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PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference May 18: More Money For Early Education And Level 1 Milestones

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced $278.2m for early childhood education funding at today's post-Cabinet press conference.

The Prime Minister also said on Wednesday she would be outlining timetable milestones over moving between level 2 and level 1.

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Many mothers of children at Playcentre - which educates more than 7 percent of New Zealand's pre-schoolers - expressed their anger on Ardern's Facebook page over the weekend.

They said the funding they received in the Budget was insulting, and put about 100 centres at risk of closure.

Hipkins said today's announcement would allow the reintroduction of a higher funding rate for early childhood services that employed fully qualified and registered teachers, which he said was scrapped by the previous government in 2010.

"A decade of underfunding in early childhood education under National has had a significant impact on the sector, which is why I put ECE as my top priority for this Budget," he said in a release.

"In 2018, about 400 centres (13 percent of teacher-led centres) employed a fully qualified and certificated workforce," he said. "This initiative rewards centres offering the highest quality education by ensuring all of their required teachers are fully trained teachers.

(Article additions by Scoop)

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