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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news