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Playcentre Media Releases

For further information or to submit a media release please contact the Federation Media Contact, at, media@playcentre.org.nz



National News

Delay in Early Childhood regulations gives time to iron out the details
1st Dec 2008
Playcentre welcomes the delay in introducing the new early childhood regulations announced by Minister of Education Anne Tolley, saying it will give time to clear up inconsistencies in how they are being interpreted.

The new regulations were to be introduced today, but this has now been delayed for six months to enable a further round of consultation. Playcentre hopes that this time will be used to remedy the inconsistencies in interpretation which Playcentres around the country are receiving from Ministry of Education officials.

“One of our major concerns about the regulations has been the inconsistency of information our Playcentres are getting”, said Playcentre Federation President, Marion Pilkington. “Associations from different parts of the country are receiving different advice from Ministry officials about how the regulations on buildings will be interpreted.”

“Playcentre have also had widely inconsistent advice from the Ministry and District Health Boards about what the regulations require for Health Checks. This makes access to community funding sources for potential building upgrades very difficult.”

Playcentre runs nearly 500 early childhood centres around the country, often in areas where other providers do not operate. Many centres in community buildings face particular issues with renovations, so it is important to get any renovations right the first time.

“The delay in implementation of the regulations gives an opportunity to clear up the inconsistencies in interpretation,” said Mrs Pilkington. “We would also like to see this time used to negotiate funding with government to complete any building work required.”

Research conducted this year showed that Playcentre has been systematically underfunded by Ministry of Education bulk funding calculations. About 31% of Playcentre costs were not included in funding calculations, and increasing compliance costs over the past 10 years has been met by increasing volunteer time to an unsustainable level.

“Playcentre is reasonably well prepared for the introduction of the new regulations because we started preparing for them early on”, said Mrs Pilkington. “We look forward to working actively with the Minister to iron out the final details.”

ENDS

Contact for Media: Maureen Woodhams, NZ Playcentre Federation Media Officer. 04 934 5244, 027 4041223, media@playcentre.org.nz

For further information on Playcentre funding and volunteer hours see the report “Supporting Playcentre in the 21st Century” which can be downloaded from - www.playcentre.org.nz/research.php)

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