Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.
“Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees places enormous pressure on organisations working with children and it puts children at risk.
“It completely undermines Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that she is increasing protection for our kids.
“While home-based educators have always been able to access police checks for potential new employees, many considered this wasn’t always robust enough so sought CYF checks as well.
“The CYF service has been used for many years, with employers reporting information from those checks has, in some cases, led them to reconsider their employment decision.
“They have now been told by CYF that ‘MSD is not resourced to provide’ them.
“The Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014 places more stringent safety checks on organisations working with children, but the onus is all on the employer with little support from Government.
“The Minister has claimed CYF was never meant to offer this service in the first place, yet it has been proved that police vetting alone is not enough in these situations.
“It is yet further proof that CYF is under enormous pressure. The Minister needs to ensure her department is supported to do the basics. Criticising officials who are doing their best to keep children safe is hardly leadership,” Jacinda Ardern says.