Hundreds protest early childhood funding cuts
Sat, 09 Jul 2011 6:10p.m.
By Ingrid Hipkiss
Hundreds of parents and teachers took to the streets of Auckland today, protesting changes to early childhood education funding.
The Government has slashed financial incentives for preschools and kindergartens to employ qualified teachers, and parents say their kids are getting a raw deal.
The funding shake up happened back in February but that did not deter today's march.
Those cuts saw around 2000 preschools and kindergartens lose funding to pay for qualified teachers.
The Government says only eight out of 10 preschool teachers need a qualification, so it pulled subsidies for more.
Preschool teacher Florrin Keni says the move is a mistake.
“For us to implement quality programs or learning experiences for our children we need to know what we're talking about. We need to know what we're doing.”
Education Minister Anne Tolley says the Government has actually increased funding to the sector by $550 million over the next four years.
“In fact we're spending as much on early childhood services now as we are on the entire police force, so it's an enormous amount of money.”
Opposition leader Phil Goff was presented with a petition echoing those concerns, and signed by 60,000 people.
“Nobody would imagine that it’s satisfactory to have 20 percent of our primary teachers unqualified, what changes magically at age five?”
Mother Tuafono Teio says “it means a lot for our children to have the best of the best at the start”.
“And that's exactly what I’m here for.”
The numbers today were swelled by plenty of politicians; it is an election year after all - no one from the Government though. It’s heard these arguments before and the minister said it will not be swayed.
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19/07/2011 11:01:21 p.m.
We weren't looking for sympathy for ourselves as the bearers of our beautiful children we were fighting for what is ours and that is the right for our children to have the best of the best which has been running not only with Labour but with National as well. To all the people who think we were doing this as a Political Stand on Votes for who wins the next election YOUR TOTALLY on the wrong BUS!!! We fight for the rights of our kids and obviously with all the negative views being placed on this matter YOU SHOULDNT EVEN COMMENT obviously the gain was for yourself and not for the children...
10/07/2011 3:53:04 p.m.
davo .. you are a moron
nurse hamilton .. take a deep breath
carlos .. you will get into trouble telling people not to have kids if you can't afford to raise them. I mean, in my day we had NO .. that's NO handout from the Govt of the day. People are now so used to getting money for nothing from Labour that they expect it all the time.
10/07/2011 3:48:07 p.m.
HULLO .. .. NZ, as are many countries, is skint and borrowing 250-300 mill a week to carry on but NOBODY, want to take cuts .. NOBODY. We are living beyond our means and as with any household doing the same, we need to either earn more or save more .. both would be fantastic. If Labour get in, with the Greens, we will be borrowing more.
10/07/2011 2:34:04 p.m.
I agree Glenn, grow up Chris - rent a crowd!!!! Alot of those people are fully trained ECE teachers in that "crowd".
10/07/2011 9:35:08 a.m.
You all had the kids, so now you pay to look after them.
10/07/2011 6:42:15 a.m.
Grow up Chris. Do you really think people should be paying $100 a term for their child to attend Kindergarten?? It's a bloody joke and those less fortunate cannot afford it. Their kids are missing out on important early education and a good number of those children will likely turn out less well educated and that is a major problem in today's society.
10/07/2011 12:00:16 a.m.
How to get rid of Tolley: party vote Labour.This will also keep out Brash.It will also mean that the power companies don't get privatised, and so power costs won't be ratcheded up over winter.Win-win-win.
9/07/2011 11:52:05 p.m.
Yes Chris, all the people who have been screwed over thanks to your precious National Party and the narcissists and sociopaths it sadly tends to harbor. And most of their members no doubt have mirrors above their beds. Germany banned the NSDAP, why can't we do the same here and ban the National Party?
9/07/2011 10:10:49 p.m.
'Jake' you miss the point entirely tou moron - this was a political protest thats all nothing to do with education cuts - that's just a front. Love to see your face on election night when Labour get obliterated again when John Key - NZ's greatest and most popular PM ever - sweeps to victory again. Yes the great majority of normal thinking Kiwis don't want Labour back in power ever. They stuffed this country up badly over 10 years.
9/07/2011 9:03:51 p.m.
nurse hamilton wrote:
good on nz for rising up against this heartless gov't/cut everyone and everthing except themselves and the tax cuts for the rich that gave them thousands in pay rises while cuts to kids education ,old folks home help and night school no more. the gov't must go.
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