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Early Ch'hood sector to advise on roll-out of 20 hrs

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Education

7 November 2005 Media Statement

Early Childhood sector to advise on roll-out of 20 hours free

The government is to establish an Early Childhood Advisory Committee to advise on the roll-out of its policy of 20 hours free early childhood education for all three and four year-olds from July 2007, Education Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

"Input from the early childhood sector will be vital to ensuring this policy is workable and practical for both parents and the providers of the service," Steve Maharey said.

"Free early childhood education underpins this government's commitment to ensuring every child has the best start in life. It is essential that everyone involved has confidence in the policy and that it can be delivered without imposing additional costs on the providers."

Steve Maharey said the 20-hour free policy would build on the huge strides made in the early childhood sector in recent years.

"Early childhood has been one of the big success stories in our education system. Participation has increased, particularly among Maori and Pacific Island communities, new teacher qualification requirements are being implemented, and the new funding system that came into effect in April this year is ensuring centres that offer quality education are properly resourced."

ENDS

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