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Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens Welcomes Budget Focus On Families

One of the country’s largest early childhood services, Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens, welcomes the focus on families in today’s budget, but says that early childhood funding increases won’t keep pace with inflation.

The government has announced a 2.75 per cent increase in the operational funding for early childhood services.

Additional money is provided to lift wages for early childhood teachers outside of kindergarten, to bring pay rates closer across the sector, which is also welcome.

Whānau Manaaki Kindergarten operates 102 kindergartens in the lower North Island as well as home-based early education services, Whānau Ora programmes and other projects that benefit children and families in our region.

Chief executive officer Amanda Coulston says many families are struggling, and many children continue to live in poverty, and a variety of programmes announced today address this, including the low-income cost of living payment and more money for housing projects.

She also welcomes increases to dental grants, insulation and heating programmes, and a change that means single parents on the benefit will receive child support payments rather than the government keeping them.

“Many of our families are struggling with the cost of living, particularly housing costs, and some of the initiatives today will help”, she says.

“In addition we have always supported pay parity for early childhood teachers, and increases for teachers outside of the kindergarten sector means fairer pay which ultimately benefits children and families” .

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