The Nats’ stupid slash and burn approach to early childhood education (ECE) is about to hammer families:
Parents face $80 a week fees shock
The parents of tens of thousands of preschoolers can expect to start paying more for early childhood care next year – in some cases up to $80 a week for each child.
The increases are expected to kick in from February once the Government removes the top two funding bands for around 2000 centres which have more than 80 per cent of fully qualified staff.
A new survey, conducted by the Labour Party and released exclusively to the Herald, shows most centres facing the cuts plan to compensate by making staff redundant, passing costs on to parents or a combination of both.
The survey, which questioned 435 of the centres facing cuts, found 89 per cent planned to pass costs on to parents by increasing fees.
Those increases varied from $2 to $80 per child per week. In Auckland just over half of the centres indicated fees were likely to increase by $15 to $30, 14 per cent were $40 to $50 and 5 per cent were planning on increases of more than $50 a week.
Nearly 60 per cent of the centres expect participation to drop as an effect of the funding cuts. Maori, Pasifika and children from low-income families are expected to be particularly affected. …
But don’t worry! I have on good authority that the vast majority of New Zealanders are going to be better off as a result of these cuts being used to fund tax cuts for the rich. Something about “trickle down” I think.
Gallows humour aside, this is going to be a body blow to families. And in the same way that Tolley seems to be in denial about exactly what her national standards mean for children, she is in denial about what her funding cuts mean for families:
Despite that Ms Tolley said she had given centres a 2.4 per cent increase in funding to recognise cost increases and compensated new subsidises to accommodate the GST increase.
“They have had eight months to prepare for this and so I would be extremely disappointed if they increased fees for parents.”
Ms Tolley urged them to recognise that parents were already facing economic pressures and instead take a good look at their own budgets.
“That’s what the Government is having to do, that’s what parents are having to do, so there’s no reason why these centres shouldn’t do the same.”
It’s pretty simple Anne. You’re cutting childcare centres’ funding. So some centres will cut quality, and some centres will pass on costs. In both cases children and families will suffer (to pay for your tax cut). Thanks National.