New Zealand Labour Party

Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education

No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received $10,011 per child per year. By 2014/15 that had fallen to $9,473. That’s a cut of more than $500.

“National also cut funding for early childhood services that offer the highest quality education by employing fully qualified and registered teachers. That has amounted to a cut of over $500 million since National took office.

“Hekia Parata tries to spin her way out of the facts by claiming overall funding has increased. It’s increased because there are more kids participating, not because per-child funding has gone up.

“National claims they’re trying to increase participation while continually cutting funding on a per-child basis. That can only result in cuts to the quality of education kids receive or more cost to parents.

“In recent years the cost to parents of their kids early childhood education has increased up to seven times the rate of inflation. In other words, parents are left picking up the shortfall.

“Labour will restore funding for services with fully qualified teachers and ensure our early childhood services get the funding that they need to deliver a quality education to our kids. Our future generations deserve no less,” says Chris Hipkins.

See Ministry of Education funding data here (sheet EXP3)

See attached document detailing savings in early childhood services.