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Extra early childhood ed funding kicks in today

1 April 2005 Media Statement

Extra early childhood ed funding kicks in today

Early childhood education services will receive significant funding boosts, effective from today, as part of the $307 million four-year package aimed at getting more children into affordable and top quality early childhood education, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"Depending on their size and the number of qualified teachers they have, most services will receive funding boosts of between 12 and 26 percent. Some services could get as much as a 24 per cent increase in funding for under twos, and a 42 per cent increase in funding for over-two-year-olds. The first payments, backdated to April 1, will be made on 1 July," Trevor Mallard said.

"This is an exciting era for New Zealand under-fives and their families. This year our government will spend approximately $467 million funding early childhood education services, an increase of $151 million or 50 per cent since 1999.

"The investment is driven by our firm commitment to make early childhood education more affordable, more accessible and of the best quality possible for New Zealand families.

"The funding that takes effect from today is aimed at recognising staff who have gained qualifications and registration - a key factor in lifting the overall quality of early childhood education. Hiring qualified staff is more expensive and the extra funding recognises that.

"This is the first stage of a new funding system designed to benefit all teacher-led services, private and non-profit. All these services are being funded on an equal basis.

“More and more services will see the benefits of the new funding system over the next three years, as services increase their numbers of registered teachers.

“Research shows intensive and regular quality early childhood education has long term educational benefits, and the government is determined to ensure these benefits are available to young New Zealanders," Trevor Mallard said.

From today the funding will be more flexible and targeted because it is based on the different costs faced by each type of early childhood education service.

Higher funding rates will apply to services employing a greater proportion of qualified and registered early childhood education teachers.

As well, full-day services will receive more funding than sessional services, in order to better reflect the higher cost of operating all day.

There is also a grant to help provisionally registered teachers to become fully registered, either by covering the cost of study release time, or other support.

At the beginning of March, provisional licences have been issued to 31 services that were having difficulty with the correct teacher qualification requirements, out of a total of over 1700 teacher-led services. The ministry is working with these services to reach a solution.

"We had estimates last year that between 250 to 400 services might not meet the teacher qualification requirements so it is good to see that those forecasts have not turned into reality," Trevor Mallard said.

This year all teacher-led early childhood education centres must have present at all times, at least one registered and qualified teacher designated as a 'person responsible'.

For further information go to www.minedu.govt.nz/Strategic Plan for early childhood information/new ECE funding system implementation.

Examples of how centres might benefit follow.

EXAMPLE 1: 30-PLACE CENTRE

This centre is a small centre, with a mix of children 2 years and over (20 children) and under 2 (10 children).

To meet the Ministry ratio requirements, it has four full-time equivalent teachers. It is a Rate 2 service, so that it already receives a quality funding rate to reflect the cost of having one or two qualified teachers.

The centre currently receives $156,000 per annum from the ECE funding subsidy.

- If the centre has all its full-time equivalent teachers registered, it stands to gain almost $52,000 per annum, a 33 per cent funding increase.

- If the centre has 80 per cent of its full-time equivalent teachers registered, it would gain just over $36,000 per annum, a 23 per cent funding increase.

- If the centre has half its full-time equivalent teachers registered, it stands to gain almost $19,000 per annum, a 12 per cent funding increase.

- If the centre has a quarter of its full-time equivalent teachers registered, it would gain just over $4,000 per annum, a 2.5 per cent funding increase.

EXAMPLE 2: 50-PLACE CENTRE

This centre is a large centre, with a mix of children 2 years and over (40 children) and under 2 (10 children).

To meet the Ministry ratio requirements, it has six full-time equivalent teachers. It is a Rate 2 service, so that it already receives a quality funding rate to reflect the cost of having one or two qualified teachers.

The centre currently receives $234,000 per annum from the ECE funding subsidy.

- If the centre has all its full-time equivalent teachers registered, it stands to gain almost $85,000 per annum, a 36 per cent funding increase.

- If the centre has 80 per cent of its full-time equivalent teachers registered, it would gain over $56,000 per annum, a 24 per cent funding increase.

- If the centre has half its full-time equivalent teachers registered, it stands to gain almost $29,000 per annum, a 12 per cent funding increase.

- If the centre has a quarter of its full-time equivalent teachers registered, it would gain over $6,000 per annum, a 2.5 per cent funding increase.

NOTE

These examples assume 80 per cent occupancy in the services, and that the services operate 50 weeks a year.

Teacher-led centre-based services that want to access higher funding rates are required to attest either yes or no to paying registered teachers' salaries at least at the level of the Consenting Parties ECE agreement. Services can pay more than this if they wish.

This is to ensure that the additional funding means that staff are rewarded for qualifications and registration. The way this requirement is being implemented limits the extra regulatory cost for services.

For detailed information please go to www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/fundingsystem2005 or 04 4638383

ENDS


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