20 Hours Free Scheme to end

Labour education spokeswoman Sue Moroney told 3 News today that the 20 hours free scheme is unlikely to continue if National is re-elected.

The 20 hours free scheme was introduced under the  Labour government, and provides 20 hours of free care and education a week for over 100,000 three and four-year-olds.

Prime Minister John Key has said the party is not promising to keep the 20 hours free scheme, which stops early childhood centres from charging extra fees on top of funding they receive from the Government.

Under questioning, Mr Key admitted the party was not committed to the ‘free’ part of the scheme, and Labour says this effectively means National plans to allow centres to charge over and above what they are subsidised.

At the last election, National promised to keep the 20 hours scheme as it was.

“While we will keep the scheme, it will be renamed ’20 Hours ECE’, instead of ’20 Hours Free’, which was patently misleading,” Education Minister Anne Tolley said before the election.

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