News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

20 Free Hours – in a Humpty Dumpty Sort of Way

2 July 2007

20 Free Hours – in a Humpty Dumpty Sort of Way

‘When I use a word’, Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone’, it means just
what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less’.

Today’s announcement of a 62% opt-in rate for the government’s 20 free hours early childhood education (ECE) scheme is illusory, according to Education Forum policy advisor Norman LaRocque.

Evidence from the ECE sector is clear that this opt-in rate has been achieved only because centres have compensated for the policy’s poor design by:

- introducing ‘optional charges’ for 3 and 4 year-olds;

- increasing fees for hours above the 20 free hours covered under the policy;

- increasing fees for children aged 0-2 who are not covered by the policy;

- reducing spending on centre resources and reducing services offered to children in care; and

- reducing sessional services, so they can recoup the shortfall from the 20 free hours, by charging more for non-free hours.

“Only Humpty Dumpty could argue that the Government’s 20 free hours policy delivers ‘free’ ECE to some parents. It clearly does not”, said Mr LaRocque.

“The introduction of the 20 free hours policy has exposed its serious flaws. Critics’ concerns – that it was unsustainable, that it would reduce quality and that it would limit choice and diversity in the ECE sector – have been shown to be valid. While the Government will try to lay the blame for the policy’s botched introduction on others, it has only itself to blame for pushing an unworkable and poorly designed scheme on the ECE sector.

“The policy can be easily fixed by allowing ECE centres to charge ‘top-up’ fees for the so-called 20 free hours – just as doctors do for patient visits”, concluded Mr LaRocque.

ENDS

www.educationforum.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>

Journalism: An Icon Returns. New-Look North & South Magazine Hits Shelves

One of New Zealand’s most iconic magazines, North & South, is back on the shelves this week – with new independent ownership. The magazine, which has set the benchmark for investigative journalism in New Zealand since 1986, relaunches this week, ensuring ... More>>


Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.
More>>



Howard Davis: Inside The King's Head - Girl in the Loft at BATS

Katherine Wyeth weaves together a dramatic tapestry of memory, identity, and legacy, exploring what it was like to grow up in the second oldest operating pub theatre in the UK. More>>

Howard Davis: Fiddling While America Burns - Wellington's T-Bone Cut A Rug

Just a few days prior to the most significant US Presidential elections in decades, local denizens of Lower Hutt's Moera Hall were treated to a broad canvas of musical styles, including tinges of bluegrass, old-time, country, cajun, and zydeco influences. 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>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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