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More funding for new ECE centres

5 July 2005

More funding for new ECE centres

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced that community groups will be able to apply for funding to create new early childhood education (ECE) centres across the country through a second round of the Discretionary Grant Scheme.

"Today's announcement underpins this government’s goal of making sure more children have the opportunity to participate in early childhood education," Trevor Mallard said.

"I am pleased that more centres will be supported through the second round of funding announced today. This is on top of the funding already granted in the first round, which I will be announcing soon.

"This year's budget added an extra $28.4 million into this area over the next four years. The additional funding will help ensure access to early childhood services is still reasonable in 2007, when three and four year old children attending community-based services will be able to access 20 hours per week of free early childhood education.

"We know that quality early childhood education makes a positive difference to the learning outcomes for children. Research shows that the greatest benefits are for children who traditionally have been less likely to access early childhood education, including children from poorer homes or living in rural communities.

"The Discretionary Grant Scheme is targeted towards these groups. The funding announced today takes the annual spend on Discretionary Grants to $18.59 million in 2005/06."

Each year the Discretionary Grants Scheme provides annual capital assistance to community based services to establish new centres and to address health or safety concerns in existing services.

Information and application forms for the second Discretionary Grant Scheme round will be sent out to services and made available on the Ministry of Education's website from 25 July 2005. Applications will close on Friday 14 October and it is expected that decisions will be announced in early February 2006. Services will be able to apply for 2006 funding in February 2006.

ENDS

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