National are failing our children


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Latest research shows we are spending billions on early education yet children are turning up at school without the skills to succeed…

Participation in ECE has risen steadily over the past decade. At the same time expenditure has tripled, to $1.5 billion in 2015. The Government is pushing to hit a target of 98 per cent participation, saying high quality early childhood education could boost long-term achievement and help at-risk children. Centres are required to be regularly assessed by the Education Review Office to ensure they meet standards.

However, the last time a systematic study was done on early literacy and numeracy levels was in 2000. It found large discrepancies by socio-economic status, with poor children more likely to be unable to complete School Entry Assessment tasks such as identifying numbers, re-telling a story or knowing which way to hold a book.

…there are a couple of pretty simple reasons for us spending money on early education and it getting us nowhere.

1 – Poverty!

The simple truth is that this Government has done nothing to help the poor in any meaningful way. Yes they raised the base benefit rate, but seeing as it hadn’t been raised since Ruth Richardson slashed them, that’s more a national disgrace than solution. Very few qualified for this rise and many had other benefits cut. It’s a bandaid on a beheading. Hungry children who live in freezing homes don’t perform well at school! Without tackling poverty, early education can’t do it all.

2 – Work sets you free ideology is deeply damaging.

The other reason the Government have thrown money at Early Child Education is because of their ideology. The Government think forcing the poor and those on benefits out to work in low paid meaningless jobs is more important than those people looking after their children or retraining. To do that, the Government have had to throw huge money at ECE, but they aren’t paying for well trained and well funded teachers who help prepare and shape children’s minds for education, the Government are just wanting to pay for babysitters so beneficiaries can’t turn down working in shitty jobs because of childcare issues.

If we ignore the poverty theses children live in, we won’t get better educated citizens. If we are only funding babysitters instead of teachers so that draconian work obligations can be forced upon beneficiaries, we won’t get better educated citizens. If we are underfunding each student by $150 even when they get to Primary School, we won’t get better educated citizens.

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The promise of Democracy is that we can look into the faces of our children and know they will have a better deal at life than we have had – National are dishonouring and denigrating that dream while causing immeasurable social damage in their wake.

We deserve better than this.


  1. ‘The promise of Democracy is that we can look into the faces of our children and know they will have a better deal at life than we have had’

    I don’t think democracy ever promised anything -though it did represent the idea that ordinary people could influence the direction of governments.

    We have not lived in a democracy for a long time (1930s-40s?) if ever, and in recent times governance has been acquired via blatant bribery, corruption, and manipulation etc., and ordinary people now have zero influence on the direction of governments.

    As for children, they are now just pawns in the global game of ‘feed the corporation’. The best times are well and truly over, and the poor little sods are going to be faced with dire predicaments for which there is no solution -as a direct consequence of the policies implemented by governments many decades.

    I see Paul Craig Roberts is now hot on the trail of the ‘trade deal’ scams, which are, of course, designed to give corporations even more rights over common people’s lives than they already have.

    ‘TTIP—American Economic Imperialism

    ……These so-called “free trade agreements” are not trade agreements. The purpose of the “partnerships,” which were drafted by global corporations, is to make corporations immune to the laws of sovereign countries in which they do business. ……..’

  2. Michael Moore’s new documentary showed a country where rich peoples’ children went to public schools. The idea being that everyone was in it “together” so if the rich were worried about the quality of education in a public school they wouldn’t oppose public spending.

    But of course our politicians like donKEY send their kids to private schools because they know our education system is bullshit.

    • No, Andrew, that apalling case of child abuse/murder is a SYMPTOM of what is wrong with our society today. You really need to differentiate between cause and symptom.

      As for ECE cuts, yes, they’re happening:


      Kindergarten teachers across Wellington face job cuts as early childhood education centres are squeezed by government funding drops.

      Whanau Manaaki Kindergartens, the non-profit behind 85 kindies in the region, announced last week that “ongoing funding shortfalls” meant they had to cut staff time to remain afloat.

      It is believed each kindy will have to lose about 1.6 teachers in a move would reduce the teacher-to-child ratio at each centre.


      Capital kindergartens may lose teachers to cuts

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