Benefits of early childhood education to Pacific families
15 February 2013
Benefits of early childhood education promoted to Pacific families
Pacific Island Affairs and Education Minister Hekia Parata welcomes the first of a series of local workshops to inform Pacific families of the benefits of early childhood education (ECE) in Auckland this weekend.
“We want to make sure that all Pacific families know that having our kids attend ECE improves future educational outcomes. To put it simply, if your child goes to ECE, they will do better at school,” says Ms Parata.
One of the priorities of the joint Ministry of Education and Pacific Island Affairs Pasifika Education Plan 2013-17 is to increase Pasifika participation in ECE from 86.8 per cent in 2012 to 98 per cent in 2016.
“Pacific ECE participation rates have increased over recent years but we still have a lot of work to do to reach our target of 98 per cent participation in 2016. Currently, we have 194,101 kids in ECE services across the country. To reach our target we need a further 12,000 registered over the next 4 years – 1,350 Pasifika kids per year to be exact. We need all mamas, papas, parents, caregivers and extended aiga to ensure our Pacific kids have the best start in life,” says Ms Parata.
“The ECE participation workshops are a key part of our community-based approach to boost participation. They will be held in different areas of Auckland from February.”
The workshops will allow Pacific families and those looking to set up an ECE service to make informed decisions by discussing the benefits of ECE, profiling local providers and offering information about financial support, how to enrol and more.
“Participation in quality early childhood education will set our young learners on the path to future success,” says Ms Parata.
The first Samoan workshop will take place this Saturday 16 February from 10am-12.30pm at EFKS Church, 104 Dawson Road, East Tamaki.
The workshops form a part of the Ministry’ of Pacific Island Affairs’ five-year plan to target areas with low Pacific participation in ECE. If your community group would like to take part in a workshop, contact the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs on 0800 674248.