As of November 2011, this website is no longer being kept uptodate. It contains NZ Parliament debates from November 2005 to November 2011. TheyWorkForYou.co.nz is volunteer run, and has been in operation since November 2006.

Budget 2011—Early Childhood Education

Thursday 9 June 2011 Hansard source (external site)

Roy5. Hon HEATHER ROY (ACT) Link to this
to the Minister of Education

Why has the Government budgeted an additional $550.3 million for early childhood education over the next 4 years?

TolleyHon ANNE TOLLEY (Minister of Education) Link to this

Because the Government believes that early childhood education is a good investment for our young New Zealanders.

RoyHon Heather Roy Link to this

Does she stand by her Budget day statement that early childhood education funding would focus on “increasing participation for Māori, Pasifika, and children from low-income families,”; if so, what is her best estimate of likely increases in participation rates for these groups from the extra half a billion dollars in funding?

RoyHon Heather Roy Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question required much more than a yes or no answer, I would have thought.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

In fairness, the member asked whether the Minister could confirm, if I recollect correctly, that money was being allocated to certain groups, and then the member went on to ask, if that was so, how many children would benefit from it. The Minister, as she is entitled to do, answered the first part of the question. She said yes, that the funding was being targeted to those groups. The member has further supplementary questions should she wish to use them.

MoroneySue Moroney Link to this

How does her Government’s funding of early childhood education compare with the 1 percent of GDP spent on average by other OECD countries and recommended by UNICEF?

TolleyHon ANNE TOLLEY Link to this

This Budget 2011 provides an 11.5 percent increase in early childhood education spending from Budget 2010, even in the depths of a severe economic recession. I think that is an outstanding record from this Government.

MoroneySue Moroney Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question was quite specific. It was about the percentage of GDP spent on early childhood education.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

I will allow the member to repeat her question just to be certain, because I did not hear it clearly.

MoroneySue Moroney Link to this

How does her Government’s funding of early childhood education compare with the 1 percent of GDP spent on average by other OECD countries and recommended by UNICEF?

TolleyHon ANNE TOLLEY Link to this

If the member had put that question on notice, I could have found the percentage for New Zealand. However, I repeat that Budget 2011 provided an 11.5 percent increase over Budget 2010, even in the depths of an economic recession. I think that is an outstanding record.

MoroneySue Moroney Link to this

Why will early childhood education services that were paid $13.35 per hour per child under 2 years of age, prior to her Government’s funding cuts on 1 February this year, now receive only $11.93 per hour per child after her funding increase on 1 July, which is a funding reduction of $1.42 per hour per child?

TolleyHon ANNE TOLLEY Link to this

That member continues to misrepresent that this Government has cut early childhood education spending. In fact, this Government has continued to increase early childhood education spending. However, we did remove the incentive for centres to move from 80 to 100 percent qualified teachers in teacher-led services, and that has made a difference to the funding rates for some centres. That is because this Government has a goal of 80 percent qualified teachers in teacher-led services and we are on track to achieve that across all services next year.

MallardHon Trevor Mallard Link to this

Does her Government spend more per child in early childhood education or on children in their first year at primary school?

TolleyHon ANNE TOLLEY Link to this

Yes, the average is higher—$7,600, I believe, is spent per child in early childhood education, and $5,500 on a child in primary school education.

MallardHon Trevor Mallard Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Just in case I did not make it clear, is this the first year at school?

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

That is not a point of order.

MallardHon Trevor Mallard Link to this

Were the figures that she just used the figures for the first year at school?

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

The question was about early childhood education. The Minister may not have that information.

TolleyHon ANNE TOLLEY Link to this

Yes, I do not have that information. The average spent for a primary school student is less than the average spent on early childhood education.

MoroneySue Moroney Link to this

I seek leave to table the funding rates for early childhood education to 1 February 2011.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

What is the source of that information?

MoroneySue Moroney Link to this

It is from the Ministry of Education.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is objection.

MoroneySue Moroney Link to this

I seek leave to table a document from the website of the Ministry of Education showing the funding rates for 2011 and the funding reduction for services down to $11.93 per child, per hour.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

Leave is sought to table that document from the Ministry of Education website. Is there any objection? There is objection.

RoyHon Heather Roy Link to this

Can the Minister explain to the House how she can justify her claim that her 20 free hours policy is caring when low-income earners are often taxed at a marginal tax rate of between 53c to 102c in the dollar to subsidise the early childhood education of the children of high-income earners?

TolleyHon ANNE TOLLEY Link to this

This Government does not have any policy of 20 free hours. In fact, we came to Government and changed the name from 20 free hours to 20 hours early childhood education, because the previous Government had made it so that it was not free.

DouglasHon Sir Roger Douglas Link to this

Could the Minister confirm that her policy on 20 free hours is yet another example of the Government’s extremist policies, which force low-income families to pay high rates of personal tax in order to subsidise asset-rich and high-income families?

TolleyHon ANNE TOLLEY Link to this

I repeat that this Government has no policy of 20 free hours.

Jun 2011
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
3031123
678910
1314151617
2021222324
272829301