International Cat Speculators Since 2006

ECE “Cuts”


Oh, he’s done it again.

When National ripped $400 million out of ECE funding, Education Minister Anne Tolley tried to pretend that it wouldn’t hurt anyone, and that it wouldn’t result in lower quality education or in parents having to pay higher fees to make up the shortfall.

Bullshit:

Indeed it is. National isn’t “ripping” $400m out of ECE, they’re reversing an incredibly expensive policy which had no rational reason for existence.

Turns out the Labour party surveyed the overstaffed centers (the ones who are being asked to give their staff to other centers who are under staffed) and discovered many are digging in their heels and refusing to face reality.

In fact, they’re actually prepared to stick their customers for the extra dosh rather than face the simple fact that having 4 people with degrees and one without isn’t going to deliver worse service than having all 5 with degrees.

…Those increases varied from $2 to $80 per child per week. In Auckland just over half of the centres indicated fees were likely to increase by $15 to $30, 14 per cent were $40 to $50 and 5 per cent were planning on increases of more than $50 a week.

So a lot of ECE centers are quite happy to effectively piss away money and pass the bill onto parents. That’s a disgusting attitude, but apparently it’s what you get after 9 years of Labour.

There are about 2,000 early childhood education centres nationwide, so this is a fairly comprehensive survey. And what it clearly shows is that parents will be paying more due to National’s cuts.

No, it clearly shows is that parents will be paying more after National’s cuts, not “due to”. If I can’t afford petrol I still do my 100k Sunday drive, it’s my fault that I end up stuck in the middle of nowhere.

The equation of working to pay for childcare so you can work is already tenuous enough, and the inevitable result will be people (mostly women) pushed out of the workforce as they can no longer afford to work. It will also utterly hamstring National’s proposals to force solo parents back into the workforce – you just can’t do that without access to cheap, affordable childcare. But worse than all of that, it will undermine the educational opportunities (and future prospects) of an entire generation of kiwi kids.

As I have said before, early childhood education is one of the best investments a society can make. It leads to smarter, better educated, healthier kids, who have higher average incomes and are less likely to go to jail. It also increases social mobility, and decreases inequality.

For the sake of arguement, I agree with all of this. Forcing parents to pay more will have some very, very bad effects. Worse, these effects that are easily avoided without compromising education and without changing the policy.

But National isn’t interested in any of that. All they care about is tax cuts now, for their rich mates – and the rest of us can go to hell.

National do care about tax cuts, and they are cutting taxes for the rich. But that’s only because the rich pay most tax, so it’s pretty hard to cut taxes without that accusation, and anyway the left always find some obscure and illogical angle to make that claim. And yes, National do have some rich mates. But that’s at least partially thanks to the fact Labour hates them.

But times have changed. And ECE is one area of government expenditure where recent budgets have drastically increased. Trimming back somewhat to try and redistribute (apparently) valuable qualified teachers should receive praise. It’s a win-win. Let’s just repeat what Idiot himself says:

As I have said before, early childhood education is one of the best investments a society can make. It leads to smarter, better educated, healthier kids, who have higher average incomes and are less likely to go to jail. It also increases social mobility, and decreases inequality.

I’d rather have 4,000 ECE centers with say, 60% qualified teachers (there are after all, many activities in early childhood that do not require the special, immediate attention of someone with a degree, if there are indeed any at all) and 40% non-qualified taking instruction from those qualified, than 2400 centers.

In the end, either ECE is important, or National’s policy is wrong. It’s not both.

But let’s think about this further. Which centers have the most qualified staff right now? It doesn’t take much imagination to guess that it’s the centers serving higher income people. So the poor are missing out.

Now this policy will move teachers from those schools to ones serving poorer communities if it’s implemented the way National want it to be.But because the overstaffed ECE centers are digging their heals in, those centers are raising fees. Who does that affect? Well, Idiot’s been making that point very loudly – it’s the poorest.

So the policy is being sabotaged by the richer centers at the expense of the poorer ones, but that sabotage is also forcing the poorer parents from the “richer” centers.

Yet this is being painted as National attacking the poor.

Staggering.

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