Today the Nats’ early childhood education (ECE) cuts kick in, and in response there is a national day of protest:
Children have hand in protest
Ako Early Learning Centre, in Dunedin, is putting its weight behind a New Zealand Educational Institute initiative to oppose cuts to early childhood education (ECE) funding. Cuts to most ECE services will be introduced on Friday, but it will be marked by a nationwide day of protest.
From Friday, the Government will no longer offer a support grant to fund advice and guidance programmes for newly qualified teachers – a cut of about $4000 a teacher.
New Zealand Kindergartens chief executive Clare Wells said “the Government is not only reducing funding but also saying that 100% qualified teachers do not matter if the child is under 5 years old”. …
Centres nationwide would hold a “day of action” on Friday, to show they were “not OK with the cuts”, Ms Morey said. A poster with children’s handprints and comments on what they like about the centre would be the centrepiece on the action day in Dunedin.
Cutting ECE is stupid. The quality of children’s ECE care clearly influences their later education and cognitive development, and therefore helps to shape their entire lives. It’s probably the best investment any country can make, and the Nats are taking us backwards.
At time of writing (Thursday night) the only mention of this in the media is a couple of press releases on Scoop (here, here), the piece in the Otago Daily Times above, and a similar piece in the Marlborough Express. It will be interesting to see what sort of coverage there is on Friday. It would be nice to think that the future of our children merited even half so much attention as, say, a sick penguin.