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Budget 2007: Funding boost for kōhanga reo

Joint Statement
Education, Associate Education


Funding boost for kōhanga reo

Budget 2007 will deliver kōhanga reo increased funding of $13.9 million over four years, said Education Minister Steve Maharey and Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia.

The extra funding helps fulfil the Labour-led government's drive to put early childhood education (ECE) within reach of all New Zealand families and it is part of the $64.6 million invested in new early childcare money over the next four years, Mr Maharey said.

"Higher funding rates will support kōhanga reo to be more financially sustainable in the future. Many kōhanga will also be taking advantage of the government's 20 Hours Free ECE policy, which will be available for three- and four-year-olds in teacher-led ECE centres from 1 July.

Mr Horomia said the increased kōhanga reo funding recognises the special contribution kōhanga make within the education sector. "Not only are they the main form of Māori immersion early childhood provision, but they are also one of the main providers of early childhood education in rural communities."

In 2006, 95 per cent of school entrants had been educated in ECE centres, and 27 per cent of all Māori early childhood enrolments are at kōhanga reo.

This initiative will enable Māori to continue to employ kaiako who are competent in te reo Māori and will support rural kōhanga which have fixed costs, but lower enrolment levels, Mr Horomia said.

ENDS

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