Govt fund­ing un­der threat

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By KA­T­RINA LINTONBON

Seven play­cen­tres within a 20km ra­dius of Mata­mata are fac­ing po­ten­tial clo­sure fol­low­ing an Early Child­hood Ed­u­ca­tion Task­force re­port which sug­gests play­cen­tre fund­ing is cut by as much as 70 per cent.

Mata­mata Play­cen­tre pres­i­dent Kerry Is­a­beth said at present play­cen­tres in the Mata­mata area ‘‘get by’’ with the fund­ing they are al­lo­cated an­nu­ally but to take a fur­ther 70 per cent cut would be un­sur­viv­able, even for a larger play­cen­tre like Mata­mata.

She was close to tears when spo­ken to by the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle.

‘‘There is no rhyme or rea­son for this de­ci­sion,’’ she said.

‘‘ This is an­other David Go­liath sit­u­a­tion.’’

Ms Is­a­beth be­lieves it is once again ru­ral fam­i­lies who will take the harder hit.

This was a tragedy not only for the chil­dren who at­tended play­cen­tre but also for the mums.

‘‘ I’ve formed some great friend­ships through play­cen­tre, in an en­vi­ron­ment such as this you are there to sup­port one an­other,’’ she said

Play­cen­tres around the coun­try are fac­ing fund­ing cuts so se­vere that the New Zealand Play­cen­tre

and Fed­er­a­tion ex­pects that 460 of the 489 cen­tres will close.

Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Anne Tol­ley has come out in protest and said this is just scare­mon­ger­ing on be­half of the Labour Party.

The Early Child­hood Ed­u­ca­tion Task­force is an in­de­pen­dent en­tity and was com­mis­sioned by the gov­ern­ment to com­plete the re­port, Ms Tol­ley said.

She is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to have a say. If you want to email your con­cerns to the min­is­ter do so at anne.tol­ley@na­tional.org.nz

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