English talks of support for parents

17:00, Aug 03 2012

Early childhood centres should be there to support parents and not the other way around, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said in Queenstown yesterday.

Mr English was in the resort to officially open the new KingsView Early Learning Centre, next to Kingsview School in Yewlett Cres.

He told about 50 guests at the opening that more parents were using early childhood education, but that increase also reflected the attitude the community had towards supporting parents.

"We need to keep the system as open as possible, because the last thing we want is a bunch of bureaucrats influencing the way things are happening," he said.

In 2008, the Government spent $800 million on various subsidies for early childhood centres.

Next year that would reach $1.3 billion as part of its commitment to early childhood education. He congratulated the centre on its spirit before being entertained by some of the 24 enrolled children.

The centre's team leader, Gill Hodgson, said the 11 spaces would increase to 25 from Monday, with new staff arriving and new enrolments being taken.

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The Southland Times