Wellington, July 14, 2017
Labour will ensure that children get the best start in life by boosting funding for Early Childhood Centres to employ 100% qualified and registered teachers.
Labour will increase funding for centres that employ 100% qualified and registered teachers, and we will require all ECE centres to employ at least 80 per cent qualified teachers by the end of our first term.
This $193 million increase for ECE demonstrates our commitment to strong public services as the foundation for a just and prosperous society.
Focus on priorities
Labour is focused on the priorities Kiwi families care about – houses, hospitals, schools and infrastructure. By scrapping National’s election year tax cuts, we can afford to invest in the things that will make a difference to people’s lives.
National has reduced funding for ECE centres that have 100% qualified teachers and has frozen per-child funding rates since 2010. As a result, ECE fees have risen 25% for parents.
When we know how valuable good quality early education is, cutting corners is plain stupid. It hurts children.
Ending funding freeze
Labour will also end National’s funding freeze and in the future we’ll increase funding rates to at least account for inflation each year.
Under National’s plans, the wealthiest 10% get $400 million in tax cuts, while our public services are cut through continued underfunding.
The choice is clear for New Zealanders who care about their kids and want a better future for the next generation.
It is time for a fresh approach to education. Labour will be rolling out its plans for the education sector over the next week so parents are clear about our commitment to children and their future.
Andrew Little is Leader of the Labour Party of New Zealand and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.