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Brash attacks mean-spirited childcare policy

Don Brash - National Party Leader

12 November 2004

Brash attacks mean-spirited childcare policy

National Party Leader Don Brash is promising a major shake-up of Labour's childcare policy, announced in this year's Budget. Under National, private providers will have the same access to taxpayer funding as non-profit providers.

Labour's policy will provide 20 hours per week of free education for three-and four-year-old children, but only if they are enrolled in non-profit community-based centres.

Dr Brash says the more than 45,000 toddlers who attend private childcare centres face upheaval when the changes come into effect.

He announced National's position during a visit to St Clair Corner, a privately-owned centre in Dunedin which is set to lose pupils to community-based centres.

"Private centres, like St Clair Corner, are successful because they meet the needs of parents whose decisions are based on hours of operation, ease of access and style of teaching. They are not interested in whether or not a centre fits Labour's politically correct ideas about who should look after their children.

"Parents know good centres from bad. They are in the best position to decide what's right for their children and who should be there for them while their parents are at work."

In some rural areas where there are no community-based centres, children will miss out on the entitlement altogether.

"National will ensure that taxpayer subsidies for childcare are distributed fairly," says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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