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Parata Undermining 20 Hours ECE

Early Childhood Education Spokesperson


Parata Undermining 20 Hours ECE

Education Minister Hekia Parata's advice to "shop around" to avoid increasing fees for 20 hours Early Childhood Education shows how out of touch she is with the pressures on families, says Labour’s ECE spokesperson, Sue Moroney.

"Nearly half of ECE providers are finding ways to require additional fees from parents. It's time the Government took responsibility and closed the loopholes.

"Is this the reason they removed the word 'free' from Labour's successful policy to make 20 hours of ECE free for three and four-year-olds?

“It is now common practice for many centres to only accept a child's enrolment if parents pay for hours over and above the subsidised 20 hours ECE. That completely undermines the aim of the policy, which was to remove the barrier of cost from three and four-year-old children getting access to quality ECE.

“This Government is shifting more and more of the cost of ECE onto parents with its funding cuts and now by letting providers charge what they like.

"National’s hands-off approach to early childhood is making things harder for families, who only want their child to get the best start at their local ECE service.

"It's disappointing that the Government expects families to travel further afield to get the 20 hours free ECE they promised to keep. Quality ECE is a smart investment in our children, but this Government doesn’t seem to care that costs to parents are rising,” says Sue Moroney.


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