Christchurch early childhood services want more help

3:22 pm on 22 June 2011

The early childhood teachers union says some centres in Christchurch cannot access emergency funding and need more government help.

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) says the early childhood centres are parent cooperatives and have lost up to half of their enrolments since February's earthquake.

The Government is paying Christchurch schools for their lost enrolments until the end of this year, but for early childhood centres the funding stopped in April.

The Government says the centres are businesses, while schools are part of the state sector.

But the NZEI says about 30 Christchurch centres are parent cooperatives and half were badly affected by the devastating quake on 22 February.

The union says they cannot get funding from the Canterbury Business Recovery Trust because they are not businesses and other sources of funding, such as the mayor's fund, are too uncertain.

A senior teacher at one of the parent cooperative childhood education centres, Rachel Hoskins, says she would like to see them recognised as part of the city's infrastructure because they are allowing parents to return to work and to study.

"And I'd like us to be seen as part of what is actually helping Christchurch continue and rebuild and repair and heal. And I'd really like to see us being treated on a par with the state sector."