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Welfare reforms could threaten collaboration

13 September 2012
Immediate release

Welfare reforms could threaten collaboration between parents and early childhood teachers

Early childhood education teachers are concerned about threats to cut welfare benefits of parents who do not send their children to early childhood education centres.

“We strongly believe that every child deserves access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa early childhood education spokesperson, Judith Nowotarski.

However, she says a key feature of high quality ECE is the strong collaborative partnerships between parents and ECE services.

“Punitive responses to parents who decide - for reasons of cost, transport difficulties, cultural appropriateness, personal philosophy and so on - not to enrol their child in ECE services are likely to be detrimental to the child, particularly if it means the family's income is cut.”

“We have concerns about the design of the policy and the way it will be implemented. ECE teachers want to engage positively with children and their whanau, not act as truancy officers or administrators of a complex and punitive policy.”

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