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Playcentre still locked out of Free Education

New Zealand Playcentre Federation
Media Release

14 November 2007

Playcentre still locked out of Free Education

Despite providing high quality education for young children for over 60 years, one of the highest-rating providers is still locked out of the government's 'free ECE' scheme.

The 498 Playcentres around the country do not qualify for the scheme, effectively blocking New Zealand's unique parent-led early childhood education from essential government support.

Playcentre Federation President Marion Pilkington said today that the government was dictating that families can only access 'free ECE' through teacher-led centres.

“The government refuses to include Playcentre in this scheme, and so is effectively side-lining an education service that independent research has shown to provide very high quality early education.

“The scheme is supposed to be about encouraging more participation in quality ECE. Yet Playcentres, which are run by trained parents under Ministry of Education licences, are left out in the cold.

“Having parents and children learn together produces a quality environment that research has shown has very positive outcomes – both for the children and the parent” said Mrs Pilkington.  “This scheme is failing parents who wish to be actively involved in the education of children in their communities.”

Playcentre runs an NZQA approved adult education programme which equips parents to provide high quality education and develop a range of skills that enable them to contribute to their communities.

It has been shown to have high quality outcomes in the Competent Children study which has followed a group of children from their early education experiences at age four through to age 16.

Playcentre is now the only licensed provider of ECE which is not eligible to offer the “Free ECE” scheme.


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