The Jugglenaut:

How childcare became a for-profit game

Preschool education was once seen as a public good. Now an increasing chunk of $2.3b a year in taxpayer funding is collected by for-profit providers, and ultimately passed on to investors. In the final story in an investigation into the state of childcare, National Correspondent Michelle Duff asks how we allowed children to become big business - and who is paying the price.

The shelves, they say, were empty of toys. There were no ingredients for play-dough. The play areas were dilapidated and dangerous, with inadequate gates, fake grass and sandpits filled with smelly water. Staff took home maggot-filled rubbish bins, after bills for collection weren’t paid.

The children walked around listlessly, with teachers either too busy or unskilled to know how to engage them. “The kids were rioting because they had nothing to do. I didn’t feel comfortable staying, ethically I had to leave,” said former teacher Amber Sky-Wilkes, 25.

“I think that’s so normal at chain ECE [early childhood education] centres, parents don’t know what quality looks like.”

Link to video and article: The Jugglenaut: How childcare became a for-profit game | Stuff.co.nz


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