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NZEI Applauds Major Education Announcement

NZEI Applauds Major Education Announcement

NZEI Te Riu Roa, the early childhood teachers union, applauds the government’s major announcement that it is to provide free education for three and four year old children at non profit, community-run early childhood education centres.

It was announced in the Budget that from January 1, 2007, 3 and 4 year old children will receive 20 hours of free education a week if they attend one of the country’s 875 non profit, community run early childhood education centres. Kindergartens already provide free early childhood education.

“This is a major announcement because it means far more children in New Zealand will be able to receive quality early childhood education,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.

“Research clearly shows the educational and social benefits of early childhood education. It improves children’s reading and maths skills and their ability to relate to other children and adults.”

“Early childhood education also supports families, making it easier for those where both parents work. It also helps those without work take part in job training or in adult education. The increased provision of childcare subsidies provided in the Budget will provide additional help for these families.”

“Providing free education for young children is a sound investment in New Zealand’s future. It is good for children, for families, for society and for the economy,” says Colin Tarr.

NZEI also welcomes the extra funding announced in The Budget for early childhood education centres that have a high number of qualified teachers and the extra money to enable centres to meet the target of having all their teachers qualified and registered by 2012.

“Early childhood education centres with qualified teachers deliver a better quality education for their children,” says Colin Tarr.

NZEI members are pleased with the changes to early childhood education funding announced in The Budget. This will see the Government inject more money into centres to cover increased fixed costs which will help ensure they aren’t passed onto parents through increased fees.

“The new funding system will enable centres to enhance the quality of their service by employing qualified teachers and lowering the ratio of teachers to children,” says Colin Tarr.

“New Zealand is developing a world class reputation for providing quality public and community based early childhood education. NZEI members want to see these services made available to all New Zealand children free of charge. They welcome the steps this Budget announcements make towards fulfilling that goal,” says Colin Tarr.

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