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.