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Early Childhood Council comment on Family Boost announcement

Comment from Simon Laube, Early Childhood Council CEO:

“It’s great to see the government prioritising early childhood education (ECE).

“It’s a welcome relief for parents facing rising costs, particularly those with the highest fees.

“Childcare fees cost parents 47% more now than in 2000, according to Statistics NZ.

“Family Boost should help stimulate demand, and re-engage families with ECE centres, particularly in Auckland.

“More demand from parents will benefit centres, and the sector overall.

“It’s great to see there’s a consultation period on the proposed changes, so we can see if the rebates are easy for parents to claim. The process needs to be straightforward for both parents and centres to be a success.

“This is a big step in the right direction, but reinforces the urgent need for a broad funding review.

“It needs to including both Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Development’s targeted funding support to families who don’t pay fees currently.

“We’d hate to see any non-fee centres introducing fees to capture Family Boost payments.

“Since 2016/17, MSD’s childcare support for disadvantaged families has reduced from $147m to $102m in 2021/22. Disadvantage in NZ has not reduced, the policy is no longer effective at getting the funding to the families who really need it.”.

 

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