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Extra places for more than one thousand children

Extra places for more than one thousand children

Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today that 89 early childhood education centres across New Zealand will receive $8.8 million to extend, upgrade or develop their buildings, creating extra places for more than one thousand young children.

“This money will create an extra1343 new places for children in licensed and chartered centres over the next year,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The Government is committed to ensuring that all children, no matter what their background, have access to quality early childhood education because we know that it makes a significant difference to the way they go on to develop later in their lives. “

Funding is from the early childhood education discretionary grants scheme which provides capital assistance to community-based not-for-profit early childhood services. The funding is focussed on increasing participation for Maori, Pasifika and low socio-economic status children in quality early childhood services.

The purpose of the scheme is to assist groups to reach licensing standards or help others to maintain standards by removing health and safety hazards. It is also designed to increase the number of new places available in existing centres.

“This year we announced a 10-year strategic plan for early childhood education, Pathways to the Future: Nga Huarahi Arataki. At the heart of this plan is the Government’s aim to get more Maori and Pasifika children taking part in quality early childhood education. National figures show that they participate at much lower rates than other New Zealand children,” Trevor Mallard said.

A total of 19 discretionary grants were made in the $2.4 million Maori pool creating approximately 407 new places for Maori children in kohanga, immersion and bilingual services.

“There is also $2.75 million in funding for 20 Pasifika groups wanting to establish licensed and chartered early childhood education centres. This will create an extra 240 places for these children,” Trevor Mallard said.

A total of 50 grants creating approximately 696 new places for children were made in the General pool. These grants meet the needs of Maori, Pasifika and low socio-economic children and their families in a range of early childhood education services.

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