MSD needs to cut red tape, not childcare subsidies

Parents and caregivers relying on vital Ministry of Social Development (MSD) subsidies are being cut off when financial support is needed most.

The MSD has suspended childcare subsidies, often paid to Early Childhood Education providers on behalf of parents and caregivers, claiming they’ve no legal authority to pay them while ECE centre doors are closed.

The effects on ECE centres who rely on these payments to stay open will be significant.

Confusion has reigned on this issue since the lockdown was announced, with MSD initially indicating subsidies would continue, before performing a u-turn and announcing a final payment would be made on 6 April.

“Many of our members rely on these subsidies to pay teachers 100% of wages among other costs during the lockdown. It’s particularly worrying for community-owned centres who tend to serve lower socio-economic communities,” said Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds.

“We’re urging MSD to consider the devastating impact stopping childcare subsidies will have on our communities, and reverse their decision,” said Mr Reynolds.