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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Preschoolers told to hand over their tooth fairy money

Parents face $80 a week fees shock
The parents of tens of thousands of preschoolers can expect to start paying more for early childhood care next year - in some cases up to $80 a week for each child.

The increases are expected to kick in from February once the Government removes the top two funding bands for around 2000 centres which have more than 80 per cent of fully qualified staff.

A new survey, conducted by the Labour Party and released exclusively to the Herald, shows most centres facing the cuts plan to compensate by making staff redundant, passing costs on to parents or a combination of both.

The survey, which questioned 435 of the centres facing cuts, found 89 per cent planned to pass costs on to parents by increasing fees.

Those increases varied from $2 to $80 per child per week. In Auckland just over half of the centres indicated fees were likely to increase by $15 to $30, 14 per cent were $40 to $50 and 5 per cent were planning on increases of more than $50 a week.

Nearly 60 per cent of the centres expect participation to drop as an effect of the funding cuts. Maori, Pasifika and children from low-income families are expected to be particularly affected.

Labour has used the findings to attack the National Government saying its ECE funding cuts, which were announced in this year's Budget, will only end up hurting children during the most important learning period of their life. National has hit back saying it is spending $1.3 billion a year on early childhood education and centres should be finding ways to cover the costs themselves - not passing them on to parents, many of whom are already struggling.

Labour leader Phil Goff said Prime Minister John Key should be "ashamed" that participation rates will drop as a direct result of the Government's funding cuts.

After gutting adult education, promoting flawed national standards for league tables and giving the private education industry $34 million, Anne Tolley doesn't seem to actually like education much does she and this Government as a whole doesn't seem to like women all that much either.

The biennial New Zealand Census of Women's Participation 2010 found that women comprise 32 percent of MPs, 30 percent of Cabinet, 72 percent of teachers and 47 percent of school principals.

It went on to point out that there were only three female editors out of the 26 daily newspapers, while 26 percent of the country's judges are women, as are 29 percent of the New Zealand police force.

Although 59 percent of the workers in public service are women, only six out of 34 public service departments have a woman chief executive.

The report identifies a 15.4 percent gender pay gap in the public service, which is greater than the total labour force gender pay gap of 13 per cent.

It's not just in these stats that we see the National fail women, we see it in their destructive attitudes towards child care and we see it in their forcing Solo Mothers back to work based on flawed voodoo math from the Ideologically stacked Welfare Razor Gang.

The vast majority of NZers stay on welfare for a year, the vast minority stay on the dole for a decade, yet the ideologically stacked Welfare Razor Gang arrived at the $50 billion figure by claiming that if every person on welfare right now stayed on Welfare for their entire lives, as in no one got a job for the rest of their life, THEN and only then would it cost $50 billion.

Many of these users of Welfare are women so they are being let down at the bottom and at the top by National Party policy.

One way the Government were letting women down was though their despicable decision to cut ACC funded counselling for victims of sex crimes. Despite a damning report on the bullshit ‘Massey Guidelines’ policy. National were forced to u-turn this policy but when it comes to the 90 day right to sack law, National are pushing ahead despite being told by the Human Rights Commission that it will hurt women more.

John Key appealed to female voters last election in the midst of the repeal of section 59 hysteria, now woman can see the reality of National's policy it will be interesting to see if they are still enthralled by him, John Armstrong suggests that they are...

What should be really worrying Labour is what is happening at the other end of the income scale. In places like upmarket Whitby, Labour got walloped, as it always does.

Its problem is a category of voters who might be termed "well-off liberals" and who were attracted to Labour because they liked Helen Clark's political style.

This cohort - many of them women - is slowly deserting Labour.

...the 'well-off' liberal woman according to John are drifting towards National, let's see if increasing child care keeps the John Key love affair going.


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