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Education sector: A Step in the 'Right' Direction

Education sector: A Step in the 'Right' Direction

The new early childhood funding rates announced by the Minister of Education today are a major cause for celebration" said Sue Thorne, Chief Executive Officer of the Early Childhood Council.

For the first time children attending the country's 1700 education and care centres will have access to the same level of government subsidy as those attending kindergartens.

"The new rates will go a long way towards ensuring that quality early childhood education remains affordable and accessible to all families regardless of the type of service they choose" said Mrs Thorne.

Of significant importance is the principle inherent in the new system that funding rates will no longer discriminate against children on the basis of the service they attend.

By levelling the playground the Government has acknowledged the fundamental right of parents to choose the early childhood education that best meets their child's needs and to be funded equitably.

Trevor Mallard has fought long and hard to win a bigger slice of the education pie for our under fives. All credit must be given to the Minister for taking this bold step to provide more appropriate levels of funding for all children.

After making this monumental leap forward we hope the Minister will now see fit to reconsider his backward thinking plan to reintroduce discriminatory funding from 2007.

"The additional funding earmarked for 'free 20 hours' for all 3 and 4 year olds attending community services from 2007 needs to be redirected to those children most in need, whether they attend a privately owned centre or a community owned centre " said Mrs Thorne.

The Early Childhood Council represents the managers and owners of over 800 community owned and privately owned services throughout New Zealand.

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