Another one-page excuse for a policy from National, this one on early childhood education. After vehemently opposing 20Free, National would now keep it but not because it wants to, only because â€˜thousands of parents are now using 20 Hours and we do not want to cause them uncertainty’. Gee, thanks, National.
The headline change is renaming 20Free, 20 Hours ECE.
They will also extend 20Free to cover those 5 year olds who haven’t yet started school and include playcentres and kohanga reo, which seem like good proposals and are consistent with current policy work by the Ministry. The objective of boosting adult/child ratios is good but proposing to do it by reducing the qualifications that teachers need is a backwards step.
So, a few minor changes. Unfortunately, National hasn’t said how much their changes would cost, so we can’t see how this affects National’s ability to balance the books and offer significant tax-cuts.
Finally, let’s remember, these â€˜policy announcements’ from National are really nothing of the sort. There’s no detail, no substance. It’s not a real policy if the entire thing is a dozen bullet points and no costings are made.