25 May 2023

Early childhood sector rejects extension of fees-free scheme

From Morning Report, 7:13 am on 25 May 2023
School playground

Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

The early childhood education sector has banded together to reject the Government's plan to extend the 20 hours fees-free scheme to two-year-olds.

A coalition of early childhood services says the Government needs to rethink its policy, they say there's a risk some centres could go out of business.

We asked to speak with the Education Minister, Jan Tinetti, and associate minister Jo Luxton. Both declined, saying they're on a Budget roadshow and are unable to do interviews.

They issued a statement backing their policy. Early Childhood Council chief executive Simon Laube previously hailed the announcement as a massive win for early learning, and said it greatly exceeded expectations.

So what's changed?

Laube spoke to Guyon Espiner.