1000 march against cuts to early education

Protesters against cuts to early childhood education march in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Craig...
Protesters against cuts to early childhood education march in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
About 1000 people packed the Octagon, in Dunedin, on Saturday, to give the Government the clear message that cuts to early childhood education were not a popular move.

The rally came at the end of a march from the Dental School, organised to protest the Government's plan to reduce funding of qualified and registered teachers from 100% to 80% from next year, and was part of nationwide action on the issue.

The Dunedin Community Childcare Association (DCCA) says the Government has cut $435 million from early childhood education over the next four years.

Labour Party early childhood education spokeswoman Sue Moroney told the crowd the Government had broken its promises on funding.

She said every dollar spent on early childhood education saved $17 in the future from being spent on areas like prisons and welfare, and was one of the "best investments the Government can make".

DCCA director Jo Ellis said any reduction in funding would have an impact on children's participation in early childhood education.

The 20% funding the association would lose was money it would not be able to find again.

Those attending the rally were urged to write to their member of Parliament and newspapers to express their concern.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has argued the previous Labour government's early childhood education spending saw funding treble, but the numbers participating grew by less than 1%.


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