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Funding boost for early childhood education

Funding boost for early childhood education

More than 1200 early childhood education services will receive ??? million of extra funding this week, in a move designed to help ensure all children can access education before they get to school, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

The payments mark the full implementation of equity funding. An $8 million annual funding pool is available for non-profit early childhood services, targeting services in low socio-economic communities, isolated areas, or services that are delivering education in a language and culture other than English.

“We know that early childhood education makes a significant and critical difference to the way children develop and go on to learn throughout their lives.

“Equity funding is one initiative the Government is using to help ensure that all children, from all backgrounds, can enjoy the benefits of quality pre-school learning,” Trevor Mallard said.

Equity funding is also part of the Government’s recently released ten-year strategic plan for early childhood education.

“That strategy is specifically aimed at reducing the obstacles that currently prevent kids getting early childhood education, and it’s also aimed at improving the quality of that education,” Trevor Mallard said.

A total of 1274 services will receive varying levels of equity funding, of which 1018 will receive funding for low socio-economic and special needs, 409 services will receive it for isolation, and 633 will receive it for services in another language and culture other than English, including sign language.

Trevor Mallard says the extra funding can be used for a variety of ideas such as improving staff:child ratios, transport for children, and professional development for staff.

Some services have been receiving transitional equity funding since March and with the full implementation, a further ??? services will now benefit from the funding pool.


Questions and Answers

Q: What is Equity Funding?

A: Equity funding is a targeted, funding mechanism for the early childhood education sector. Equity funding is an ‘add-on’ to the EC bulk funding subsidy. It is targeted to not-for-profit licensed and chartered, community based, early childhood education services. Census data is used to help determine eligibility.

Q: When will services receive equity funding, if eligible?

A: The funding will be paid along with the bulk funding payment in November 2002, and each subsequent payment round in March and July.

Q: How can services spend equity funding?

A: Services are best placed to know how to meet local equity needs. Ideas on how equity funding can be spent are outlined below:
Purchase additional curriculum resources and an increased range of supplies; Subsidise learning experiences outside of the service;
Improve staff:child ratios; Provide assistance to attend (e.g. transport assistance);
Provide extra professional development for staff and education for families/whanau; Improve learning spaces;
Assist staff to train or upgrade qualifications; Pay for voluntary helpers;
Introduce staff recruitment and retention initiatives such as the payment of educational fees; Promote the availability of the service within the community;
Provide additional staff time with children and their parents; Purchase specific learning or teaching resources;
Engage specialist professionals; Meet children’s nutritional needs;

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