Monday, October 04, 2010

The effect of ECE cuts

The effect of the government's ECE cuts: parents not being able to afford to work:

Parents say they will work less and pull their children out of daycare when childcare centres put fees up to cope with $400 million of funding cuts.

A Christchurch survey, released to the Sunday Star-Times by the New Zealand Educational Institute, is the first to show how the government's early childhood education (ECE) cuts will affect families. It found that 92.3 percent of creches set to lose funding will increase fees.


E Tipu E Rea creche in Aranui, Christchurch, plans to raise fees from $4.20 to $5.20 an hour to help cover a $35,000 funding loss. Board of trustees president Kylie Jones said most parents worked fulltime and paid for 25 to 30 hours childcare a week, which would add up to $30 a week to their expenses.

The equation of working to pay for childcare so you can work is bad enough already - one of the examples in the article is already shelling out almost half of her after-tax income in childcare fees. This looks like it will be enough to tip the balance for many people. The result: skilled employees forced to quit their jobs because it is no longer economically worthwhile for them to continue.

This is another example of how National screws over the many for the benefit of the few. The effects of these cuts will mostly be felt by poor and middle class parents. Their kids will miss out on that vital, inequality-levelling education which provides a good start in life. Some of them will lose their careers, or have to put them on hold. Others will simply suffer a drop in living standards as they sacrifice something else so they can keep working. And meanwhile, the wealthy recipients of National's tax-cuts, who can afford higher ECE rates, will be laughing all the way to the bank.