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Budget fails Parent-led Education

New Zealand Playcentre Federation
Media Release

22 May 2008

Budget fails Parent-led Education

Today's government budget misses the mark on parent-led education by failing to address inequities in this government's early education policy.

Despite providing high quality education for young children for over 60 years, one of the highest-rating early childhood education providers, Playcentre, is still locked out of the government's 'free ECE' scheme.

The 488 Playcentres around the country do not qualify for the scheme, effectively blocking New Zealand's unique parent-led early childhood education from essential government support. Instead, parents who believe in the importance of families learning together are having to put in longer volunteer hours to run their centres.

“We're disappointed that, once more, the parents have missed out” said Federation President, Marion Pilkington.

“The government refuses to include Playcentre in their flagship early education scheme, and so is effectively side-lining an education service that independent research has shown to provide very high quality early education.

“The scheme is supposed to be about encouraging more participation in quality ECE. Yet Playcentres, which are run by trained parents under Ministry of Education licences, are left out in the cold.”

Playcentre runs an NZQA approved adult education programme which equips parents to provide high quality education and develop a range of skills that enable them to run their centre programmes. These parenting skills, and the support that parents get from being part of a nurturing community, create better family outcomes at home as well.

Playcentre education has been shown to produce high quality outcomes in the Competent Children study which has followed a group of children from their early education experiences at age four through to age 16.

Playcentre is now the only licensed provider of ECE which is not eligible to offer the “Free ECE” scheme.

ENDS

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