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Walk the walk

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 pm, January 28th, 2009 - 8 comments
Categories: families, national/act government - Tags:

Parents around the country are counting down the days until school starts for the year – but for some the NZHerald had some alarming news, stating “cuts in government funding [from MSD]could force 24 after-school care programmes run by Kidicorp to close….The after-school School’s Out programmes run in Auckland, Taupo, Rotorua, Taranaki and Hawkes Bay and around 400 children attend.’

So what can we expect from our National government? Well you might expect to say “let’s leave well enough alone, but I think insight can be gain from Paula Bennett. Last year she stated that it is her intention to” make sure the Ministry of Social Development is focused ….[on] those families stuck in long-term poverty. I don’t underestimate the challenges associated with this, but I intend to make it a priority.” Given that pre and post school care is one of the biggest challenges facing working parents I look forward to seeing her adopt her proactive approach to its resolution.

8 comments on “Walk the walk ”

  1. Rex Widerstrom 1

    Just google “ABC collapse” and you’ll see the sorry state of childcare in Australia. It seems to be one of those difficult situations in which what is invariably a private good is also, for a proportion of its users, a necessity.

    Some of the kids attending after school care wouldn’t need to be there if their parents accepted that an international holiday and a new SUV every few years, not to mention steady promotion up the corporate ladder and all the social functions that entails, could actually be foregone in the interest of spending time with their families.

    But some of the kids wouldn’t have food on the table at night if their sole (or sometimes both) parents weren’t working long hours.

    In Australia the Rudd government reacted to the ABC collapse by propping up the centres till the end of this year. That meant it was subsidising both wealthy and poor parents’ childcare needs.

    I’m no expert on the economics of child care centres but it seems that despite charges higher than many parents can comfortably afford, early childhood workers are amongst the country’s poorest paid. That suggests two possibilities: either the model is uneconomic, or the private operators are taking too much profit. But then poor pay exists across the entire sector, including not-for-profit operators.

    The Australian Greens (who seem to know less than their NZ countrparts about web design) are placing the blame on the fact that the ABC Centres were profit-driven.

    Certainly the founder, Eddy Groves, revelled in a nouveau riche and flamboyant lifestyle. There was also a lot of dubious inflating of share values with ridiculous valuations on “intangible assets” (something which was pointed out to ASIC in 2006 but which they failed to act upon).

    But leaving aside all of that, I wonder whether childcare which is affordable even by those parents who have no choice but to work; which pays its workers a wage which acknolwedges the vital role they play in the development of so many children; and which is economically sustainable even if run as non-profit enterprises, isn’t a mirage?

  2. I remember when John Key became leader of the National Party suggesting that his government would team up with local businesses to feed hungry school children sandwiches each morning. Most people saw that as bullshit right from the start but I bet they never dreamed of cuts into real, actual programmes. Great!

  3. Peter Burns 3

    I will have to goose step my daughter to school this year and fight my way past the stoned up gang recruitment force of welfare delinquents that intimidate those seeking to better their young lives. Thanks Labour.

  4. Peter – Didn’t you once claim to be on the benefit yourself?

  5. Peter Burns 5

    My business tiger. Got a real name?
    Forget it and goodbye. Another internet creep with another unhealthy obsession!!

  6. Why do you care so much about those so called “welfare delinquents” then?

  7. TightyRighty 7

    Because they are Leeches on the productivity of society.

  8. Joseph 8

    Yes, TightyRighty, because we are all drones working for the good of society. Not individual people living their own lives.

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