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Budget delivers funding cut to early childhood education

Budget 2016 delivers a punishing funding cut to the early childhood education sector, says Early Childhood Council

For more information contact Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds on 028 258 22322

Budget 2016 has delivered a punishing funding cut to the early childhood education sector, says New Zealand’s largest representative body of licensed early childhood centres.

Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds says the Budget’s failure to compensate for inflation has cost the average 50-place centre $13,000 a year.

Mr Reynolds called the Budget ‘just another few frames of the slow motion train wreck that is government funding for ECE’.

Accumulated cuts, over the past five years, had now reached $90,000 a year for the average centre, he said.

And New Zealand was now full of ECE centres, running at a loss, battling to maintain quality and keep parent fees down, and eating up their reserves year after year to do so.

Mr Reynolds said there was an increasing amount of anger throughout the sector ‘at a Government determined to reduce per-child funding for early childhood education services year after year’.

The only new money for early childhood education was to fund new services, Mr Reynold said, while existing services were, once again, delivered a funding cut.

The Early Childhood Council has a membership of more than 1100 centres, and cares for tens of thousands of children from one end of New Zealand to the other.

Note: The ‘average centre’ is based on the following assumptions: 50 children, 20 of whom are under two; a total staff of 15 (12 qualified teachers, and three support staff); and no increase in parent fees. Assumptions also include 1.5% increase in wages as per the Labour Cost Index.

ENDS

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