The Government's set to release more details today, as it clamps down on beneficiaries.
In the latest move, parents on benefits who don't keep their children in early childhood education and fail to take them for health checks will have their payments slashed by 50 percent.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the benefits of early education can't be under-estimated.
"We've got children turning up to school at five years of age that have not seen a book, that don't know how to hold a pen, that haven't been read to and the reality is that early childhood education is the best start we can give them."
She says when they looked at the issue it was noted there was a relatively low uptake of early childhood education by parents receiving the DPB.
"We know that these are some of the most vulnerable children. We do have a lever that we can use and so we've decided to use it."
Plunket says punitive measures slashing benefits by up to 50 percent, will only put vulnerable children more at risk.
Plunket's Service Development Manager, Helen Connors, says everyone agrees it's important children get the best possible start in life, but trying to force parents to accept social obligations by punishing them financially will just hurt the children the government's trying to help.
"It's an interesting time for families and for New Zealand to consider as a society that whenever we pass legislation, we need to think about the unintended consequences for children."
Ms Connors says there are often complex factors that prevent families taking up services and for some vulnerable families the choices are not as simple or straight forward as they are for others.
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