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Free ECE enrolments top 85,000

17 July 2008

Free ECE enrolments top 85,000

One year on from the launch of 20 Hours Free Early Childhood Education the popularity of the scheme has been spectacular with over 85,000 enrolled children now benefiting, Education Minister, Chris Carter announced today.

“Already, nearly 80 percent of services eligible to offer 20 Hours Free are doing so and making a huge difference to the futures of tens of thousands of young New Zealanders,” Chris Carter said.

Next month ABC Learning Centres, the largest provider still outside the scheme, will be joining up to 20 Hours Free.

The scheme, which was opposed by the opposition, has seen a 30 per cent growth in enrolments since 1 July 2007 and now includes more than 2,300 services.

A further commitment to ECE sees the rates for 20 Hours Free had increased from July 1, 2008. All day services with 100 percent registered teachers, for instance, will now receive $12.26 per hour, up from $10.89 when 20 Hours Free ECE was introduced.

All day services with between 50 and 79 percent registered teachers will receive funding of $9.75 per hour, up from $8.91 last year.

Following the settlement of the kindergarten teachers’ collective employment agreement in February 2008 the government has increased funding rates for kindergartens from July 1 2008.

“The increases I have announced today are another example of the government’s commitment to ensuring ECE is well resourced to provide top quality opportunities for the newest generation of New Zealanders,” Chris Carter said.

  • Free Take-up figures
  • ENDS

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