Commissioner’s report highlights childcare concerns

NZ Herald Mar 21, 2011
A report by the Children’s Commissioner today highlighting concerns about childcare policies is a timely call to take the care and education of New Zealand’s under two-year-olds seriously, the NZ Childcare Association (NZCA) says. Children’s Commissioner John Angus said today that a review by his office had found the quality of care provided for under-two-year-olds was variable. He recommended a number of changes including reducing the number of under-twos in one group, increasing the ratio of staff per child and placing more emphasis on the specific knowledge and skills needed to work with this age group. He also called for better funding support for parents who chose to stay at home to look after their infants. Lobby group Family First NZ also welcomed the report as timely. “It is timely that it is released in the same month that the Government has announced a policy on early childhood education centre sizes which is flawed, harmful to children, babies and parents, and will end up treating children with less dignity than animals such as pigs and hens,” national director Bob McCoskrie said. The new regulations for childcare would triple the maximum number of under twos at a centre from 25 to 75, and the maximum centre size of all pre-schoolers from 50 to 150, he said. “We are ‘packing and stacking’ them.” The report offered real choice and information rather than continuing with the current “one size fits all” approach, Mr McCoskrie said. 
Under-2s best at home, says report
NZ Herald The Children’s Commissioner has called for a review of paid parental leave, suggesting it is time to help parents to stay home for the first year of their children’s lives instead of subsidising care elsewhere.
Parents ‘better than childcare’
Dominion Post Parents should be subsidised to stay off work and spend longer with their children in the first year of their babies’ lives, the children’s commissioner says.
Bob McCoskrie interviewed by Newstalk ZB’s Larry Williams