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Funding helps more children into early education

Funding helps more children into early education

Funding of $6.6 million will create an extra 308 places for children at new and expanding early childhood education centres and will also help cover the planning costs for another 41 services, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"This funding reflects our government's commitment to make quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable for all New Zealand families. The funding comes from the first round of the annual $12.8 million Discretionary Grants Scheme which provides planning and capital assistance to community-based groups and early childhood education centres in areas of need.

“This funding will provide an additional 308 places for children of families seeking to access early childhood education through new centres or the expansion of existing centres. It will also help fund the planning stages for a further 41 new centres or expansions.

“The Discretionary Grants Scheme increases participation in quality early childhood services, especially amongst children from low socio-economic, rural and isolated communities. Since 2000 government has invested $64 million on approximately 4,300 new early childhood places through this important scheme,” Trevor Mallard said. “Labour is strongly committed to driving up the quality of early childhood education because research tells us that early childhood education involving qualified teachers makes a significant difference to the way children develop and achieve later in their lives."

Trevor Mallard made the announcement at Greenlane National Women's Hospital Creche, which is to receive $1.06 million from the scheme, to relocate and build a brand new centre, catering for an extra 25 children on top of the existing 50 places.

"I’m pleased we have been able to help because this creche serves a wide community geographically. It also caters well for the very different needs of working parents as it is able to provide extended hours of early childhood education for their under-fives.
"Low quality and unregistered childminding and babysitting will be rewarded under National's policy, whereas Labour's commitment - in stark contrast – will continue to raise the quality and affordability of early childhood education for all New Zealand parents and families.

"National's miserly tax rebates will lead to more untrained staff looking after our under-fives because Dr Brash sees children purely as a deductible business expense," Trevor Mallard said.

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