Tolley totally out of touch on Early Childhood Ed
Tolley totally out of touch on Early Childhood Education
The NZ Kindergarten Association's plea for Education Minister Anne Tolley to reconsider funding cuts of $400 million to children’s education fell on deaf ears at the Association's annual conference today, Labour’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) spokesperson Sue Moroney says.
“Conference delegates reconfirmed their commitment to 100% qualified staff to the Minister, and told her that they faced huge funding shortfalls they are reluctant to pass onto parents.
“One kindergarten association told the minister they were losing $950,000 of funding. Te effect was that after they had paid staff salaries, they will be left with 50% of what they had previously had to run the kindies.
“The Minister's response was to say that it was up to the kindergartens to sort out how to manage the funding cuts. She said if parents were prepared to pay more, then kindergartens should ‘go for it’ and increase fees.
“Anne Tolley clearly doesn’t understand that many parents simply don’t have the money to pay more for Early Childhood Education and the cuts in funding will mean some children miss out on going to places such as kindergarten.
“The Government is not listening to the impact its funding cuts are having and is prepared to sacrifice both participation and quality of ECE.
“Every child in New Zealand should be able to access quality, affordable early childhood education to ensure they have the best start to their education.
“These funding cuts mean that large numbers of children, ho miss out on early childhood education because their parents can’t afford it, will begin primary school already facing a serious disadvantage.
“The Minister tried to blame the previous Government for the funding cut, but the reality is that her Government is giving massive tax cuts to those earning over $100,000 while cutting funding to ECE.
“National is cutting funding to early childhood education centres and reducing the number of qualified teachers funded at each centre and they need to start being honest with parents about the fee increases they are facing,” Sue Moroney said.