ECE services may try to add to parent fees a proportion of the membership fee charged by a lobby group that the service management (not parents) has chosen to belong to. Lobby groups can encourage services to do this as it increases membership numbers for political representation.
There are a small number of early childhood political lobby groups in NZ, and these include the Montessori Association of NZ, the Christian Early Childhood Association, the Early Childhood Council, and the NZ Childcare Association.
For example, centres that join the lobby group Montessori Association of NZ commonly add a proportion of the centre’s membership fee to parents’ fees. This entitles parents to: receive a quarterly MANZ magazine, have voting rights at the MANZ annual general meeting, and receive a professional development fee discount if they would like Montessori training through the Association.
Advice to parents
Membership of any political lobby group cannot be made compulsory.
Check what organisation your ECE service is signing you up to before you agree to pay the subscription – it may be one that takes political positions you do not agree with or it may be one that will give you little or no benefit from belonging to.
Your child should not be excluded from attending if you do not agree to belong to or be represented by a group or organisation that the service has signed up to.