Family First calls for subsidies for stay-at-home parents

Herald on Sunday 8 Jan 2017
Family First will lobby the Government to pay parents to stay at home and look after their own kids.
Six in 10 people support this idea, according to a new poll.
“This result is a slap in the face to the policies by National and Labour governments to get both parents back to work and children in to daycare as quickly as possible,” Family First’s national director Bob McCoskrie said.
“Families still understand the importance of nurture, attachment and the physical presence of a full-time parent during those early crucial years of a child’s life.”
With government spending on early childhood education being more than $1.7 billion per year, it is essential the benefits of the investment in ECE are weighed against the real needs of very young children and babies, and their families, McCoskrie said.
“Mothers have been undervalued, and many parents use daycare because they simply can’t afford not to. Stay-home parenting has been discriminated against by the state.”
…Jacinda Ardern, Labour’s spokesperson for children, believed more choices needed to be available for new parents, but thought keeping ECE subsidies was important. “Every family has different needs but there are educational benefits of children being taught by professionals,” she said.
Green Party MP Eugenie Sage was not surprised people wanted more subsidies for at- home parents but if the Greens got into power, they would look at reintroducing a universal family benefit, paid for each child, she said.
However, Education Minister Minister Hekia Parata yesterday insisted the present system is working. “Early childhood education is well evidenced as a way of helping children to be confident and curious about the world and to develop early learning skills,” she said. “ECE is subsidised by the government and provides a range of options from centre-based teacher led, to home based provision. “It is for families to find their own balance between parental and non-parental care – there is no one best way.”
Pay parents to stay home, urges Family First lobby group
Newstalk ZB 8 Jan 2017
Family First wants the Government to pay parents to stay at home, and look after their own children. The lobby group said six out of 10 people support the idea. National director Bob McCoskrie said it’s been the policy of both National and Labour government to get both parents back at work and their children into daycare as quickly as possible.
He said the Government is spending 1.7 billion dollars a year subsidising daycare centres, and he wants the benefit of that spending to be weighed against the real needs of very young children. Mr McCoskrie said families know a full-time parent can be really important in the early years of a child’s life, yet stay-home parenting has been discriminated against by the state.

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