Playcentre parents relieved
There were cheers and hugs, tears and laughter and a whole lot of celebration going on at playcentres in the Matamata area following confirmation from Minister of Education Anne Tolley that there was no risk of cuts to Playcentre funding.
Mrs Tolley has come out swinging after a number of media reports suggested that the Government was supporting recommendations by the Early Childhood Education Taskforce to cut playcentre funding by as much as 70 per cent.
Mrs Tolley said there was no risk to playcentre funding, following the release of the taskforce report.
‘‘The Government is investing $ 1.4 billion in early childhood education this year and the taskforce was established to review the effectiveness of early childhood education spending and to make recommendations on proposed improvements,’’ said Mrs Tolley.
‘‘ This included recommendations for changes to funding and policy settings but I want to make it absolutely clear that this will not result in any funding cuts to playcentres or parent-led services.’’
Families at Matamata Playcentre were overcome with excitement following the announcement. ‘‘We couldn’t be more delighted and relieved. We all just want to thank the Matamata community for its support.’’
Mrs Tolley said: ‘‘The Government values a diverse early childhood education sector, which includes services where parents choose not to have fully-qualified teachers.
‘‘This is why we extended 20 hours’ early childhood education to playcentre and kohanga reo last year, something which the previous Government refused to do. We are committed to highquality early childhood education, delivered by teacher and parentled services, and we are making sure the system works more effectively to benefit every single one of our youngest New Zealanders.’’