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Early childh'd programme supports at risk families

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education

1 August 2005 Media Statement

New early childhood programme to support at risk families

A new programme to help improve families parenting skills, based in early childhood education centres, was launched today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

“This is a project aimed at helping families at risk of poor outcomes who have children aged from birth to three years. The programmes will be available in licensed and chartered early childhood education centres and will provide parent education, social support and outreach activities to families,” Trevor Mallard said.

New funding of $5.9 million over four years was set aside in Budget 2005 for 18 pilot programmes.

The programmes will provide:

- parenting education at early childhood education centres, or nearby community facilities, to develop parenting skills

- social support through parent support groups and activities, at the early childhood education centre or from other social support services

- outreach activities in conjunction with other social services specifically for vulnerable children and vulnerable parents.

"The Labour-led government is committed to increasing participation in quality early childhood education services, improved service quality and getting people and agencies to work closely together to help more families at risk,” said Trevor Mallard.

“We know that quality early childhood education makes a positive difference to the learning outcomes for children. By linking the early childhood education centre to the home and community we will be able to strengthen services and get more children involved.

“This initiative will also help to develop the centre’s understanding of the home environment and encourage parents to take an active role in the centre and their child’s learning.”

The pilots will enable government to make informed decisions about funding parent support based programmes in these centres.

This initiative is part of a new package of Budget 2005 services to support the Early Intervention Programme led by the Ministry of Social Development. This programme builds on the vision that all vulnerable children receive the support they need from birth through to school so they get the best start in life.

The Ministry of Education is implementing the new project in consultation with the Ministry of Social Development.

Further information will be available on 1 August 2005 at http://www.minedu.govt.nz/index.cfm?layout=document&documentid=10614&indexid=1095&indexparentid=1000


ECE Centre Based Parent Support and Development Questions and Answers

Who will be eligible to apply for funding for this project?
The first phase of the initiative will be piloted in some of the following Territorial Local Authorities:

- Far North Waitomo
-Whakatane -Dunedin
-Hamilton -Rotorua
- Whanganui -Hastings
- Horowhenua -Invercargill
- Masterton - Papakura

Any licensed and chartered ECE centre within these TLA’s will be able to apply.

How were the TLAs chosen?
These areas have been chosen based on people's social and economic circumstances and the capacity of early childhood education centres in each area. Other areas may be available in the second phase of the project.

How will I know if my centre is eligible?
The application form outlines the key criteria for eligibility. The application form is available on http://www.minedu.govt.nz/index.cfm?layout=document&documentid=10614&indexid=1095&indexparentid=1000 or from tara.thurlow@minedu.govt.nz

Only licensed and chartered early childhood centres can apply for the pilot project.

How much funding is available?
Funding of up to $60,000 per year will be available for each pilot. Additional funding of up to $10,000 is available for set up costs. Some additional funding may be available for building or adaptation to the venue. The intention is not to fund major capital works.

How many Pilot Projects will there be?
There will be a total of 18 pilot projects. This could include individual centres or clusters of centres. In the first phase of the project 8 projects will be contracted by February 2006 and in the second phase a further 10 projects will be contracted by February 2007.

Who is the target group?
The target group is parents of vulnerable children who are aged 0-3. Vulnerable children are children at risk of poor social, educational and health outcomes. Many factors can contribute to this risk and centres applying should outline in their application forms how their project works with parents of vulnerable children.

How can I apply?
Application forms for the first phase of the project are available on http://www.minedu.govt.nz/index.cfm?layout=document&documentid=10614&indexid=1095&indexparentid=1000 or from tara.thurlow@minedu.govt.nz.

When are applications due?
Applications for the first phase of the project will be due on 2 September 2005.

How will I know if there is any more information or changes to the programme?
The website will be update every Friday with any further information, questions and answers or changes to the programme.

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