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:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news