Chil­dren take hands-on way to op­pose cuts

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Last Fri­day early child­hood cen­tres around the coun­try put their hands to­gether in a Na­tional Day of Ac­tion against the Gov­ern­ment’s cuts to early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion to­mor­row.

Cen­tres planned events and the fo­cus for the day was the col­lec­tion of hand­prints.

Ra Itu Koanga Reo o Toko­roa was one of these cen­tres who en­cour­aged its chil­dren to paint their hands and plant them on a pe­ti­tion area.

Many cen­tres lost al­most 13 per cent of their bud­gets as a re­sult of the gov­ern­ment fund­ing cuts, which tar­get those ser­vices which have more than 80 per cent qual­i­fied staff.

As a re­sult fees to par­ents have gone up by 12 per cent na­tion­wide.

New Zealand Ed­u­ca­tional In­sti­tute Te Riu Roa Early Ed­u­ca­tion Miro Maori’s Josephine Turi­aKoteka said Ra Itu Koanga Reo o Toko­roa had a great re­sponse to­ward the pe­ti­tion.

‘‘Hope­fully the gov­ern­ment con­sid­ers re­in­stat­ing.’’

She said the Toko­roa cen­tre had ex­pe­ri­enced the ef­fects of the cuts with a staff re­struc­ture tak­ing place last year and an­other is ex­pected.

More than 56,000 New Zealan­ders have signed an in­sti­tute pe­ti­tion which has been cir­cu­lat­ing over the past four months, call­ing on the gov­ern­ment to re­verse the fund­ing cuts and in­vest more in early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion. July 1 also marks a new round of cuts to early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion with fund­ing be­ing cut for the train­ing and men­tor­ing of hun­dreds of be­gin­ning teach­ers.

HIGH FIVE FOR CHANGE: Ra Itu Koanga Reo o Toko­roa chil­dren Pey­ton Ko­here and Nu­mia Vano showed their sup­port last Fri­day on the Na­tional Day of Ac­tion against Gov­ern­ment cuts to early child­hood educ­tion.

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