20 hours free care on the chopping block in worrying ECE consultation

01 May 2023

The government’s plans to dump initiatives like 20 hours free Early Childhood Education, subsidies for children under two and 100% qualified teacher funding bands will mean increased parent fees and a bleak future for providers.

“Parents should be really concerned – you’re likely to be paying a lot more for your child’s care soon, and good luck finding somewhere to take your under-two year old,” said Early Childhood Council CEO Simon Laube.

The ECC says there’s unlikely to be much money left over to run an early learning centre once the Teacher Salary Subsidy is set, leaving parents to pick up the bill, and putting community centres with low or no fees in a financial hole.

“Paying teachers what they deserve is admirable, but if centres are forced to close, where will they teach, and where will parents send their children?”

“There are plenty of surprises here with radical changes proposed, no financial modelling available and many of the proposed changes are not based on sound data,” said Simon Laube.

“This raises more questions than answers for parents and providers alike. The devil really is in the detail and we recommend anyone invested in early learning, from parents to teachers to media to providers to attend the Ministry’s hui, to hear what’s happening and to keep asking questions until they get answers.”

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