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Quality early childhood education's lasting effect

Study shows lasting effects of quality early childhood education

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Research released today reinforces the long-term benefits of quality early childhood education, says Education Minister Steve Maharey.

The Competent Children, Competent Learners project began in 1993 and has followed the progress of 500 Wellington region students from early childhood education through to secondary school.

Steve Maharey says the latest project report finds that even at age fourteen, quality early childhood education is showing up as having a positive impact on the learning of children across a range of backgrounds and circumstances.

"This report adds to the growing body of research which tells us that regular, quality early childhood education makes a positive impact on a student's educational success later on," Steve Maharey said.

"The report is an endorsement of the major investment we are making in early childhood education, including steps to make it more accessible and affordable for all families.

"This year alone we are investing more than $500 million to lift quality and improve access in early childhood education.

"From July next year we will provide funding for 20 hours free early childhood education for three and four year-olds attending teacher-led services.

"Funding has increased by more than 60 percent since the Early Childhood Strategic Plan was launched in 2002, and is forecast to increase by that much again by the conclusion of the plan in 2012."

Steve Maharey said the research also reinforced the big difference that quality teaching could make at any stage in a child's education, regardless of background or circumstance.

"This is reminder that to lift standards for all students we need to continue to ensure every school is a good school. This can never be achieved through a policy which promotes the ranking of schools, or competition between schools."

The report is available at www.minedu.govt.nz or www.nzcer.org.nz

ENDS

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