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Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has realised that if you’re going to work-test sole parents and force them into low-paid jobs when their children are six (or younger), someone’s going to have to look after the kids.
So she’s announced an extra $2.8 million for out of school care programmes, while lowering the standards for those programmes so they can fit more kids in without having to worry about “ticking boxes.”
Quality out of school care is critically important for many parents balancing full or part-time work with child rearing, and more funding for the sector is certainly welcome. However, I’m pretty concerned at the moves to reduce standards at the same time.
As a parent, it can be incredibly hard to leave your kids with carers – even the most trustworthy and able carers – without feeling stressed, anxious, or guilty. You want to be certain that your kids are safe and well looked after, and it helps if they’re with carers who will get to know them as individuals.