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$6 million to help children into early education

20 December 2006

$6 million to help more children into early education

Funding of $6 million will create and retain over 400 places for children at 28 new and expanding early childhood education centres across the country, 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 174 places, and allowing another 236 to be retained, it will support centres with their ongoing planning and operations.

“We know that quality early childhood education makes a positive difference to the learning outcomes for children.

"This 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."

The funding, which comes from the second round of the annual $16.2 million Discretionary Grants Scheme, provides planning and capital assistance to early childhood education centres in areas of need. It includes:

- $5.7 million in capital grants for 13 early childhood centres, to create 305 new places and retain 186 places
- $278,000 in grants to help cover planning costs for 15 early childhood services
- $38,000 for three health and safety projects

The Discretionary Grant Scheme has provided over $90 million of funding towards early childhood education centres since 1 July 2000.

Applications for the first round of the Discretionary Grants Scheme for 2007 close on Friday 27 April 2007.

For more information visit www.minedu.govt.nz

ENDS

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