Labour is once again scaremongering over Early Childhood Education (ECE) by talking about cuts and National Standards for ECE.

What their spokesperson ignores is that firstly, every Government sector has to look at the value it is getting for taxpayer dollars, and secondly, that we need to encourage participation in ECE as a pathway to school.

Luckily in Southland we have some of the leaders in ECE, with our local kindergartens taking a lead role in not only preparing children for school, but also helping parents as part of the Parent Support and Development project.

The long-term value of helping pre-school children get ready for the rigours of school, not to mention assisting parents with the rigours of raising children in the 21st century, cannot be underestimated.  But National Standards for kindergarteners?  The reality is that the Education Minister has asked the ECE sector to go away and revise the Te Whariki curriculum – not put in place tests for four year olds.