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BUDGET 2001: Early childhood and adult literacy

24 May 2001

Early childhood and adult literacy big Budget winners

Early childhood education and adult literacy are big winners in the Budget, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"The budget allows nearly $30 million over the next four years to implement the Government's policy of equity funding for the early childhood education sector. An equity funding model will be developed over the next few months to distribute the extra money.

"It will be targeted to licensed and chartered community-based early childhood education services in low socio-economic or isolated areas. Other factors such as special education needs will also be taken into account.

"Quality early childhood education is a key tool to reduce disparities across communities in New Zealand. Research shows it increases a child's chance of educational achievement later in life.

"The early childhood education funding subsidy of 2.8 per cent will also be adjusted. New rates range from $1.10 an hour for children in license exempt centres to $3.56, the top rate for children aged two and over; and $5.92, the top rate for children under two.

"The Government has also doubled funding for adult literacy, setting aside $18 million over four years to fund the Adult Literacy Strategy, released earlier this month. Associate Education Minister Marian Hobbs will oversee the implementation of the strategy, which seeks to provide a comprehensive, long-term approach to improving adult literacy.

"The Government believes all New Zealanders should enjoy a level of literacy which enables them to participate fully in all aspects of life, including work, family and the community. It is the foundation for further learning needed to build a knowledge society. This funding will help realise that goal," Trevor Mallard said.


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