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Funding helps more children into early education

8 February 2006
Funding helps more children into early education

Funding of $11.4 million will create an extra 344 places for children at new and expanding early childhood education centres, Education Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

"This investment reflects the government's commitment to make quality early childhood education accessible and affordable for all New Zealand families," Steve Maharey said.

"The funding will increase participation in quality early childhood services around the country, in particular for children from low socio-economic and isolated communities. As well as creating an additional 344 places, and allowing another 196 to be retained, it will support centres with their ongoing planning and operations.

"The investment will also support the roll-out of the government's policy of 20 hours free early childhood education for all three and four year-olds in teacher-led services from July 2007.

“Both national and international research tells us that quality early childhood education makes a significant difference to the way children develop and achieve later in life. We also know that access to quality early childhood education has the greatest benefits for children who are the least likely to participate."

The funding, which comes from the second round of the annual $20.8 million Discretionary Grants Scheme, provides planning and capital assistance to early childhood education centres in areas of need. It includes:

- $ 9.8million in capital grants for 15 early childhood centres, to create 344 new places and retain 196 places

- $600,000 in grants to help cover planning costs for 36 early childhood services

- $1 million for health and safety projects and additional funding for some services to complete projects already underway.

ENDS

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