Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Mums at work – kids with a babysitter?

Social Development Spokesperson
Spokesperson for Children


Early Childhood Education Spokesperson


Mums at work – kids with a babysitter?

Planned welfare changes look set to see solo parents seeking work forced into jobs with non-family friendly hours while their children are looked after by babysitters, Labour’s Social Development and Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“Paula Bennett, the Minister who would have us believe she wants to wrap support around these parents, appears not to have thought through the process at all given cabinet papers which float the idea of babysitting clubs.

“Her welfare reforms will require more parents to put their children into care while they move into work. Yet just yesterday we had another story about the difficulties parents face finding suitable childcare.

“The problem isn’t new. Waiting lists have been commonplace in larger cities for some time.

“Labour’s message is simple – we need to do what works. Simply work-testing parents won’t address child care needs, or the fact that most will struggle to cover the cost of that care.

“Ms Bennett’s solution is to set up babysitting networks, something the cabinet paper notes would be ‘more responsive for care outside standard hours’. Clearly she is aware of the cost of care and the fact that work and care facilities’ hours don’t always align.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“But unqualified, unvetted babysitters are surely not the answer. How could that be in the best interests of children, some as young as a year old?

“If we are going to make a difference in these parents’ lives, and more importantly in their kids’ lives, there has got to be a better solution than this.

Labour’s spokesperson for Early Childhood Education, Sue Moroney, is equally concerned by the move.

“Coming on the back of funding cuts to centres employing the most qualified staff last year, this latest idea reeks of yet another Government attempt to undermine the value of quality early childhood education,” she said.

“On International Women’s Day, our message to the Minister is this: Mothers need to be able to make the best decisions on behalf of their children, whether they are the sole parent or in two-parent households.

“It’s time we worked on ideas which would enable them to achieve that,” Sue Moroney said.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How Climate Change Threatens Cricket‘s Future

Well that didn’t last long, did it? Mere days after taking on what he called the “awesome responsibility” of being Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon has started blaming everyone else and complaining that he's inherited “economic vandalism on an unprecedented scale” - which is how most of us would describe his own coalition agreements, 100-Day Plan, and backdated $3 billion handout to landlords... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.