Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Revised 20 free hours policy better, still flaw

22 August 2005


Labour’s revised ‘20 free hours policy’ better but still flawed

The government's decision to extend the weekly '20 free hours' of early childhood education (ECE) to all 3 and 4 year olds at teacher-led centres is a step forward, but the policy remains flawed, says Education Forum policy adviser Norman LaRocque.

Prior to today's announcement, only three and four year-olds at community-owned centres would have been eligible for the subsidy, which is to take effect from 2007, and 25,000 children at ‘private’ centres missed out.

Parents at ‘private’ centres will no doubt welcome the additional subsidy and these centres will welcome the fact that they will be able to compete on a level playing field with community-owned centres, said Mr LaRocque.

Despite this change, the policy remains flawed. A key weakness is that it caps the amount that centres can charge for those 20 free hours. This does not recognise that different services have different cost structures and could force ‘high cost/high quality’ centres to either reduce quality or find other ways of raising revenues – such as increasing non-regulated fees – to cover the shortfall, said Mr LaRocque.

A better policy would be to continue funding ECE services according to enrolments and allowing centres to charge fees on top of that. Such a policy would allow parents to choose the appropriate quality level they desire, rather than having it determined through regulatory fiat. If any additional ECE subsidy is deemed appropriate, it should be targeted to those most in need, rather than being provided across the board, said Mr LaRocque.

Middle class parents do not need more government hand outs. Tax cuts would provide them with the freedom to decide how best to structure their own child care arrangements, concluded Mr LaRocque.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland