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Early Childhood Design and Build Project

Early Childhood Design and Build Project – Appointment of contractor

Signature Homes Ltd has been appointed as the Ministry’s preferred contractor for the design and build of early childhood centres nationwide, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

This appointment is part of the government’s initiative to increase the participation in early childhood education particularly for Maori and Pacific Island communities.

“Increasing participation will help us achieve our goals in early childhood education and also contribute towards labour market goals of raising the future skill levels of the workforce.

“Research shows that increased participation at early childhood level will have the greatest effect on raising achievement. In addition, for participation to be meaningful it should engage children, their parents and whanau. For programmes that promote participation and improve access to quality early childhood services to be successful, they need to be driven and owned by local communities.

“In order to assist those communities develop centres suitable for the delivery of quality early childhood education programmes, indicative designs were developed by the Ministry of Education and Early Childhood Development to illustrate best practice solutions.

“Tenders were invited from contractors to provide a design and build service and the successful contractor was Signature Homes Ltd due to their excellent national coverage, competitive price for the service to be provided, technical and professional support and guaranteed contractual performance. Signature Homes will be the Ministry’s preferred contractor for the next three years,” Trevor Mallard said.

The appointment of Signature will fill a need for the early childhood sector in general for the provision of quality good standard buildings at an affordable and “up front” cost. As much of the initial design work will have been done there will be considerable savings in time in the pre-construction period.

“The design and build scheme presents the opportunity for early childhood providers to either select a building design from Signature’s catalogue of options or work with Signature Homes to produce a modified design to meet their particular needs.”

The use of the design and build scheme will be entirely voluntary and early childhood providers can choose whether to use the whole service provided by Signature, partial service or continue with their own preferred contracting arrangements. Over the next two to three years it is expected that up to 80 new early childhood centres will be ordered by providers under the scheme.

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