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Funding boost to create more places for under-five

19 November 2004

Funding boost to create more places for under-fives

Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today a further $4 million to create more places for under-fives in early childhood education, as part of the government's push to make quality early childhood education more affordable and accessible for more New Zealand families.

“This funding is on top of the $8.8 million announced in October to create places for close to 300 more kids. Today's announcement will create an extra 128 new places for children in licensed and chartered early childhood education centres over the next year,” Trevor Mallard said.

" Since 2000 this pool of funding, known as the Discretionary Grants Scheme, has funded places for an extra 4,555 children to take part in early childhood education, at a cost of about $35.5 million.

“This major investment reflects the Labour-led government’s commitment to give all New Zealand children, regardless of their background, the chance to access affordable and top quality early childhood education. This funding is a significant way to increase participation in quality early childhood services, especially amongst children from low socio-economic, rural and isolated communities.

"Under the discretionary grants scheme, early childhood education centres can access capital assistance to build and expand.

“The extra funding announced today will help a further nine community-based services establish new early childhood education centres or extend their existing buildings. It also includes planning grants for around 10 centres, and top-up funding for five centres which are currently rebuilding or expanding.

“We know that quality early childhood education makes a significant difference to the way children develop and achieve later in their lives. Research also shows that access to quality early childhood education has the greatest benefits for children who are the least likely to participate, including those from low socio-economic, and rural communities. The discretionary grants scheme is particularly targeted to these groups,” Trevor Mallard said.

Trevor Mallard announced the extra money for early childhood education during a visit to Paparakau Tuarua Te Kohanga Reo in Avalon, Lower Hutt. The kohanga, which currently caters for 25 children, will receive $755,000 in this funding round to build a new centre to replace its old one, that will cater for another 25 places.

A list outlining the government's initiatives in early childhood education is attached.

ENDS

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