PM flip-flops on Playcentre funding
Early Childhood Education spokesperson
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Prime Minister flip-flops on Playcentre funding but fudges on 20 hours ECE
Prime Minister John Key today refused to provide any assurances on 20 hours Early Childhood Education, leaving parents potentially facing substantial fee increases, Labour ECE spokesperson Sue Moroney says.
“The Government Early Childhood Education Taskforce has recommended making cuts to 20 hours ECE that could see fees rise by as much as $50 per week per child. Many families just cannot afford that,” Sue Moroney said.
“Public and political pressure forced Prime Minister John Key to publicly state last Thursday that the Government would not cut funding for Playcentres - despite just 24 hours earlier refusing to rule it out.
“Today under pressure in Parliament to give assurances on ECE the Prime Minister became so flustered that he began referring to it as 20 hours free ECE which is actually Labour’s policy not National’s.
“John Key was forced to publicly come to the rescue of his Education Minister Anne Tolley who has made a total hash of working with the ECE sector.
“National need to now front up to parents and the sector and tell them exactly what is going on. If John Key can provide an assurance to Playcentre then he should be able to provide an assurance to parents using 20 hours ECE.
“Kohanga Reo and home-based ECE are also under threat with the Government failing to provide parents with any assurances despite a Taskforce recommendation that funding be cut by up to 78 per cent.
“The thousands of parents and workers in the early childhood education sector deserve to know when the Government is going to make decisions and whether it has ruled out all of the savage cuts recommended by the National Government appointed taskforce,” Sue Moroney said.