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Playcentre seeking clarification on funding delay

Media Release
New Zealand Playcentre Federation 29 March 2009
For immediate release

Playcentre seeking clarification on funding delay

NZPF President Marion Pilkington expressed concern today over apparent government backtracking on 20 Hours ECE for Playcentres.

Inclusion in the 20 Hours ECE policy was a prominent election promise of the National party, but at a meeting with Education Minister Anne Tolley it was recently confirmed that this will not be done as part of the upcoming budget cycle.

Playcentre is a parent-led service which follow the same early childhood education curriculum, Te Whariki, as all licensed early childhood centres in New Zealand. In addition to early childhood education, Playcentres provide a tertiary-level parent education programme, as well as acting as sites of community support.

"Mrs Tolley has given us strong assurances of the value that the government places on Playcentre and the importance of parents in early childhood education," said Mrs Pilkington. "However, we are disappointed that despite these assurances, the election promise is not yet being kept.

"We are encouraged by the Prime Minister's plan to deliver on National's remaining election promises, but we question the delay on this, when it has been known since the inception of the programme, nearly two years ago, that Playcentres were disproportionately disadvantaged by the programme's structure.

"We are looking forward to clarification on precisely when these inequities will be addressed so that families with young children may have fuller opportunities to learn together, in an environment fully supportive of families."


To view the report Impact of Free ECE on Playcentres 2008 go to

To view the report Supporting Playcentre in the 21st Century go to
Early Childhood Education Policy in Aotearoa / New Zealand: The Creation of the 20 Hours Free Programme

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