Lack of data in early learning consultation leaves providers flying blind
The Ministry of Education’s own sector Expert Advisory Group (EAG) holds serious concerns with the Pay Parity funding review.
They say it’s impossible for providers to determine if the proposed changes are viable for their centre, because of insufficient detail and lack of data.
This is backed up by a 5 May poll of Early Childhood Council members, 71% of whom were very unsatisfied with the Ministry’s funding consultation document. In the same poll, 87% of respondents said it was completely unacceptable to be consulted on major funding changes without being able to calculate the implications for their centre.
“If ECE providers aren’t given the details of the proposed changes, how can they possibly say if their service will remain viable or if fees will need to go up?” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.
Sector experts say the proposed changes will affect providers caring for children under two, and make it impossible for providers to say if they can continue offering 20 hours’ free care.
“Parents should be deeply concerned, because when centres are affected, their children’s care will be affected. We’re sharing information about the proposed changes and resources so parents can understand what’s happening and have their say.”
“Providers deserve to be treated with some respect and dignity – this material isn’t ready for consultation, let alone implementation and won’t meet the review’s own objectives. Good consultation requires the Ministry to at least provide the proper detail so providers can determine if the changes are financially sustainable or not,” said Simon Laube.