Rates Release Helps Centres Plan for 20 Free Hours Education
NZEI Te Riu Roa, the union representing early childhood teachers, is pleased to see the Government has announced the funding rates for its policy of providing 20 hours free education for 3 and 4 year olds from July next year.
“Today’s announcement of the funding rates will create a greater level of certainty for early childhood education centres,” says Jeanette Clarkin-Phillips, a lecturer in early childhood education at Waikato University and a member of the NZEI Te Riu Roa National Executive.
“Early childhood education centres now have six months to plan how they can incorporate the 20 hours’ free education into the service they provide.”
NZEI supports the free education policy because research shows the educational and social benefits of children receiving a quality early childhood education.
“The research shows that it improves children’s reading and maths skills and their ability to relate to other children and adults,” says Jeanette Clarkin-Phillips. “It also shows that children retain these benefits as they mature and reach adulthood.”
“That’s why we hope all three and four year olds throughout country will be able to reap the benefits of having 20 free hours of education.”
“It will be ironic if commercial early childhood education centres, that lobbied relentlessly to be included in the 20 free hours policy, now decide that they won’t provide it, because to do so would have an adverse affect on their profit margins,” says Jeanette Clarkin-Phillips.