Fund­ing boost for strug­gling par­ents

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The staff at Toru Fetu Kinder­garten got to show off their recipe for suc­cess to Labour’s spokes­woman for chil­dren last week.

The kinder­garten, which opened in 2010, is a pur­pose- built Pasi­fika cen­tre with a teach­ing team that con­sists en­tirely of qual­i­fied early child­hood teach­ers.

Many are flu­ent in Cook Is­land, Tu­valu, Niue and other Pa­cific lan­guages.

A pre­sen­ta­tion on how Toru Fetu op­er­ates was shown to Labour’s spokes­woman for chil­dren, Jacinda Ardern, and Mana MP Kris Faafoi. The pair re­ceived warm en­cour­age­ment for Labour’s Best Start pack­age, which was launched in Jan­uary.

It will give fam­i­lies with a new- born and earn­ing less than $150,000 a year a pay­ment of $60 a week un­til the baby’s first birth­day.

‘‘I don’t think a lot of people re­alise the in­vest­ment ac­tu­ally continues for par­ents who earn less than $50,000 com­bined un­til their child turns 3,’’ Ardern said.

Free an­te­na­tal classes for first­time moth­ers, ex­tend­ing vis­its by Well Child providers such as Plun­ket, ex­pand­ing free ear­ly­child­hood ed­u­ca­tion from 20 to 25 hours and de­vel­op­ment of more early child­hood cen­tres in low­in­come ar­eas is part of Labour’s re­form pack­age, which in­cludes ed­u­ca­tion, health, hous­ing and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

The pack­age will cost $ 147 mil­lion in 2015- 16, ris­ing to $566m a year by 2020.

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