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Bennett: National Promises Fair Go For Gym Crches

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

7 August 2008 - National will scrap rigid new regulations that Labour is bringing in for gym crches, says National's Associate Education (Early Childhood) spokeswoman, Paula Bennett.

Under Labour's new rules, which will come into effect on 1 December, gym crches and other 'limited attendance centres' will be required to provide 'a range of learning opportunities' and follow a strict curriculum. They will also require written 'sleep logs' to be filled out, and one trained staff member for every four children.

"This legislation is over the top and will force even more gym crches to the wall. Already dozens have had to close and Fitness New Zealand estimates the new law will result in only 12% of gyms continuing to offer child-minding facilities.

"Everyone understands that a child's wellbeing and safety must be paramount, but Labour manages to strangle even the simplest concept with unnecessarily restrictive red tape.

"Parents do not need a written report card on the 'learning experiences and opportunities' of their four year old while they spend 60 minutes doing an aerobic class - they would be happy just knowing their child was in a safe environment nearby.

"This is typical Labour. Parents don't want the new rules and have told Labour. Gyms don't want the new rules and have told Labour. But, once again, Labour thinks it knows best, and forges ahead.

"National trusts parents to make the best choices for their children. That is why we will rescind these onerous and unnecessary regulations at the earliest opportunity and replace them with rules that recognise that simplicity and common sense are almost always best."

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