web analytics

ECE Taskforce report

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, June 2nd, 2011 - 16 comments
Categories: child welfare, education, families - Tags: , , ,

David Clark is the Labour candidate for Dunedin North. The following is reprinted with permission from his blog:

ECE Taskforce report

I’ve previously outlined the case for quality early childhood education in the Otago Daily Times.

Yesterday, the Government taskforce appointed to review the sector released its report. NZPA’s take on it is here.

The group synthesised current literature on the sector, and made some sensible recommendations. There is a healthy emphasis on capturing the benefits that flow from targeted early intervention.

But, in many ways it is a disappointing report. It is set up to be so. The group was appointed with a limited mandate. They were only to examine the best use of existing funding within the early childhood sector. This is crazy – as the group reiterated in their report: there is ample evidence that investment in the sector brings strong returns to our society. But further funding was ruled out from the start. The group had to work within the constraints of an environment where cuts have already been made.

The essay within the report proposing new funding mechanisms aligns with the current Government’s privatisation agenda. Centres will set fees according to parents’; perceived ‘ability to pay’. Providers will no longer be required to provide 20 hours free quality early childhood education.

The proposed new funding model, and associated justifications, are captured in the extracted table below:

Although the full detail is not fully explained, it appears that providers will be responsible for deciding just which child qualifies for which subsidy. Different rates will apply according to parents’ income, ethnicity and other variables. Where parents’ income is tested, it’s easy to imagine funding anomalies that parallel those connected to university student allowances. Centre managers may be responsible for making judgments about socio-economic need of parents and children. What was once a welcoming relationship appears set to become something more judgmental.

The Labour Government’s model provided access to 20 hours free quality early childhood education for all citizens. What is clear with the new model, is that this money will be spread far more thinly, and parents will be expected to pay far more. If under twos are included and more hours are to be subsidised, the subsidy will not stretch as far. Barriers to accessing education and care for our children will grow.

The report correctly identifies that investment in quality early childhood education is one of the best a country can make. I agree. I think we can do better.

16 comments on “ECE Taskforce report ”

  1. PeteG 1

    The report correctly identifies that investment in quality early childhood education is one of the best a country can make. I agree.

    I agree too, and we need to do better – but not just in ECE, one of the critical areas that needs attention is kids who don’t make it into ECE, they are far more likely to be at risk and more in need of developmental assistance.

  2. ZeeBop 2

    Janet Frame was saved from a lobotomy. But did all the people who weren’t get an apology? No. Its a bit rich to say we need the system (that fails our economy, our culture, our society, our kids) just needs more focus. What it needs is to be made to own up to those it leaves behind with an apology. Key should be bowing and deeply remorseful that families can’t buy milk.

    Just be honest with yourself, its not good enough, if its wrong, then fess up, and keep doiong so until everyone left-right-up-down has had enough so we’re all on the same page, because all it looks like is a game of tennis were the economic, and social indicators get worse, as each new government pledges to shift the deck chairs around.

    This is why we need a upper house, long serving, systemic memory, that will stand up to radical shifts to the right. Britain had one when it had 4 million people! Why can’t we afford one now?

    • Jim Nald 2.1

      Be careful what you wish for

    • McFlock 2.2

      I almost bit, but it would be a bit of a distraction from ECE issues to come up with the myriad reasons why we shouldn’t copy the structure of the English government in 1600.

      Personally, my belief is that if they expect parents – especially single parents – to work, the government should provide 40hpw free childcare to all families and fund it out of general taxation.

      • ZeeBop 2.2.1

        We could just follow UK, OZ, laws instead of letting our genius parliament try out far rightwing policy on us. As to the snide comment that we’d ever produce a 1600 parliament in the 21st century that’s laughable. And the distrust of anyone having any real say divorced from real power that an upper chamber provides, that’s just a shocking indictment of the nazi like propaganda, I mean geez they already rush too much reform in under urgency, if you put scum into a room and force government to pay them off (as was the case in the 1600) then there is time to get a mob to the parliamentary gates. Oh, yeah, and move the parliament to S.Auckland, you want real government you need to get the parliament within a bus ride from the poorest in society. Its called listening, the forcing of the dissent from those most harmed by parliament, for parliament, and eventually of parliament.

        • McFlock 2.2.1.1

          Britain had an upper house when it had 4 million people. This population was reached was around 1600. The upper house in particular served (and still serves) simply to enforce the status quo over dynamic change, and at this stage of the pendulum swing it’ll just keep the policies of Brash, Key and the money men in force.

