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$69.7 million for early childhood education

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Education

28 May 2009


$69.7 million for early childhood education

Early childhood education and care will receive nearly $69.7 million of new money over the next four years from Budget 2009.

“Budget 2009 delivers quality investment in early childhood education against the background of global economic challenges,” Education Minister Anne Tolley says.

From July 1 2010, five year-olds and children attending playcentres and kōhanga reo will be eligible for 20 hours of childhood education. From July 1 2011, the six hour daily limit will be removed.

It is estimated that up to 8,200 children will benefit from the removal of the six hour cap; and that up to 1,100 five year-olds will be attending services that qualify for 20 hours early childhood education.

Currently this is available only to three and four year-olds and a limited number of five year olds - and then for only a maximum of six hours a day, up to a total of 20 hours a week.

“The inclusion of kōhanga reo and playcentres recognises the high quality education these services offer and makes it easier for parents to access these services,” Mrs Tolley says.

“The inclusion of five-year olds recognises that some parents may not want their children to begin compulsory schooling until the age of six. The removal of the six hour daily cap will provide greater choice and flexibility to parents about when and how they take up 20 hours of early childhood education.”

“Early childhood education and care is a top priority for this Government. Budget 2009 delivers on the National Party’s commitments and gives as many families as possible access to quality early childhood services”

ENDS

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