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Greater Participation In Early Childhood Education

Minister Promoting Greater Participation In Early Childhood Education

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced a new Government move to get over three and a half thousand more children a year into early childhood education.

He wants those children to come from Maori, Pacific, low socio-economic and other families who are under-represented in early childhood education partcipation.

The project called Promoting ECE Participation will set up organisations with expertise in early childhood education to work with targeted communities to help them get more of their children into early childhood education.

“Since becoming Minister of Education, one of my personal aims has been to increase participation rates in early childhood education, because quality education experiences among our young children build good foundations for later educational, employment and social success,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Most New Zealand children are already getting these early benefits, but there are significant community groups whose children are missing out.

“While 98% of Pakeha 4-year-olds now attend early childhood education services, more than a third of our Maori 4-year-olds and a fifth of our Pacific 4-year-olds are missing out. That is just not good enough.

“The barriers to participation in early childhood education are different in different communities, and the approaches we will need to take to remove these barriers will also be different. It is my belief that local communities are best placed to identify both the barriers and the solutions.

“Under this new project, we will set up organisations to work closely with targeted local communities, to help them to develop ‘grass roots’ solutions to this problem.”

Once it is fully established, the Promoting ECE Participation project will have an annual target of around 3,600 more children in early childhood education. Initially, it will concentrate on communities in the Auckland, Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury regions.

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