          Look at the US and GB – becoming bicameral won’t necessarily make the politicians listen. 
           
          What we could do is increase the number of representatives (so electorate mps serve fewer folk). Actually, given that there is party-based voting and the mps don’t all have to be in the house at the same time, there is no reason not to have say 360 reps (arbitrary figure to illustrate 50:50 list:electorate parliament with more than 60 electorates) running in 3 or 4 simultaneous parliamentary sittings. If MPs served 10000 rather than 30000 the democracy would be more direct, more independents would be in the house, and administration would be more democratic. Independents dealing with simultaneous sittings might be difficult to resolve, but not overwhelmingly so. After all, they don’t physically need to be there, and there can be a few hours between the close of debate and the vote.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      We do not need an upper house. It achieves nothing except possibly to make laws worse.

  3. anarcho 3

    yeah it’s good to see a U-turn on many of the Govt’s recent moves. The recommendation for a shift to a more user-pays model will however threaten the current universal model which gives equal access (but not of course equal outcome). Spreading the existing 20hr free scheme to target ‘at-risk’ children will only create gaps else where.

  4. freedom 4

    the new rules being brewed suggest a basic job requirement for a single parent receiving the DPB will mean twenty to thirty hours per week.

    for this example let’s look at a twenty hour requirement.

    Firstly that involves 21-22hours childcare when you include travel time from childcare to work to childcare. With the current available Susbsidy of 20 hours childcare the parent is left with a debt in childcare of 2 hours or $40 ($20 p/hr accepted childcare costs quoted all over the show)

    $40 = 3 hours work (3.0769230 for the bean counter brigade)
    3 hours work = $39.00

    an immediate deficit is created

    but wait there’s more….

    the twenty hour job earns the lucky parent $260
    which is $160 over the allowed limit before secondary tax/clawback is applied

    so take away 70 c in the dollar for the $160 = $38 of earnings for ten hours worked

    so ten hours of employment will allow the parent to pay for two hours of childcare

    psst- how does the parent get to work in the first place, add petrol/bus/train fares

    now of course you say but wait what about the $100 dollars the parent earned before clawback. That is plenty to pay the childcare costs.

    You see the thing is the parent was hoping to put that towards the power bill, the ever diminishing Supermarket shop, the phone bill the clothes for work, the increased travel costs but guesses that when it’s all boiled down it would be better to go talk to the bank and discuss the possibility of investing in a litre of milk.

    As the parent contemplates the new day, are you surprised they are quietly wondering when the well-off in NZ became a closeminded cabal of ignorant heartless parasites

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The well-off have always been a closeminded cabal of ignorant heartless parasites. We just keep forgetting and then let them get the upper hand until we remember and pull them down with good old fashioned democracy (Otherwise known as Bloody Revolution).

      • freedom 4.1.1

        To be fair to New Zealand’s history, up untill the eighties many of the well-off were heavily involved in community projects or support organisations. There were many generous NZ patrons. Not only of the Arts and Sciences, Community Sports and Social programmes were often the result of a beneactor from the well to do part of town. In short much of the goodwill that NZ now enjoys exists solely due to those who helped Kiwi kids get a step up.

        Where are they now is the question?

  5. ianmac 5

    Buried in the middle there, “Teachers pay should be between the teacher and the Employer.”
    Now that’s another thin end of the wedge! The wealthier units can afford higher pay. The units with greatest need, are poorer so they can only offer poor salary. Round we go.
    A unit for profit has every reason to avoid paying salaries.

  6. Not only are there decile 1 – 10 schools, now NZ will have decile 1 – 10 ECE centres and the same problem seen in schools will be seen in ECE centres.

    Where will the class divide end?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      As is usual with these things, with a revolution of some desciption 🙂

  7. Bubbsea 7

    The extraordinary increase in early childhood education investment in recent years (starting from the introduction of Free ECE by the Labour Government in 2007) means that the requirement to make best use of existing funding was far from unreasonable.
    As for providers being responsible for deciding just which child qualifies for which subsidy, well images of alcoholics in charge of the brewery come to mind. The report is light on detail, but it’s nothing like what you have in mind, David.
    And targeting, which is what the report implies, means that the funding is NOT spread as thinly. What planet are you on, David?

  8. No-one seems to be picking up on the recommendation from the Taskforce that 80% registered teachers in teacher-led services is an appropriate ratio. I thought that the Left would have been all over that.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago