Rant or rave – your say
Education subsidy for all
Your recent article, Parents feel obliged to pay extra ( Mirror, August 13) raised the issue of some early childhood centres charging parents ‘‘optional’’ extra charges for children receiving the 20 Hours ECE subsidy.
We want to underline that parents don’t have to pay these charges. Any parents who have already signed up to an optional charge should expect to be given a reasonable opportunity to review this decision with their ECE service.
We want to ensure that quality early childhood education is available to all families, irrespective of their family income. Extra payments can make it harder for some parents to afford the early learning experiences that are so important for all kids.
We are happy to look into any complaints from parents who feel they have been compelled to make additional ‘‘optional’’ payments. Just get in touch with your local Ministry of Education office. You can find their contact details at: minedu.govt.nz.
All children attending early childhood centres are subsidised by the government, and those aged between 3 and 5 receive a higher subsidy of up to $11.72 per child per hour for 20 hours ECE a week.
Parents are entitled to the subsidy for up to six hours a day, and a total of 20 hours each week.
If there are additional activities and items above the regulated requirements for ECE services, the service can ask for an optional extra payment, but parents don’t have to pay it. It may mean that children don’t have access to extra activities or items on offer.
While your article said that ‘‘in 2011 centres were allowed to start charging optional fees’’, in fact that isn’t correct.
There has been no change in the rules since the policy began in 2007.
Rawiri Brell, Deputy Secretary, Early Learning, Parents and Whanau, Ministry of Education