It was great to be amongst hundreds of Dunedin people marching down George Street yesterday. The Government has cut $400 million from early childhood education. Local centres are being forced to cut qualified staff and raise fees – some by 25%. People are not happy.
Dunedin has lead the way in provision of high quality early childhood education.
Our city has the largest proportion of children enrolled in centres employing qualified staff. In Dunedin next year, 2900 Children currently enrolled in high quality early childhood education will be immediately affected by the Government’s funding cuts.
The true number of those affected is much greater. The families of these 2900 children will be affected too. Some won’t be able to afford the fees at all. And – to widen the circle further still – those centres that hoped to employ 100% qualified teachers in the future, now will not be able to afford to.
The Government has set up a taskforce on early childhood education. Many are expecting more cuts. Despite a huge amount of scientific evidence that suggests this is an area where more money should be invested, the Taskforce’s mandate maintains an emphasis on penny-pinching.
To make your submission to the Task force click here.