20Free policy in tatters

Policy making on the hoof is never a good look, and it just got worse for Steve Maharey and Helen Clark with news that the Early Childhood Council's chief executive Sue Thorne has said a survey of 1000 early childhood centres, which was completed last week, had revealed "a very low uptake" of the policy.

She announced this at their annual conference, and also said the prognosis is likely to be worse.
[quote]Only 23.9 per cent of community and privately owned centres had said they would opt in to the 20 hours free education policy, Mrs Thorne said.

But worse than that, according to our survey, many centres with costs in excess of the free ECE (early childhood education) rates are opting in only because they believe they are able to offset their losses by increasing fees for the hours three and four-year-olds attend over and above the 20 free, or by increasing fees for one and two year olds," she said.

The minister of education made clear to me on Monday, however, that this is not the case."[/quote]

Oh dear, some one (the minister) has been telling porkies and despite his public assurances that all you have to do is rock on up to a childhood education centre and demand the 20Free the exact opposite appears to be the case. If you do rock on up you are likely to be shown the do