Greens focus on early-childhood education

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 10:38 21/07/2014

Relevant offers

Education

College students sweat it, move it, live it, stop it Creative flare on show during Waikato Culinary Fare Judge drops principal's assault charges Putaruru College opens $1.3 million building refurbished after asbestos was found High School students being taught how to be positive cybercitizens Parents get virtual first glimpse of new Hamilton school Charter school has budget surplus eight times the average state school National testing for Year 9 and 10 students ahead A tale of two rectors Nayland students split over uniform plan

The Green Party is planning to extend the early-childhood education subsidy to 2-year-olds to ensure all children had enough to thrive.

It was the first of what the party said would be a series of measures targeting child poverty and inequality.

The party also said it would provide an extra $32 million a year to fund qualified early childhood education (ECE) teachers "as part of an ambitious plan to boost the quality of early-childhood education and make sure every child gets the right care and support".

The party said the policy, which extended the 20 hours a week free ECE already provided for 3 and 4-year-olds, would carry an initial cost of $297 million, rising to $367m in four years time.

It would cover 40,000 children, saving families with 2-year-olds in ECE an estimated $95 a week.

"Every child should have enough to thrive," co-leader Metiria Turei said.

"Any less is a failure of society."

Turei pointed to a 2010 OECD study that showed working New Zealand families spent 28 per cent of their net income on childcare.

"The Green Party will help families out financially by reducing early-childhood education costs, at the same time as improving access to quality education," she said.

"It is a major investment in our kids."

About two-thirds of all 2-year-olds were enrolled in ECE but did not get the subsidy, she said.

The Greens also wanted to ensure the education ECE offered was high-quality.

They would therefore fund more qualified teachers, commit to a long-term strategy for lifting teacher qualifications, and hold a ministerial review into ECE funding that would also look at staff ratios and focus on expanding the not-for-profit sector.

The party has already announced a policy to build 20 new ECE centres at low-decile schools.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content