Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:
Parents face having their benefits slashed in half if they don’t send their children to school or early childhood education centres and enrol them with a doctor.
They must also complete basic health checks.
Social development minister Paula Bennet has just announced new ‘social obligations’ which she says will give kids a better start in life. …
From July next year all beneficiary parents must ensure their children:
* attend 15 hours a week Early Childhood Education (ECE) from age 3
* attend school from age five or six
* enrol with a General Practitioner
* complete core WellChild/Tamariki Ora checks
If they don’t, a ”graduated sanction process” will allow three warnings before they face a cut of up to 50 per cent.
People say we need to do something about child poverty. I believe this will do more to help a lot of vulnerable children, than almost any other measure.
If the taxpayer is providing money to parents specifically for the purpose of raising children, then it is not unreasonable to have a requirement that the kid go to (free*) school, get their (free) medical check ups and attend (also free or close to it) at least 15 hours of ECE.
The three warnings regime means the stick will only be used as a last resort.
A case can be made that this requirement be extended to any family that receives family tax credits through Working for Families.
* free in this context means to the parentTags: welfare reform