Experienced carer concerned over new qualification plans

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 20 February 2019, 10:44a.m.
Chris Hipkins announced yesterday that carers will now need qualifications. (Photo / NZ Herald)

There are concerns the cost of home-based child care will increase on the back of a new shake up.

The Government is introducing mandatory qualifications for home-based educators.

Carers say the new requirements will force many out of the industry, and push up childcare costs for parents.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says there's no reason why the changes should lead to higher costs.

"The vast majority of the Government subsidies has been creamed off by the providers. There's certainly potential for them to re-engineer their businesses."

Hipkins says the subsidy for early childhood education is already substantial.

However, for Marie Smith, the plan could be counter-productive.

Marie Smith has been a home-based carer for 18 years, but doesn't have a qualification.

She told Mike Hosking the Government's plan could prove counter productive.

"It's not going to make an difference to the quality of the child care that we provide. It's just going to be an extra cost and it's just going to be a deterrent."

She says the Government's plan could create barriers for people wanting to enter the sector.

"We are struggling to find edu-carers as it is because there's not a lot of money involved, and it's just going to make it harder."

Smith says that a qualification could give her a pay rise, but then she would have to pass those fees on to her parents.

She says that after 18 years, she must be doing something right without having a qualification, but reiterates that she is constantly training and picking up new skills anyway. 



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