Friday, February 02, 2007

Ha! its all spin

I rang Steve Maharey's office yesterday to ask how they came up with the rates for the Governments 20 hours free child care policy. That will be blogged later. I asked a few other questions too.Responses are in brackets.

I asked if they would be able to deliver on the currentpolicy(yes). I asked if the rates were affordable (they said it was fully costed ,so, yes), and if Maharey was looking at changing the rates to fund the policy (absolutely not, but he would " listen"). I asked if enough child care centres had shown interest in taking up the 20 hours free( yes). I asked if anyone would have to top up their costs to pay for the "20 hours free". ( no, but parents may be charged " voluntary" fees) I asked whether there would be the number of people getting 20 hours free that Maharey claimed - which was about 92,000 (yes).

To get 92,000 kids, nearly 100 percent of childcare centres will have to take part in this scheme. To date 31 percent of all childcare centres nationwide - 38 percent in Auckland - have refused to offer 20 hours free and a further 46 percent were undecided.

Big News will be blogging on this until the policy is either funded properly or scrapped. And it is an election policy, made on the hoof. The very thing Labour is accusing National of doing with respect to some of the content in Key's speech this week.The Government should not be promoting to parents that what they currently get is what they will get for free. Stakeholders do count.


Span said...

What would you consider "funded properly"?

Dave said...

funded properly usually means that stakeholders who implement policy can do so without making a loss in doing so, or have to raise funds to make up for the shortfall, or provide a restricted service, which is not really implementation at all. Especially when the Government says not of the above will happen in this policy.
Span, what do you think funded properly means?

Span said...

so you wouldn't include the ability to make a profit?

Because that is what the private centres are actually complaining about - that the subsidy for the 20 hours covers the costs of providing the service but doesn't include extra for the centre to make significant profit off those 20 hours.

Personally I do think the rates are a little low, particularly for sessional. I would be surprised if many centres really do have to cut what they offer though, imho a lot of this is rhetoric to pressure the govt to increase the rate, to increase profits.

However the scheme always was meant to be voluntary - ie centres chose whether or not to opt in. For those who reckon it isn't enough funding they can just continue with the current system and continue to charge fees. How many centres chose that will obviously impact on how available the 20 hours free is, and I guess we will just have to wait and see - the MOE is rolling out workshops through the sector to help centres work out the financial impact of it as we speak.

Span said...

Sorry "choose" not "chose".

Anonymous said...

What do you expect.
they closed the only private prison that did a great job and cheaper than the state.

same for schooling.
cradle to grave.
we control the environment and influence their worldview to ours.

no more parents no more religion.
then the world will be all good.