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Sector slams Labour’s flagship ECE policy

JOINT PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP & Penny Simmonds MP | 25 May 2023 -

Sector slams Labour’s flagship ECE policy

The early childhood education sector has overwhelmingly rejected Labour’s policy to extend 20 hours free to two-year-olds, National’s Early Childhood Education spokesperson Penny Simmonds and Education spokesperson Erica Stanford say.

“Labour’s flagship policy of Budget 2023 has been slammed by three-quarters of the early childhood education sector, calling it ‘completely unworkable’,” Simmonds says.

“In an open letter to the Education Minister, the sector has said that the Government’s policy will force centres to hike fees, reduce child-to-teacher ratios, opt out of fees-free altogether, or close their doors for good.

“As Kiwi families struggle through Labour’s cost-of-living crisis, the last thing they need is their local ECE centre to bump up their fees or close entirely.”

“This is just another Labour announcement that makes a good sound bite but will fail to deliver better outcomes for New Zealanders. Jan Tinetti needs to go back to the drawing board,” Stanford says.

“Delivering affordable childcare is critical to helping more parents back into the workforce earlier, which will help get New Zealand’s economy back on track.

“National knows that it is only through a strong economy that we can lift incomes, deal with the cost-of-living crisis, reduce interest rates and deliver the public services Kiwis deserve.

“That is why National will deliver the FamilyBoost childcare rebate to support young families with the cost of childcare. FamilyBoost will help 130,000 low- and middle-income families keep more of what they earn, with up to $75 more in their after-tax pay each week.

“Under National, families earning up to $180,000 will receive a 25 per cent rebate on their early childhood education expenses, to a maximum of $3,900 per year depending on their income.

“The early childhood education sector welcomed National’s FamilyBoost childcare rebate. Meanwhile, Labour’s policy is now in tatters.”


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