Lucy and Justin Mackenzie face paying an extra $1000 a year for childcare but like most other people they say they will grizzle and pay up.
Mainly Kids, the Ponsonby childcare centre their son Jamie, 2, attends is increasing its fees by $20 a week, a legacy of the Government’s $300 million funding cuts.
It costs $208 a week to send Jamie to the centre four days a week from 8.30am-3.30pm. Food, care and education is included in the fee.
This allows Justin, 38, to work as a professional tennis coach, while Lucy, 39, is a freelancer in marketing.
“We will pay more because we are in a position to. We will just have to work a bit harder,” said Lucy.
Justin says he is “disappointed” in the Government’s funding cuts, which mean they have to find an extra $1000 a year, on top of the $10,000 they already pay. It is like “private schooling”.
The couple has a blended family, including three school-aged children, and the extra childcare costs weigh on their budget.
But ultimately the Westmere couple view Mainly Kids as necessary so Lucy can work in a job she loves.
They say it is a high-quality centre where Jamie thrives. He has learned a lot since he started at age six months, including a string of nursery rhymes and Maori songs. He can also count to 20.
Lucy says the staff are “young, vibrant and motivated” and not afraid to let Jamie have “fun and rough boy play”. He gets a hot lunch, too. “He gets up and asks, ‘Is it daycare, Mum?’ and then he lists the friends he will see,” she says. “He loves it.”