20 hours free now 10 hours free
Steve Maharey gave out some forms at The Childspace Early Learning Centre yesterday to promote his 20 hours free childcare policy. The centre, in one of Wellingtons richest suburbs, says a parent can save up to $80.00 a week when it offers "20 hours free".
But the centre is not offering 20 hours free, and neither is the childcare centre that Maharey initially launched the policy from. What Maharey is actually offering is 10 hours free dressed up and under funded as 20 hours free. Heres how it works.
The Childspace Early Learning Centre charges $150 for 20 hours of childcare. If a child is enrolled for 20 hours their parents have to pay at least $70.00 for the privilege in "top up costs" - otherwise the centre's spokesperson Toni Christie, would have said that they save at least $150.00 a week for 20 hours of childcare.
But the Government doesn't want to fund $150.00 per child per week, which is why Maharey is not launching this in a poor community who cant afford top ups. If the child comes from a poor family they can get a maximum WINZ subsidy of $3.10 an hour per child to cover the shortfall - but why should they have to when the policy is 20 hours free? Actually, it doesnt cover the shortfall anyway...