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Labour breaks promise to parents

Hon Tau Henare
National Party Associate Education Spokesman

12 November 2006

Labour breaks promise to parents

Labour’s promise of 20 hours free early childhood education for all three and four-year-olds is a hoax, says National’s Associate Education spokesman, Tau Henare.

He is commenting following reports today that crucial elements of the early childhood scheme are yet to be developed, including how much subsidy will be offered and which centres will take part.

“In the 2005 election Labour campaigned on 20 hours of free early childhood education for all three and four-year-olds in New Zealand,” says Mr Henare, who is responsible for early childhood education.

“But Ministry of Education officials told Parliament’s education and science select committee on Wednesday that government policy will require childcare centres to decide whether or not to offer the free 20 hours.

“Many centres will go broke if they offer the service because the Government will pay an average hourly rate – sufficient for places like Invercargill but not Auckland or Wellington – and ban fees for 20 hours a week.

“The policy is a hoax. Labour has broken its promise to parents.

“Parents believe they will have an entitlement to 20 hours free early childhood education – the truth is they won’t,” says Mr Henare.

ENDS

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