreement

The government has reached agreement with Ngati Whatua and other Auckland iwi over developing 500 hectares of excess land in Auckland for private housing which had been under High Court challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Maurice Williamson

Maurice Williamson seems to have been granted an annual licence to embarrass the National Party, and its that time of year again. Also as per usual, Williamson’s recent exercise in sexism and homophobia has passed by with barely a murmur from his leader. More>>

ALSO:

Green Climate Plan: Shaw Launches 40% Emission Cut Target

Green Party co-leader James Shaw has announced an emissions target initiative for 40% reduction by 2030. He said agriculture has to long been used as a reason for inaction, a roadblock to action... He proposed a tax of 8 cents per kilo of milk. More>>

ALSO:


Images & Video: Four Alternative Flags For Referendum

Flag Consideration Panel chair, Professor John Burrows, said the Panel’s decision had been guided first and foremost by the results of its engagement programme across a range of communities where thousands of Kiwis shared what was special about New Zealand, as well as the Panel’s own selection criteria. More>>

ALSO:

Transport Report: LGNZ Calls For Proactive Approach To Mobilise Regions

LGNZ has today released Mobilising the Regions, its major transport study, which highlights the economic and social impact of strategic transport decisions nationally and in the regions, and the direct link between regional development, national prosperity, social well-being and cohesiveness. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: New Rules Bring Double-Deckers To Our Cities

New rules that allow buses, including double-deckers, to carry more people will ramp up the public transport offering in our cities, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss say. More>>

ALSO:

Cycling:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news