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Budget invests an extra $155.7m in ECE

Budget invests an extra $155.7m in ECE

A further $155.7 million over four years will be invested in early childhood education (ECE) services in Budget 2014 to help give all children a great start in life, Education Minister Hekia Parata says.

“This Government is focused on making sure all young children can get access to quality ECE services,” Ms Parata says.

“Government spending on ECE has almost doubled, from over $800 million in 2007/08 to $1.5 billion in 2013/14.

“A $53.6 million boost to the subsidy rates will help keep fees affordable. Keeping fees as low as possible is vital if we are to increase early childhood participation, especially for children from Māori, Pasifika and low-income backgrounds.

“We know that regular participation in quality early childhood learning significantly increases a child’s chance of future educational success, particularly those from vulnerable families.
“That is why we have set a target of increasing participation in early childhood education to 98 per cent of children starting school in 2016. The additional funding for ECE services in Budget 2014 helps to achieve that target,” Ms Parata says.

The $53.6 million cost adjustment is part of the much larger increase in operating funding of $155.7 million over four years. The remainder is driven by forecast increases in the number of children attending and the number of hours they are attending.

This will support an estimated 5,800 more of our youngest children to access quality ECE by June 2018. Over a third of these children will be from areas where participation is low and extra support can help regular participation.

“This is good news because it reflects the growing demand for ECE, which shows that more New Zealand families are recognising the importance of early learning,” Ms Parata says.


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