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Innovative new early childhood centre opens

Fri, 7 May 2004

Innovative new early childhood centre opens

Education Minister Trevor Mallard officially opened today an early childhood centre in Napier focused on meeting the needs of Samoan children and their families.

Trevor Mallard congratulated the local Samoan community and the Napier Kindergarten Association for their joint efforts in developing Upu Amata (first words) Early Childhood Centre.

"They have shown, through collaboration and hard work, their passion for the best possible start for local children. They are part of New Zealand's proud history of parents and communities developing early childhood services with support from the government," Trevor Mallard said.

"This government recognises that if we want a strong future as a country we have to get the early foundations right. Access to quality early childhood education improves a child's chance of succeeding later in life.

"The government's 10-year early childhood strategic plan, Pathways to the Future: Nga Huarahi Arataki, is all about higher quality education, increased participation and stronger relationships. Upu Amata is a prime example of these qualities.

"Government funding of more than $400,000 was provided for building and planning of Upu Amata and this centre has many features that make it a quality environment for children to learn in and for teachers to work in."

Upu Amata is the third licensed and chartered Pacific Island centre in Hawkes Bay and the second 'Design and Build' centre to be opened nationally.

The 'Design and Build' scheme provides the opportunity for early childhood providers to select a building design from a catalogue of options. This gives providers an affordable and upfront cost for the building of their early childhood centre.

ENDS

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