Funding boost for struggling parents
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.