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Government Reviews Early Childhood Funding

16 July 2002

Government Reviews Early Childhood Funding

Education Minister Trevor Mallard told the Correspondence School Conference in Wellington today that he planned to increase funding for the school to cater for early childhood places.

Trevor Mallard said he was recommending to Cabinet that the school get an immediate increase of $204,000 for the current financial year to cover more early childhood services. That will increase the school’s early childhood education funding to $2.3 million.

“The increased funding will enable the school to enrol the more than 80 three-years-olds on their waiting list eligible and not currently receiving any early childhood education,” Trevor Mallard said.

“In the long term, as part of our previously announced early childhood funding and regulatory reviews, we are considering whether or not the cap on correspondence school early childhood places is necessary at all.

“This complements our nationwide strategy to take more responsibility for planning and managing the supply of early childhood education as part of our objective to increase access to quality early childhood education for all new Zealanders.

“Rural families often find it difficult to access early childhood education. This is because of the greater distances between themselves and the nearest ECE service, and the higher costs of travel associated with this distance. The Correspondence School offers these families a well-structured early childhood programme as well as the learning resources to support their child’s education.

“Each year, rural families enrol nearly 900 rural children with The Correspondence School’s Early Childhood Education service. It is an important and valuable service,” Trevor Mallard said.


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