National MP Nicola Willis wants 12-week school holidays shortened

It was the first day back at school for some Kiwi kids today, while for others, the summer holidays are rolling on.

But while it's carefree fun in the sun for the kids, it's trickier for those supervising the play, many working parents saying the six-week break is too long.

School children get around 12 weeks of holiday a year, but employees are entitled to just four.

A study of low-decile New Zealand schools showed children lose an average of six months to a year of reading gains during the school break.

National MP Nicola Willis wants the law changed to make holidays easier on parents.

She said while time off from school is important, it does put strain on parents who have to pay for holiday care and take extra time off.

"Playing on the beach, being with friends, that's really important. It enriches children's lives, [and] so does family time together.

"But how about doing that for five weeks instead of six?" she suggested.

Ms Willis is considering drafting a Private Member's Bill that would cut school holidays.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins told Newshub the Government is not considering any changes to school holidays.

He said National has had plenty of opportunities to change the law during their time in charge.

Members' Bills are notoriously difficult to pass - so the tradition of long summer holidays is likely to stay for now.


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