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Free early childhood centres for all

Media release
Matt Robson MP Progressive Deputy Leader

26 March 2004

Free early childhood centres for all say Progressives

The Progressives support free early childhood education for all and would support any moves towards this in the coming budget, Matt Robson, Progressive Deputy Leader said today while attending the opening of Selwyn College's Early Childhood Centre, with Helen Clark.

"Early Childhood education is a top priority for the Progressives because most of a child's development occurs before they reach primary school. Children who get a good start with quality early childhood education are more likely to do well at school and get well paid jobs when they leave.

"It is especially beneficial for children from families with low incomes, to attend early childhood education, as they often do not have the educational resources they need at home. It also allows mothers to work so they are better able to afford the costs of bringing up their children.

"More and more mothers are working these days making it even more important that quality child care is available.

New Zealand research shows that the longer children attend early childhood education, the better they do at school, especially in the case of children from lower income families (See Cathy Wylie, Competent Children Project, longitudinal study, NZCER).


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