February 12, 2013
Palmerston North, NZ – The ‘Social Obligations’ in the government’s Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill will force beneficiaries to send their preschool children to an approved early childhood education (ECE) provider for at least 15 hours per week. One of the reasons for this is obviously in order to remove obstacles to the parents finding jobs and getting off the benefit sooner. But Barbara Smith, of the Home Education Foundation (HEF) of New Zealand, says that the cost of subsidised ECE can outweigh the cost of the benefit.
“The average cost of a year’s ECE for one child attending 15 hours per week is approximately NZ$5,112.90 per year,” says Mrs Smith. “This is how much a solo parent on the benefit will save the government per year per preschool child if she cares for her children at home.”
But, says Mrs Smith, the quality of care available at home, with its constant mental stimulation, interaction with adults, and parent mentoring, is something which New Zealand ECE in its current state is unable to provide.
“In the US, a cost analysis carried out by Arthur J Rolnick and Rob Grunewald of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis looked at the cost of raising the quality of ECE services. They concluded that the total resources needed for a high-quality ECE program for an at-risk 3 or 4 year old would be about US$10,000 – 15,000 per student per year for a full-day programme that included parent mentoring.
“A mother caring for her children at home, especially if she provides learning materials, as many do, is giving her child a high quality, full-day programme that includes parent mentoring—and the government doesn’t have to spend a cent.”
Mrs Smith says that this is exactly what home educating mothers—whether they plan for their children to attend school once they reach school age or not—do when they decide to provide home-based child care for their children.
“A mother providing home-based child care for her preschoolers is offering a better product than available at the registered ECE providers,” says Mrs Smith, citing research available on the HEF website. “And she’s providing it for free.”
But as Mrs Smith points out, many of these mothers go on to educate their children at home through their school years. That’s when the savings really begin to mount.
“According to Ministry of Education statistics, New Zealand spends about $6,790.51 per primary school student per year and $8,501.67 per secondary school student per year. This is how much money home educating sole parents save the government annually. A single mother home educating three children could be saving the government around $22,000 per year, which is more than her benefit.
“If she has special needs children, she could save the government even more: special schools spend up to $160,000 per year on each student.”
The government should recognise the cost benefits of home-based child care, both socially and financially, says Mrs Smith. “If the Social Security Bill passes, it will be illegal to make this responsible choice to care for your children at home. It doesn’t make sense.”
Concerned New Zealanders should write, call, and visit their local MPs and the Select Committee, Mrs Smith urges.
Tell your friends. Make appointments to see the Committee members or your local MP.
The Select Committee members are Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges, Melissa Lee, Jan Logie, Asenati Lole-Taylor, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, Tim Macindoe, Alfred Ngaro, Rajen Prasad, Mike Sabin and Su’a William Sio. Letters to individual MPs should be sent to this address (no stamp necessary):
Private Bag 18888
More information on the bill and contact details for MPs can be found at http://hef.org.nz/2013/urgent-action-required-social-security-bill/
“Sole mothers can save the government money by educating their children at home. It’s time that was recognised.”
About the Home Education Foundation
The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 27 years about the fantastic opportunity to de-institutionalise our sons and daughters and to embrace the spiritual, intellectual and academic freedom that is ours for the taking. Through conferences, journals, newsletters and all kinds of personal communications, we explain the vision of handcrafting each child into a unique individual, complete with virtuous character, a hunger for service to others, academic acumen and a strong work ethic. For more information, please visit www.hef.org.nz or more specifically hef.org.nz/2012/make-a-submission-reject-compulsory-early-education-for-3-year-olds/
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Related Links to Social Security Bill:
- Media Release 17 –Preschool Bad for Children, Says Swedish Parental Rights Advocate
- URGENT ACTION required: Social Security Bill
- Media Release 16 – Call For Letter Writing Campaign Against Social Security Bill
- Media Release 15 – Home Educators Appeal To Human Rights Commission On ‘Discriminatory’ Social Security Bill
- Social Security Bill and the Human Rights Commission
- Home Educators on Benefits
- John Key: Let us target and focus more on those who are in need.
- New Zealand, Sweden and the Johanssons
- Contacting the Select Committee
- International Human Rights Day 10 December 2012
- Media Release 14 – Social Security Bill Is Unjustifiably Discriminatory, Says NZ Law Society
- Media Release 13 – Australian Benefit Reforms Bow to Parents’ Rights
- A few more tips when giving an oral submission
- More experiences before the Select Committee
- Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill: Best Scenario?
- Home Educators happy with benefit revamp in Australia
- Kate’s oral submission and some questions
- Submissions published for the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Presenting Oral Submission to Social Services Select Committee
- About Early Child Care in Sweden
- ECE linked to obesity in kids: study
- BERLIN DECLARATION
- Media Release 12 – Early Childhood Education Brings Social Drawbacks, Uncertain Benefits
- New Zealand Law Society Submission
- Australians have common sense where it seems our NZ Government does not
- ECE (Preschool) is no good for 4, 5 and possibly 6 year olds expert says
- Presenting an oral submission to the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Social Services Select Committee members
- Barbara Smith’s submission
- Media Release 11 – Parents Are Responsible for Education, Says HEF National Director
- Media Release 10 – Preschool Associated With Social and Academic Disadvantage
- A Bit of Political Advice to Home Educators by Craig Smith
- Samuel Blight’s submission
- Home Education Foundation’s submission
- Media Release 9 – Social Security Bill Should Treat Home Education as a Legitimate Choice
- Media Release 8 – Social Security Bill Will Cause Real Hardship to Real People
- Family Integrity’s submission
- Media Release 7 – Paula Bennett’s One-Size-Fits-All Approach Leaves Parents With No Options
- 2nd letter from Paula Bennett to Barbara Smith
- Why should I put a submission into the Select Committee about the beneficiaries?
- Media Release 6 – Social Security Bill Will Punish Responsible Parents Who ‘Can’t Be Bought’
- Beneficiaries: Policy and Law
- 66 Submissions
- Submission: Trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, slavery and deception
- Media Release 5 – Beneficiary Parents “Not Able to Home School” Under Social Security Bill
- Media Release 4 – Social Security Bill Targets Responsible Parents for Toughest Penalties
- Letter from Paula Bennett to Samuel Blight
- Opinion Piece in Truth
- Possible timeline for Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Media Release 3 – Social Security Bill’s ECE Obligations Breach Human Rights
- Media Release 2 – Vulnerable Children Not Benefited By Social Security Bill
- Media Release 1 – Social Security Bill Coerces Parents, Removes Freedom
- Make a submission: Reject compulsory Early Education for 3 year olds
- Some of the main links
- Comment on Q+A: Social Development Minister Paula Bennett
- Human Rights in New Zealand Today: The right to education
- Raymond S. Moore on Early Childhood Centres
- Should preschool be compulsory?
- TVNZ One this morning Q&A with Paula Bennett
- Maxim Institute: What is best for children?
- HUGE Concerns over the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Letter from Paula Bennett concerning beneficaries and home education to Barbara Smith
- Toby Manhire on Benefit-slaying Nats starting to look plain nasty
- Linking welfare to preschool attendance a world first
- New Update on: How will the new Social obligations which will be required of all beneficiary parents effect home schoolers?
- How will the new Social obligations which will be required of all beneficiary parents effect home schoolers?
From the Smiths:
Updated 2 February 2013: One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here
Needing help for your home schooling journey:
Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:
This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/
Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/
Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill